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"There is a Garden of Eden for children here in this life."

June 28, 2016

Way back in 1957, Elie Wiesel — author of the award-winning story Night, among others — took a trip to Disneyland with his book editor, who was visiting from Israel.

To commemorate the trip, the duo took off on a six-week road trip of the United States, with California's most popular attraction as the final destination. Atlas Obscura recently uncovered a review the author penned for Tablet, comparing the attraction to the "Garden of Eden for children." Here's a selection from Wiesel's review:

I don’t know if a Garden of Eden awaits adults in the hereafter. I do know, though, that there is a Garden of Eden for children here in this life. I know because I myself visited this paradise. I have just returned from there, just passed through its gates, just left the magical kingdom known as Disneyland. And as I bid that kingdom farewell, I understood for the first time the true meaning of the French saying ‘to leave is to die a little’ [partir, c’est mourir un peu]

Aside from Disneyland, the author also shared his thoughts on other stops along the way: Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and an American Indian reservation in Arizona. You can read more about his entire road trip here.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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