World's Strangest Places
John Mitchell / Alamy
Las Pozas, Mexico
Scotsman Edward James—poet, trust-funder, and Salvador Dalí–adoring art
patron—the surreal sculpture gardens located in the rainforests of Xilitla
(about eight hours north of Mexico City) were a labor of love. James broke
ground in 1949 and kept adding to his architectural marvel with staircases to
nowhere, off-kilter turrets, and open-sided atriums until his death in 1984.
His home during those 35 years? A mock-Gothic castle bustling with hundreds of
birds, 40 dogs, and—not altogether shockingly—a pet boa constrictor.
Tip: Time your visit to
the Xilitla between April and July, when the
weather is warm and dry. James’s surrealist castle home is now a budget hotel
called La Posada El Castillo (don’t
worry, the boa’s long gone).