Famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, or Great Wall of China are usually at the forefront of travelers’ minds as being “must-see” sights. However, on April 9th, the more obscure curiosities take center stage as Atlas Obscura celebrates it’s second annual Obscura Day — a celebration of the world’s most esoteric and unlikely tourism spots.
If you haven’t heard of Atlas Obscura, it’s a collaborative project with the goal of, “cataloging all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks.” Basically, the world is a small place and while it’s important to revel in the awesomeness that is the Taj Mahal or ponder the construction effort of the Great Wall of China, there are myriad destinations in the world that should also be on any traveler’s bucket list.
Among some of the more interesting events they’re hosting (sponsored, of course, by Hendrick’s Gin– because what says exploration without a tasty gin and tonic garnished with cucumber?) are as follows:
- A behind-the-scenes tour of Alcatraz in San Francisco sponsored by the National Park Service, followed by drinks at a local speakeasy.
- Exploring Florence’s La Specola anatomical museum.
- A tour of the visual design company WETA in New Zealand, which was responsible for all those awesome effects in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- And arguably the coolest event in the list (no pun intended) celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the exploration of the South Pole by Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott… in Antarctica.
Yep, Atlas Obscura’s got celebrations happening everywhere, and even NileGuide is getting into the act. Our Local Expert in Lena Hyde in Akumal, Mexico, will be offering a day-long tour that explores Mayan traditions, including a healing ceremony, a nature walk, and trying out traditional Mayan foods. Qué va!
Check out a recap of last year’s excitement here:
And a preview of the events for 2011:
Needless to say, if you can’t get out to any of these events this year, make April 9th a day to walk around your neighborhood and explore. You never know what kind of surprises you might encounter. And with a Hendrick’s Gin in our hand, we say cheers to that!
Image: Atlas Obscura