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Curious Traveler

Curious Traveler

CURIOUS TRAVELER 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! Georgiaand Better Destinations.

Latest Episodes

https://video.pbs.org/widget/partnerplayer/2365417854/?player=WGBY-PBS&w=512&h=288&chapterbar=true&autoplay=false /episodes/get/32079 /episode/32079 Curious Traveler | Curious About ... London /episode-player/32079

Why is St. Paul's Cathedral such an iconic symbol of London? And why doesn't it face due East? And what does St. Paul have to do with the City of London crest? What is the City of London and why can't the Queen come in? Why do so many London neighborhoods end in -gate? Why is Temple Church round? And what did those secretive Knights Templar do here? And what does all of this have to do with Magna Carta - and why has a copy remained at Salisbury Church for 800 years?

Air date:
Mon, 01/05/2015 - 05:00

Why is there a French Loire Valley castle in the middle of the American Deep South? Did you know that the name "Biltmore" is completely made up? Why did the architects of the Statue of Liberty, the New York Subway and Central Park put their stamp on this small town? Why did Henry Ford, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Edison all stay in a hotel where it looks like the roof is melting? And how did Scots-Irish immigrants create American country music?

Why did the French settle here? And why is French still the official language here (as well as English)? Why is there a Paris Metro Stop in the middle of the city? Why is Notre-Dame Basilica bathed in blue? And why does it slope downwards towards the altar? Why does the Hotel de Ville look like DC's Eisenhower Building and why does the Bank of Montreal look like the Pantheon? And is there really an ongoing archaeological dig going on under your feet at Place Royal?

Why are the constellations backwards in Grand Central? Why are there acorns all over the place? Why does the Great Hall at the Met look like the Baths of Caracalla? Why is there a golden Diana statue in the middle of the Met, and what does that have to do with the General Sherman statue by The Plaza? Why is Rockefeller Center's Atlas statue permanently grimacing at St. Patrick's Cathedral? And what does he have to do with the Pieta inside?

Who was "A.B.C. Architect" and why did he design such a grand Parliament Building in Victoria? What is Fan Tan Alley, and what does it have to do with the 2nd oldest Chinatown in North America? How did an 11th and 12th century French, Spanish & Italian Romanesque-style castle, built for a Scottish self-made millionaire, become 'Canada's Castle'? Why isn't there a sign above the main entrance to The Empress Hotel? And finally, as we take High Tea here, is it pinkies up or down?

Why is there a dragon on the Welsh flag? Why does the man next-in-line for the British throne hold the title the "Prince of Wales"? What are the Walls of Constantinople doing all the way over here? Who is King Longshanks? And how is he related to King Vortigern and Magnus Maximus? Where is Britain's smallest church? I can't see it! And how the heck do you pronounce the second longest place name in the world: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch???

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