January 27, 2013

Review - 100 Places You Will Never Visit (Daniel Smith)

Ever wondered what it takes to get into Fort Knox? Fancied a peek inside the Coca-Cola Safety Deposit Box? Would you dare to visit Three Mile Island?
The world is full of secret places that we either don’t know about, or couldn’t visit even if we wanted to. Now you can glimpse the Tora Bora caves in Afghanistan, visit the Tuscon Titan Missile Site, tour the Vatican Archives, or see the Chapel of the Ark. This fascinating guide book takes a look at 100 places around the world that are either so hard to reach, so closely guarded, or so secret that they are virtually impossible to visit any other way.

Find the book at Quercus and on Goodreads!

How about a walk through restricted areas or risking a glance towards places whose existence is unacknowledged? If there is one thing that 100 Places You Will Never Visit is not, then it's being your average travel guide. Indeed it's a bit of a shame that Daniel Smith teases those fond of traveling with plenty of locations which spark the imagination yet are off-limits to people like you and me.
Succinct, spruced up with plenty of maps and photos, the selection made is not always surprising, yet fascinating nonetheless. The book features everything from military bases, to money vaults, from sacred sites to places of scientific interest. Some of them are more obvious than others, just take Area 51, while others were delightfully unexpected, such as The Skywalker Ranch. Some of them you probably don't feel like visiting anyway, say Snake Island, while other's aren't all that off-limits after all, think taking a guided tour through the Pentagon.
One thing that became obvious pretty fast was the heavy emphasis on the USA, which compose a full third of all featured locations, and I couldn't help but wonder if this selection is being purposefully aimed at an American audience as it's hard to believe that the rest of the world has only a handful of "secret places" to show off. Other than that this book proved to be quite a pleasurable excursion from the safety of my home.
In short: A worthwhile trip to secret and not-so-secret places!

3/5 Trees

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Quercus. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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