Difference between revisions of "Mordor"
Latest revision as of 10:37, 9 November 2012
Thoroughly unpleasant. The region of Mordor has rarely been dealt a kind hand. Successive colonial powers have done little to clean the place up, and there is still no functioning train service. The recent large scale eruption of Mount Doom and the associated collateral damage, just might (only might) encourage a more enlightened approach to development in the region.
At one stage, a distant ancestor of Viggo Mortensen had the chance to improve the standard of local infrastructure, but decided to be a king instead. Hugo Weaving was quite young at the time, but still showed his displeasure.
President Sauron, despite a few setbacks, has been in power since 1,000 years after the end of the First Age, and is thus a very unusual Three Age president. The campaigning cry of his supporters is "one more Age, one more Age", and you will probably be able to pick up a tee shirt.
 Pre-colonial era
It's very complicated, poorly recorded and really not worth bothering about. Lots of wars, fallen Vala and some fairly angry types smiting the earth.
Mordor is surrounded on three sides by large mountain ranges: Ered Lithui (Ash Mountains) in the the north, Ephel Duath (Mountains of Shadow) to the west bordering the region of Gondor, and extending round to the south. Generally they are not very nice, even worse than the Brecon Beacons.
 Don't read
Anything by JRR Tolkien or his youngest son. This family has done much dis-service to the region, and has a poor understanding of the place from a traveller's perspective.
Orcish is the native tongue, specifically the Black Speech dialect, though speakers of Westron should have no problems.
If you are having some difficulty, head to the Mouth of Sauron who can provide translations from Elvish, Entish, and the Tongues of Men.
 Get in
One does not simply walk in to Mordor. You gotta rock in to Mordor. Or take the shortbus.
After the recent twinning with the city of Brussels, all citizens of countries who are signatories to the Schengen treaty, are granted an unlimited stay visa on arrival. Australians however, remain unwelcome.
 By air
The quickest way in is to fly with a Nazgul, though many travellers complain that the distance from the airport into the city actually makes Ryanair look convenient by comparison. Holders of the 666 student pass have not been eligible for Nazgul discounts since the end of the Second Age.
 Get around
While numerous UK-based car-rental agencies will claim to offer vehicles in this region, the sad truth is that walking remains the most common mode of transport. Distances are long, conditions are brutal, and chance of death is high, so comfortable shoes are an absolute must.
If you do find a car, driving is in the middle of the road, and parking always hard to find. Orcish traffic wardens are renowned for their lack of a sense of humour.
[add listing] See
Mordor is quite unique amongst A-list destinations in that it tends to see you rather better than you see it.
[add listing] Do
If you a meet a beardy bloke in a pointy hat, ignore everything he says. He will try to make you do something dangerous. He is quite persistent, so if he gets too annoying, feed him to a Balrog. He may reappear a few weeks later looking all white and shiny, but don't be deceived as he will try to make you kill yourself again.
That warning aside, Mordor is an increasingly popular destination for active travellers who enjoy getting right off the beaten track.
[add listing] Buy
Gold rings are the local speciality handicraft, but the real deal is increasingly difficult to come by. The lead guide of Preciousses Tours.com  has a good nose for sniffing them out.
[add listing] Eat
Meat is consumed in one of two ways - raw or incinerated. Charred
Not much for vegetarians here, who should really stay at home or go to Byron Bay.
[add listing] Drink
[add listing] Sleep
 Stay safe
Not unlike Detroit, visitors to Mordor must face the very real possibility that they will be imprisoned, killed, or even eaten during their visit. While this may dissuade some from making the journey, simple precautions can help to alleviate these concerns. Most importantly, never visit Mordor without an accompanying army (much the same precautions as for Glasgow match days, really). While rumors persist of individuals who have traveled to the heart of the country alone or in groups as small as three, this is a decidedly dangerous proposition.
Remember that Mordor is a volatile region, and downright dangerous in the western areas. Abduction by orcs, while something that might someday make for a best-selling novel, is not generally an adventure that ends well. Similarly, Mordor has an ongoing border conflict with Gondor, and in border areas you're likely to be foisted off in the middle of the night by scouts from either side. Ephel Dúath is barren desert, and survival in the wilderness without proper equipment impossible. While the south-eastern part of the country is generally considered to be a lot safer than the north and west, occasional incidents can still occur anywhere and a seemingly safe place can become the opposite in an instant. Several media reporters were killed in the northern parts of Mordor, most likely by criminals or a bored Nazgul.
Spiders and snakes are also something to be careful of, and the mountainous country has many vicious creatures such as scorpions, trolls, feral Orcs, etc. In some areas, altitude sickness is a significant risk. Mount Doom is an active and unpredictable volcano. It should not be approached without appropriate equipment.
If, after considering the risks, you still choose to travel in Mordor, hiring an armed escort or travelling with an experienced guide are ways to decrease the risks. You should also check with your embassy, and be clear on what they can and cannot do for you in an emergency. Emergency evacuations by eagle are always in demand and you may have a long wait.
Possession of class A drugs is not illegal, rather it is encouraged. This has undoubtedly contributed to an upsurge in backpacker traffic to the region. Try to find the nearest orc-rave and ask for Gobrag, who will certainly be able to sort you out. You ain't seen nothing until you have seen a loved-up orc.
In some areas, especially near the Black Gate, photographing military installations, government buildings, or even transport infrastructure can get you in trouble. If in doubt, cautiously and politely ask an orc captain, while trying not to smell too tasty.
The invasion by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men is still a sensitive and painful matter for most Mordorians, and should not be talked about in a jesting manner. Similarly, save your orc jokes for when you get home. They have heard the jokes before, and don't find them particularly humorous or endearing.
Use of vulgarities, such as soap, plants, kittens, etc., is a complex matter informed by the gender, age, and status of the monster you are talking to. Best to avoid swearing altogether to avoid offending the locals, especially those carrying axes.
Public nudity is generally only acceptable in designated locations. Personal space issues are a matter of great complexity and beyond the scope of a travel guide to explain. Finally, unlike Europe, it is not common for individuals in Mordor to greet one another by kissing on the cheek.
Using basic commonsense instead of relying on vacuous patronizing advice from the respect section of your travel guide is strictly discouraged.
 Stay healthy
It is highly recommended to buy a travel insurance before the trip, just in case.
Standards of hygiene in the region are generally extremely low and have been compared to those at Vang Vieng. The normal, stinking, crusty Caucasian traveller will feel well at home here, and it is unlikely you will be carrying too many diseases that the citizens of Mordor have not previously experienced.
If you find yourself in danger, locate the nearest Palantir to call Gondor for aid. Be aware though that the men of Gondor got old, fat, and more than a little unreliable.
 Get out