United States: Breaking Bad
The masterminds behind Albuquerque's original Breaking Bad tour.
Meet the BaD Guys
Jesse Heron and Mike Silva from ABQ Trolley Company realised that despite its dark subject matter, Breaking Bad was the ultimate showcase for their city.
What motivated you to set up the BaD tour?
"We were both huge fans of the show. We had a general film tour with a few Breaking Bad locations on it. It was called Trolleywood. We just sort of phased it out thinking that a tour solely devoted to Breaking Bad might sell well."
Tell us a bit more about the fans:
"We started the BaD Tour over 7 years ago. We've had people from all over the world. The countries outside of the United States that we've had the most are typically Australia, the UK and Germany. We did, however, have a tour with a Chinese couple. It was a first for us. They didn't speak much English but after the tour was over, we chatted them up a bit. It turns out that they had a Breaking Bad-themed wedding in China and they were doing a Breaking Bad-themed honeymoon in Albuquerque! That was probably one of the most memorable moments from the tour.
There was also a time where a 13 year-old kid got dropped off for the tour by his parents. We were nervous thinking that it probably wasn't age appropriate for him. That kid answered every single trivia question about Breaking Bad that we threw at him! He was definitely our most memorable super fan."
What's the coolest thing that happened during one of your tours?
"There was a tour where we came across the actor that played 'Combo' on the show. We pulled up to a stop light and he was just chilling next to us in his car. Somebody spotted him and half the Trolley started shouting 'Combo! Combo!' and pointing at him. Then I think someone shouted out 'we just saw where you died!' It was pretty funny. I hope he tells that story, too."
What’s the advantage of booking with you guys, rather than exploring the locations independently?
"Good question. We spent over 100 hours putting the tour together. That doesn't count re-watching episodes or the countless hours we spent listening to the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast. Also, Jesse worked for the Albuquerque Film Office from Season 1-4 and has a bunch of great insider info that nobody knows about. The experience of seeing locations and reliving moments from the show with your fellow fans is way better than going it alone! We also have trivia questions and prizes."
Which are the most iconic locations from the show?
"I think the top three are probably Walt's house, Jesse's house and Los Pollos Hermanos. We have about 50 locations on the current version of the tour. I don't think you can call it a tour without seeing those three locations."
Do you have any tips for additional Breaking Bad experiences that fans can participate in?
"I don't know. Get a room at the Crossroads Motel!"
Who is your favourite character of the show and why?
"I really liked Saul Goodman. Now, with Better Call Saul out, I tell them I love Saul. He was hilarious and had some of the best one-liners of the show."
Which is your favourite episode and why?
"The last three episodes of the final season. Those have to be watched in one sitting. They were simply amazing! I think those final episodes prove how strong the filmmaking and writing was. I like watching those with people who have never seen the show. You go through so many emotions watching them."
Any other travel tips for people who visit Albuquerque?
"Take our Best of ABQ City Tour. You'll see some BrBa sites and you'll get a good overview and appreciation of Albuquerque. If you can do it during Balloon Fiesta (the first Saturday through the second Sunday of October), even better. The week after Fiesta is also great because there's way less people in town. Also, try to catch our new USL soccer team, New Mexico United. They're killing it! It's one of the best experiences in the city."
Thanks for talking BrBa with us, guys!