A unique experience, to be sure.
The Forbidden Corner, May 29, 1999
The English ambassador to Ecuador built this fanciful play-park for his own personal amusement. Therefore you can't find anything remotely like it anywhere else. If someone did try to make something like this, they'd have to make it much bigger to be able to turn a profit, and that would spoil the magic of it.
When you arrive, you're given a pamphlet with poems describing sites in the Forbidden Corner. What you do from there is up to you. We went exploring, trying to find all the sights described. Here you see Henry blowing off the leaves so that he can read a tombstone for more clues.
But before you think "Oh this is going to be a childish thing," remember that the Ambassador made this for his own enjoyment. It was only opened to the public because the lucky ones who were invited to the ambassador's private parties wanted to share it with their friends too.
The ambassador's architects managed to hide huge temples like this one behind the landscaping so that you'd know it was there but it would take you another half hour to find the path to the secret fountain where you could walk across the submerged stones to the temple gates....
The planners manage to confuse and confound you with tricky gates like this one which let you know the cross path is there but don't let you get on it. (Unless you cheat, which of course we didn't do, no no, we'd never do a thing like that...)
They also used paths that led nowhere just to keep you guessing.
We had enjoyed ourselves a plenty before we found the underground. There were many caves, secret doors, fantastic shrines and that elusive stairway to the castle wall hidden in the deep ground.
Here a titan is frozen as he moves through the wall, just as a man would look crawling out of a waterfall.
And at the end of the underground world, you emerge through a hallway that makes you feel as if you've grown, like Alice after eating the mushroom. Unsure whether this is really our world or not, we head off to the exit.
So if you ever, ever get the chance, check out Tupgill Park and the Forbidden Corner. You'll be glad you did. (They've recently gone to advance booking only, so plan ahead.)
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