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Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/courtesy HBO

Fans have been waiting for the highly anticipated fifth season of Game of Thrones, which starts this Sunday. The cast and production crew have traveled to several countries to film scenes for the popular HBO show, including Northern Ireland, Iceland, Italy and Morocco. But for the new season, it’s Seville, Spain; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Magheramorne, Northern Ireland, that will take center stage.

With all the buzz, we’d thought we’d take a look at the new season of Game of Thrones by the numbers to highlight the epic scale and resources it takes to produce this show, according to HBO.

- 5 countries
- 151 production sets
- 193 countries where the show is seen
- 240 days to film
- 166 cast members
- 1,000-plus crew members
- 5,000 extras

And make sure to check out our photo gallery of ‘Game of Thrones’ destinations to see the film locations from the show’s upcoming and previous seasons.

This Week in Travel

It may be the longest day of the year, but it’s been a very slow travel news week, which allowed for some creative posts from a few of our favorite outlets. From the unbelievable (a Pole-to-Pole run) to the random (most Sweden-y things?), here are some headlines that kept us entertained this week.

Gadling sits down with Pat Farmer, the Aussie who ran 20,919 kilometers from the North to the South Pole, to find out what makes someone want to run 40 kilometers a day for 10 months.

The NYT finds out what this famous designer (and mom to 2 young daughters) can’t travel without, and there are quite a few fun surprises in her suitcase.

Flavorwire has 10 literary restaurants for hungry book nerds around the world.

Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, is becoming more than a backpackers’ destination with a violent past. NPR reports 60 cruise ships now stop in the city thanks to its new tourist attractions, such as the Titanic museum and HBO’s soundstage for Game of Thrones.

And last, but not least, Buzzfeed rounds up the 33 most Sweden-y things that ever happened in Sweden. Because, why not?

Want even more travel highlights from this week? Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow!

by Jimmy Im

When it comes to Belfast, more Americans remember its dark political history and forget that the New York-bound Titanic ship was built and made its maiden voyage from there 100 years ago this month. Belfast is hot on its heels of erasing the repercussions of its late civil war (the city is known as the safest city in all of Europe based on nationwide crime figures), and the Titanic is luring travelers the world over to check out the new and improved Belfast.

Titanic Memorial in Belfast

This month, the $156 million Titanic Building opened its doors, providing the world’s largest Titanic memorial. The museum center stands the same height as the original Titanic — about 10 stories high — and is designed to look like the hull of the ship. And don’t expect tributes to Jack and Rose. The Titanic Building is the real deal, with 9 informative galleries that start with Boomtown Belfast (when the city was at the forefront of shipbuilding) and the launch of the Titanic, ending with the Oceanic Exploration Center. So visitors can explore the wreckage discovered 2 1/2 miles on the ocean floor in 1985. Interactive features allow visitors to feel like they were actually on the ship. READ MORE

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