The blog for inspired travel with children

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Atlas Obscura

The Atlas Film Studios in Morocco

Atlas Obscura is an online resource every curious traveler should know about, particularly those with children in tow. Where conventional guidebooks will direct you towards the same old museums and sites until the end of time, the Atlas Obscura suggests that you go a different way, guiding you towards a possibly wonderful place (or at least an interesting one) you might never have heard about otherwise.

According to the site, "If you're looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you'll find them." As it happens, I am looking for these things.  Or rather, I am open to finding them, or whatever else is out there (and is kid/family-appropriate!).

The Evolution Nature Store in New York City

The Sanctuary of Truth on a beach in Thailand

Kids, naturally, are often drawn to the obscure, the grotesque, or the somewhat strange.  Contributors to the Atlas not only identify interesting sites, but provide the often fascinating story behind them. The Thai Sanctuary of Truth, for example, is not an ancient temple, but a modern one (construction began in 1981); its profusion of carvings incorporate multiple regional religious traditions. The Atlas Film Studios, in Ouarzazate, Morocco, turns out to be the largest film studio in the world. Scenes from Star Wars (among many other familiar films) were shot here. The Studios offer tours daily.

Using the Atlas, you will find historic sites of all kinds - outsider art, cabinets of curiosities, museums dedicated to esoteric subjects, natural wonders, and places that defy categorization.  Visiting hours, prices, additional online resources, and any other pertinent information is helpfully listed for each site.  

Design Panoptikum in Berlin

Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia (Salt Flats)

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