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Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: August 24, 2021 11:50AM
Chopper's thread below* suggested to me that this might be an interesting topic to expand on.

I'll start. We got an exclusive, owner-led tour of Moy Castle, featured in the 1945 British movie I Know Where I'm Going.



*[forums.macresource.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2021 12:28PM by DeusxMac.
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: August 24, 2021 12:04PM
Sometime in the late 80s my family made the big trek out west. We visited Disneyland, the Queen Mary, Spruce Goose while in LA. Drove to Vegas and made a side trip to Hoover Dam. My usually fiscally frugal father splurged to get the deluxe tour that allowed access into the bowels of the dam. I'm sure that tour is no longer offered. That probably ended on Sept 12 2001. That was an incredible tour though. We got to see the diversion tunnels, the generators, all kinds of cool stuff. I remember it was near 120° the day we visited because our VHS camcorder wouldn't work above 115°.



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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 24, 2021 12:07PM
I toured "Biltmore" (the Vanderbilt Estate in Ashville, North Carolina) 8 ~ 10 years ago. It was amazing. One of these days, I'll go back again. WELL worth the trip! boink smiley
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 24, 2021 12:29PM
When traveling through Europe back in 2003, through an interesting series of events I found myself traipsing unescorted through the grounds of Vatican City. At one point, instead of my intended destination I found myself inside a rectory with Italian priests peppering me with questions I was unable to understand.

That entire visit to the Vatican was remarkable. I toured the Vatican Museum, received a free tour of St. Mark's Cathedral, made a date with my tour guide (TG), wandered the Vatican grounds, attended TG's birthday party that evening, and ended up going home with her roommate. No wonder I was exhausted the next day!



It is what it is.
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 24, 2021 12:33PM
Drinks and nibbles with another couple at The Hors d'Oeuvrerie at Windows on the World, North Tower WTC in the early 80's.

(tours no longer available)



Dining room view
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: August 24, 2021 12:43PM
Does climbing up the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge count? (With a fear of heights, I only made up halfway to the top.)

Todd's acrophobic board
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 24, 2021 12:44PM
My favorite places are usually nowhere places. Destinations often tell you what you should think about them.

Raiding the fridge at MoMA's restaurant during an overnight photo shoot (I was assisting) was an interesting privilege.



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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 24, 2021 01:01PM
Milford Sound, NZ
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 24, 2021 01:04PM
Louisville Slugger factory when they were still made in Jeffersonville, Indiana

Military Missile Silo installation somewhere in North Dakota. The soldiers there would neither deny nor confirm if the site was nuclear. I think it was also there I walked around a B1 bomber.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Dearborn, MI.

Somewhere along the lines I toured a factory that made Hostess Twinkies among other things.

There are others that don't stick in the memory. between gigs my road manager and I would seek out quirky things to do and factory tours were a favorite target.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 24, 2021 01:09PM
Submerged cave systems throughout Florida and Central America. I explored underground Mayan tunnels in Honduras and astronaut training facilities at the Kennedy Space Center (as the guest of the USAF). I've been behind the scenes of so many places that I can not even think of them now.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: hal
Date: August 24, 2021 01:25PM
I haven't traveled much and taking tours is not something I tend to enjoy, but I figured I could come up with something...

Here's something unique:

William Tyler's grave...

I once noticed years ago a tiny cross on one of my backpacking maps and later found that it was a grave marker. Its location was described in a trail book from the mid 70s. And once when I was in the area I decided that I would find the damned thing. The marking is roughly 1/3mi away from the nearest trail according to the map, but I tromped all over the place and couldn't find it.

The next time I was in that area, I finally found it. It was an interesting experience. He died trying to round up some cattle in the high, summertime grazing area before an early winter storm rolled in. Close to 8000' elevation.

It's barely visible (with zoom) from the trail:


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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 24, 2021 01:39PM
Quote
Steve G.
Drinks and nibbles with another couple at The Hors d'Oeuvrerie at Windows on the World, North Tower WTC in the early 80's.

(tours no longer available)



Dining room view

I was there twice, both times in private reception rooms. My mother had her wedding reception (2nd marriage) there in 1976, the first wedding they hosted. And again in 1979 for her 50th birthday.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: August 24, 2021 01:58PM
By far, the most memorable and awe inspiring place I've visited -
[www.bmy.com.cn]
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 24, 2021 02:14PM
A maternal bat colony in the attic of a closed church at a state park in Pennsylvania. I was an intern at the time and was guided by the park naturalist. Hundreds of bats and their babies; layer of guano on the floor. We had to crawl in on hands and knees, but you could stand up once inside. The colony is effectively gone now, decimated by White Nose Syndrome.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: August 24, 2021 02:39PM
Not many for me. Some of you folks have travelled far and experienced some magical places.

Truly thinking about it, Mackinac Island was pretty cool, as well as the Big Mac bridge. Hmm, I was at the Sear's tower in Chicago, but they were about to close and I needed a bathrobe to replace the one I forgot.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: August 24, 2021 02:47PM
Quote
vicrock
By far, the most memorable and awe inspiring place I've visited -
[www.bmy.com.cn]

Cool! I only got to experience the exhibit that came to chicago. Must have been amazing to have seen the site.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 24, 2021 03:04PM
Quote
ztirffritz
Sometime in the late 80s my family made the big trek out west. We visited Disneyland, the Queen Mary, Spruce Goose while in LA. Drove to Vegas and made a side trip to Hoover Dam. My usually fiscally frugal father splurged to get the deluxe tour that allowed access into the bowels of the dam. I'm sure that tour is no longer offered. That probably ended on Sept 12 2001. That was an incredible tour though. We got to see the diversion tunnels, the generators, all kinds of cool stuff. I remember it was near 120° the day we visited because our VHS camcorder wouldn't work above 115°.

We took that bowels of the dam tour about 6 years ago, so still going on well after 9/11.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: August 24, 2021 03:08PM
Back in the 70s my brother worked for Verizon in NYC. I used to meet him for lunch sometimes and he would put his tool bag on me and take me in to places he worked. One time he took me in with him to the Museum of Natural History and brought me upstairs to an area prohibited to the public, where they worked on many specimens the public never gets to see. I got to see a fully preserved Mastodon being worked on.

Another time, when he worked at the very top of the World Trade Center, he took me through the area underground there. It was like a whole city down there that people never got to see. He took me up to Windows on the World and then took me to the top maintenance floor where he worked, above the last accessible floor.



JoeM
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 24, 2021 03:35PM
Similar to Todd, I "toured" the OAK/SF Bay Bridge in the early 1970's, and upon exiting the Yerba Buena/TI Tunnel, while heading west on the top deck on my way to work in The City at about 6:40 AM on an otherwise beautiful summer morning, there were several signs that read, "ROLL UP WINDOWS, SANDBLASTING AHEAD!"




What made it unique that day, was that I was riding a motorcycle....


Once I saw that they were sandblasting on the sides, I pulled over into the middle lane and prayed.
(What really pissed me off, was that they didn't post signs during the preceding days/weeks announcing the pending work...... I mean seriously, I woulda rather driven the squirrel powered '65 Mustang that day!)
==
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: August 24, 2021 03:39PM
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
June 2005





!#$@@$#!

If there are spelling issues, please pardon, Owen the cat is sitting on my keyboard.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2021 03:40PM by Fritz.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Michael
Date: August 24, 2021 04:07PM
Into the bowels of the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta 45 years ago when I got a gig as an adjunct to teach felons college classes. They took us down there to take fingerprints to send to the FBI to make sure we weren't also felons! Then they had a trustee tour us around the basement. It was very freaky, although that's surely because it was a prison.

The penitentiary college program was ended in 1979/80 after a 23-year old woman dietician was by herself in a library room and an inmate saw she was alone, entered the room and stabbed and killed her. It was astounding to me that the place allowed a young woman to be by herself there.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 24, 2021 04:40PM
Quote
Fritz
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
June 2005

I see your Angkor Wat and raise with Teotihuacán, Mexico, circa 1999:



I have an interesting story associated with this one, too, if anybody's interested.



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2021 04:41PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: August 24, 2021 05:16PM
I keep coming back to my remembrance of the Tate Gallery, back in the 90’s in London.
I couldn’t say why, though, but it was intense and a long-lasting excitement.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2021 05:17PM by rich in distress.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: davester
Date: August 24, 2021 05:27PM
Charles Darwin's birthplace in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. As a geologist, this to me is like a devout christian going to the manger in Bethlehem. Interestingly, the place is not a shrine with tour guides, guest shops and the like. It's simply a government office where government bureaucrats do tax valuations. A few years ago my brother and I were passing through Shrewsbury on the way to visit my cousin in Bristol so I convinced him to accompany me on this little pilgrimage. We parked in front, showed up on the doorstep and rang the doorbell. A very nice bureaucrat answered and told me that he and his colleagues took turns answering the door and showing people around. He then took us on a very pleasant and low key tour of the house, including the room where Darwin was born.





"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: davester
Date: August 24, 2021 05:29PM
Quote
rgG
Quote
ztirffritz
Sometime in the late 80s my family made the big trek out west. We visited Disneyland, the Queen Mary, Spruce Goose while in LA. Drove to Vegas and made a side trip to Hoover Dam. My usually fiscally frugal father splurged to get the deluxe tour that allowed access into the bowels of the dam. I'm sure that tour is no longer offered. That probably ended on Sept 12 2001. That was an incredible tour though. We got to see the diversion tunnels, the generators, all kinds of cool stuff. I remember it was near 120° the day we visited because our VHS camcorder wouldn't work above 115°.

We took that bowels of the dam tour about 6 years ago, so still going on well after 9/11.

...and I did it way back in 1967 with my dad and brother. Very cool. Those were some big generators!



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 24, 2021 05:57PM
Quote
davester
Quote
rgG
Quote
ztirffritz
Sometime in the late 80s my family made the big trek out west. We visited Disneyland, the Queen Mary, Spruce Goose while in LA. Drove to Vegas and made a side trip to Hoover Dam. My usually fiscally frugal father splurged to get the deluxe tour that allowed access into the bowels of the dam. I'm sure that tour is no longer offered. That probably ended on Sept 12 2001. That was an incredible tour though. We got to see the diversion tunnels, the generators, all kinds of cool stuff. I remember it was near 120° the day we visited because our VHS camcorder wouldn't work above 115°.

We took that bowels of the dam tour about 6 years ago, so still going on well after 9/11.

...and I did it way back in 1967 with my dad and brother. Very cool. Those were some big generators!

You mean these bad boys? My pic, not a Google. smiling smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 24, 2021 06:14PM
.....aren't all places unique.....??


.....their was the tour of duty in Vietnam during the war.....



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 24, 2021 06:47PM
A tour of Mexico’s atomic energy research and development agency lab where my BIL was a physicist. Not all that impressive but unique because it was not open to the public.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: Michael
Date: August 24, 2021 06:48PM
Quote
davester
Charles Darwin's birthplace in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. As a geologist, this to me is like a devout christian going to the manger in Bethlehem. Interestingly, the place is not a shrine with tour guides, guest shops and the like. It's simply a government office where government bureaucrats do tax valuations. A few years ago my brother and I were passing through Shrewsbury on the way to visit my cousin in Bristol so I convinced him to accompany me on this little pilgrimage. We parked in front, showed up on the doorstep and rang the doorbell. A very nice bureaucrat answered and told me that he and his colleagues took turns answering the door and showing people around. He then took us on a very pleasant and low key tour of the house, including the room where Darwin was born.

Darwin was and is near and dear to the heart of our lab. Every year we'd have a Charles Darwin birthday party with Survival of the Fittest Punch (home-grown recipe that evolves over the years). Galapagos finch cookies and other Darwin-appropriate things. In fact, I can trace my marriage to the Feb 12, 1978 party when a sweet young grad student came up and said hi to me. We got married as soon as I finished grad school. One year in grad school when my major professor and I were going to Africa to teach an animal behavior program we detoured and spent a day going to Shrewsbury and then the nave in Westminster Abbey to see Darwin's grave. We did a rubbing of his stone. I wonder if they allow that anymore?
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: richorlin
Date: August 24, 2021 07:09PM
1) Quetta, Pakistan. Very strange. Lots of guns and armament for sale in open markets.

2) Top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Also strange, but in a different way.

3) Private tour of the Tower of London given by a Yeoman Warder, concluding with a drink in their private pub onthe grounds.

4) Most unusual was the brewery *inside* the Frankfurt airport. Amazed that anybody makes their flight LOL.

5) The Gold Museum in Bogota Colombia. Over 35,000 pieces made of gold, both historic and current. Value: incalculable.

PS: I would never have seen any of that if I hadn’t been working for the State Department. Thank you, Uncle Sam.



richorlin

[DrawingMyLife.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2021 07:19PM by richorlin.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 24, 2021 08:31PM
Almost exactly 20 years ago, I got a personal tour of the inside of the Space Shuttle full motion simulator at JSC, got to sit in the seats, but didn't get to "fly". This was via "I know a guy who knows a guy", and it was 16 days before 9/11, so there was no way that opportunity would have ever existed again.
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Re: Unique places you have toured
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 24, 2021 08:54PM
Quote
rgG
Quote
davester
Quote
rgG
Quote
ztirffritz
Sometime in the late 80s my family made the big trek out west. We visited Disneyland, the Queen Mary, Spruce Goose while in LA. Drove to Vegas and made a side trip to Hoover Dam. My usually fiscally frugal father splurged to get the deluxe tour that allowed access into the bowels of the dam. I'm sure that tour is no longer offered. That probably ended on Sept 12 2001. That was an incredible tour though. We got to see the diversion tunnels, the generators, all kinds of cool stuff. I remember it was near 120° the day we visited because our VHS camcorder wouldn't work above 115°.

We took that bowels of the dam tour about 6 years ago, so still going on well after 9/11.

...and I did it way back in 1967 with my dad and brother. Very cool. Those were some big generators!

You mean these bad boys? My pic, not a Google. smiling smiley

Did the same damn dam tour in the late 60's and again in the late 80's, and have traversed the damn, without touring, many times over the last sixty years. The rest of z-z's western tour is just our local stuff. Spousal unit has done a surprising amount of the tours noted in this thread, many as perks of layovers during the last six decades of stewardessing.

As for actual "touring", in the days before automated GPS's, I had an old AAA Tout Guide Book of the United States, that had tons of pages of localized maps throughout each state that put solid red dots on those maps for points of interest that the authors considered noteworthy. Lesser points of interest merited hollow orange squares. Many a trip was taken "munching red dots", and some pure road trips were taken for the express purpose of hitting all the "red dots" on a given map. At some point, a newer AAA book was acquired, and there was some fun had comparing/contrasting the differences between them, and trying to munch missing red dots.
==
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: apocketfulofwry
Date: August 24, 2021 10:21PM
Not for a tour, but I worked on a photo shoot inside the Calar Alto Observatory near Almeria, Spain which was not open to the public at the time.

The crew got to stay overnight in the residences usually reserved for visiting scientists.

At one point, as we were hiking from the residences to the observatory, we wondered why we were out of breath until we realized we were 7,000+ feet above sea level.

The observatory recently opened for tours to groups of 25, or more, if you have a hankering.


More conventionally, the Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona, and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin were among the most memorable tours.
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: MartyStickle
Date: August 24, 2021 10:29PM
Trekked to see mountain gorillas in Ruanda. Got really close.



Asheville, NC Area
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: srf1957
Date: August 25, 2021 08:34AM
In high school took class trip to hanford . We saw generators for the N reactor running . then went into one that was under construction. Not sure if was ever finished .
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Re: Unique places you have toured?
Posted by: maco
Date: August 25, 2021 03:11PM
I've had a bunch, I could go on for a very long time. Some that were planned, others that were unplanned lucky breaks. I have been very fortunate in that department.

An unexpected one was at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I got to my seat after tailgating in the parking lot. The concert had started, I missed the first song. Jerry Jeff Walker opened for Willie Nelson. When I got to my seat, a man came up to me and invited me to visit with Willie on the Honeysuckle Rose. It was a total surprise, it was courtesy of a relative. They whisked me off backstage, I was just to the side of Jerry Jeff and his band, not more than 12' away. After Jerry Jeff's act was finished, I walked across the stage, and got a ride on a shuttle to Willie's bus. It was so much to fun hang out with him, and to be inside the Honeysuckle Rose. Eventually, I started thinking, shouldn't we be winding this down, 9,000 or so fans are waiting. Willie wasn't in any hurry.

I got off of the bus, and took the shuttle back up to the stage. This time, they took me through the concrete tunnel underneath the stage. There were a bunch of signatures from members of various bands, covering the walls. The tunnel leads to the sound booth, from there I returned to my seat. .



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/25/2021 03:13PM by maco.
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