Takes viewers on an enriching and entertaining “field trip for grown-ups” to some of the most intriguing European and North American cities in the world. Daytime Emmy- and Telly-winning travel, arts and entertainment journalist Christine Van Blokland brings her passion and genuine curiosity for the arts, quirky characters, storytelling, and lifelong learning to this new series. In each location, Christine explores the hidden histories in their art, architecture, museums, monuments, houses of worship and city parks. Each episode begins with Christine’s list of “Curious Questions”: Is the Mona Lisa really a prostitute? Is the Eiffel Tower really Egyptian? Why are there acorns all through Grand Central Terminal? Christine’s previous television credits include: Let’s Go!, Georgia Traveler, Let’s Go! Georgia and Better Destinations.
Airs Tuesdays beginning 1/8 at 1 a.m.
- #301 – Curious Dublin – How did Dublin get its name? And what do Vikings and a black pool have to do with it? Who was Maewyn Succat, and why is he celebrated with green beer? How did the harp become a symbol of Ireland, and why do the harps on Irish coins and Guinness beer look different? What is the curious history of the Book of Kells, and how did it make its way into Trinity College’s Longroom Library?
- #302 – Curious Vienna – Who were the Habsburgs, Maria Theresa, Franz Joseph and Sisi? And how did they shape Vienna? What is the Ringstrasse, and why are there so many oversized, ornate public buildings dotting it? Where did Mozart perform as a 6-year-old prodigy? When and why did Austria shrink to a tenth of its size? What do the eagles on the rooftop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral symbolize? And why are Vienna’s coffee and pastries so legendary?
- #303 – Curious Yorkshire – This beautiful region of England is full of picture-perfect rolling hills, quaint stone cottages, sprawling country estates and that distinct Yorkshire dialect. Why are country estates named Castles and Abbeys? What is The Shambles, and how did it get its name? Why is one of the largest medieval Gothic cathedrals in Europe in the small town of York? How did the Quakers and chocolate shape York’s history? Where and what is Herriot’s country?
- #304 – Curious Saltzburg – Why is there a giant church complex, the DomQuartier, in this tiny Alpine town? And why is there an equally giant medieval fortress high above it? Who lived in Mirabell Palace? And Hellbrun Palace? Why is Getreidegassse so charming, and why are those shop signs so important? And how do you solve a problem like Maria? From the Sound of Music to Silent Night to the Sonatas of this town’s beloved Mozart, it’s time to get curious about Salzburg.
- #305 – Curious San Miguel de Allende – How did this UNESCO town in Mexico get such a curious name? And what do a duck and a dog have to do with it? Why are there so many grand mansions in such a small town? Why do postcards have to do with its soaring Gothic church? Why is there an art school in a former convent? And how did San Miguel de Allende become a magnet for retired American military on the G.I. Bill?
- #306 – Curious Edinburgh – Why did the Scottish kings live in Edinburgh, and why don’t we have Scottish kings anymore? Why was Edinburgh Castle built high upon on Castle Rock? What’s the connection between Edinburgh and Harry Potter? And where are the real-life inspirations for Harry Potter locations? What is so royal about Edinburgh’s Royal Mile? Who is Arthur, and why does he get his own Seat?
- #307 – Curious Guanajuato City – Why is there a stone giant holding a flame, high in the hills overlooking the town? How did silver help shape this Mexican town? Why are its streets and alleys so winding, and what happened to the Guanajuato River? What does the town’s main church have to do with the King of Spain? Why does the town’s marketplace look like a Paris train station? And its theatre looks like the Paris Opera House?
- #308 – Curious Austrian Christmas Markets – Why is a European Christmas Market also called Weihnachtsmarkt or a Christkindlmarkt? And what do these markets have to do with the Holy Roman Empire? Why do you find Christmas Markets mostly in German-speaking countries? What is the curious history of the Advent Wreath, of Silent Night, and a creepy Christmas character named Krampus? And is a Krampus different than a Krapfen?
- #309 – Curious London Shops – You may not be able to live like a royal, but wouldn’t it be nice to shop like one? In this episode, we explore the curious world of Royal Warrants, a special designation given to only the best shops and services, literally fit for a king (or queen, or prince or princess). Kind of like knighthood for a shop. From the royal dressmakers to tiara makers to the royal cheese monger (yes, there is such a thing); we take you across London, inside the world of the royals.
- #310 – Curious Glasgow – Who is buried under Glasgow Cathedral and why? Who is Saint Mungo, and why is he so big? Why does Glasgow City Chambers look like a palace? How did this seaport town become a center for Scottish Enlightenment? And how did the creativity of one man, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, leave a permanent mark on this city?
- #311 – Curious Williamsburg – Why did the English choose Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia as their early American settlements? Why did King William III and Queen Mary II establish a university here? What was life like for the colonists here? What crazy concoctions are to be found in a colonial apothecary?
- #312 – Curious Quebec City – After nearly 500 years, French is still the official language of this North American city. How has this UNESCO World Heritage Site retained its ‘Frenchness’ after all this time? Why does the Chateau Frontenac hotel look like a French castle, and what does it have to do with the Canadian railway? What’s so curious about Rue Saint-Jean, Place Royal and Petit-Champlain?