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.

Fri, May 31 1:30 A.M. Curious Paris     NH CREATE

Why does Paris look like Paris? Why were the Eiffel Tower and the Pont Alexandre III built for World Expos? Why is the Opera Garnier so ornate? Why is there a Romano-Byzantine Basilica atop the highest point in Paris? Why are the streets so windy in Montmartre? Why was a famous cabaret built inside a red mill: the Moulin Rouge?

Sun, Jun 2 1:30 A.M. Curious Rome     NH CREATE

Why is there a giant hole in the top of the Pantheon? And how is it still standing after more than two millennia? Why does Piazza Navona look like a racetrack? And why did it used to be a swimming pool? Where did the bronze for St.

Wed, Jun 5 1:30 A.M. Curious Rome     NH CREATE

Why is there a giant hole in the top of the Pantheon? And how is it still standing after more than two millennia? Why does Piazza Navona look like a racetrack? And why did it used to be a swimming pool? Where did the bronze for St.

Fri, Jun 7 1:30 A.M. Curious Copenhagen     NH CREATE

Why did Shakespeare use Kronborg Castle as the setting for Hamlet? Was picturesque Nyhavn really the playground for sailors and brothels? Christiansborg Palace, Amalienborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle - why so many palaces in one small European country?

Sun, Jun 9 1:30 A.M. Curious Vancouver     NH CREATE

Who was Gassy Jack and why was he so gassy? Why was Capilano Suspension Bridge built and what do all those totem poles mean? What's so important about the Hotel Vancouver, and what does it have to do with the train station, the Queen of England, and Harry Potter? Who was Yip Sang, and why did he have his own Boy Scout Troop?

Wed, Jun 12 1:30 A.M. Curious Vancouver     NH CREATE

Who was Gassy Jack and why was he so gassy? Why was Capilano Suspension Bridge built and what do all those totem poles mean? What's so important about the Hotel Vancouver, and what does it have to do with the train station, the Queen of England, and Harry Potter? Who was Yip Sang, and why did he have his own Boy Scout Troop?

Fri, Jun 14 1:30 A.M. Curious Loire Valley     NH CREATE

When and why were so many stunning chateaux built in such a concentrated area in central France? Why is there a river running through Chateau de Chenonceau, and what do the ladies of the castle have to do with it? Why does Chateau de Chambord have 440 rooms, yet no one ever lived there? Why is there a porcupine over the entrance to Chateau d'Amboise?

Sun, Jun 16 1:30 A.M. Curious Venice     NH CREATE

Where is the hidden symbol of Venice on the iconic gondola? Why are there two different saints on the gateway columns? Why is the solar system off on Torre dell'Orologio? Why does Saint Mark's Basilica look like Hagia Sophia? Why does the Doge's Palace have a Stairway of Giants, and what do those symbols mean?

Wed, Jun 19 1:30 A.M. Curious Venice     NH CREATE

Where is the hidden symbol of Venice on the iconic gondola? Why are there two different saints on the gateway columns? Why is the solar system off on Torre dell'Orologio? Why does Saint Mark's Basilica look like Hagia Sophia? Why does the Doge's Palace have a Stairway of Giants, and what do those symbols mean?

Fri, Jun 21 1:30 A.M. Curious Kotor     NH CREATE

Why is there a beautiful, tiny blue-domed church floating in Kotorska Bay? Why did someone build 1350 steps up the side of Kotor's mountain? Why is The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon pink? And why are the towers mismatched? Why are the streets within the fortress walls intentionally in a maze?

Sun, Jun 23 1:30 A.M. Curious Oslo     NH CREATE

Why are you encouraged to walk on the rooftop of the Oslo Opera House? Why did Vikings live here, and why are their ships shaped like that? Why was the Oslo National Theatre built, and what's that secret staircase? What is the troll legend, and why did it happen here?

Wed, Jun 26 1:30 A.M. Curious Oslo     NH CREATE

Why are you encouraged to walk on the rooftop of the Oslo Opera House? Why did Vikings live here, and why are their ships shaped like that? Why was the Oslo National Theatre built, and what's that secret staircase? What is the troll legend, and why did it happen here?

Fri, Jun 28 1:30 A.M. Curious Bordeaux     NH CREATE

Who got hitched at Bordeaux Cathedral and why was it such an important moment in history? Did Parisian architecture actually come from Bordeaux? Why is Bordeaux so synonymous with wine? What was the Place de la Bourse hiding? What do all these sculptures mean at Place des Quinconces? Why were two ancient gates spared?

Sun, Jun 30 1:30 A.M. Curious Sorrento     NH CREATE

Why did the ancient Roman rich and famous choose to vacation here? Who opened the gate for the bad guys in the 1500s? What does the town clock tower symbolize? What's the history of majolica tile art? Why are Sorrento lemons and limoncello so famous?


Watch Curious Traveler - Clips, Episodes & Previews


Curious Traveler By Episode

  • Curious Paris (#201)

    Why does Paris look like Paris? Why were the Eiffel Tower and the Pont Alexandre III built for World Expos? Why is the Opera Garnier so ornate? Why is there a Romano-Byzantine Basilica atop the highest point in Paris? Why are the streets so windy in Montmartre? Why was a famous cabaret built inside a red mill: the Moulin Rouge?

  • Curious Rome (#202)

    Why is there a giant hole in the top of the Pantheon? And how is it still standing after more than two millennia? Why does Piazza Navona look like a racetrack? And why did it used to be a swimming pool? Where did the bronze for St.

  • Curious Copenhagen (#203)

    Why did Shakespeare use Kronborg Castle as the setting for Hamlet? Was picturesque Nyhavn really the playground for sailors and brothels? Christiansborg Palace, Amalienborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle - why so many palaces in one small European country?

  • Curious Vancouver (#204)

    Who was Gassy Jack and why was he so gassy? Why was Capilano Suspension Bridge built and what do all those totem poles mean? What's so important about the Hotel Vancouver, and what does it have to do with the train station, the Queen of England, and Harry Potter? Who was Yip Sang, and why did he have his own Boy Scout Troop?

  • Curious Loire Valley (#205)

    When and why were so many stunning chateaux built in such a concentrated area in central France? Why is there a river running through Chateau de Chenonceau, and what do the ladies of the castle have to do with it? Why does Chateau de Chambord have 440 rooms, yet no one ever lived there? Why is there a porcupine over the entrance to Chateau d'Amboise?

  • Curious Venice (#206)

    Where is the hidden symbol of Venice on the iconic gondola? Why are there two different saints on the gateway columns? Why is the solar system off on Torre dell'Orologio? Why does Saint Mark's Basilica look like Hagia Sophia? Why does the Doge's Palace have a Stairway of Giants, and what do those symbols mean?

  • Curious Kotor (#207)

    Why is there a beautiful, tiny blue-domed church floating in Kotorska Bay? Why did someone build 1350 steps up the side of Kotor's mountain? Why is The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon pink? And why are the towers mismatched? Why are the streets within the fortress walls intentionally in a maze?

  • Curious Oslo (#208)

    Why are you encouraged to walk on the rooftop of the Oslo Opera House? Why did Vikings live here, and why are their ships shaped like that? Why was the Oslo National Theatre built, and what's that secret staircase? What is the troll legend, and why did it happen here?

  • Curious Bordeaux (#209)

    Who got hitched at Bordeaux Cathedral and why was it such an important moment in history? Did Parisian architecture actually come from Bordeaux? Why is Bordeaux so synonymous with wine? What was the Place de la Bourse hiding? What do all these sculptures mean at Place des Quinconces? Why were two ancient gates spared?

  • Curious Sorrento (#210)

    Why did the ancient Roman rich and famous choose to vacation here? Who opened the gate for the bad guys in the 1500s? What does the town clock tower symbolize? What's the history of majolica tile art? Why are Sorrento lemons and limoncello so famous?

  • Curious French Villages (#212)

    Why did the famous French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc only work on one residence: the historic Roquetaillade Castle? Why is there a monolithic church in Saint-Emilion? And why did its monk sleep underground? Why is there a giant wall around the tiny village of Blaye? And why was beautiful Bourg-en-Gironde built into the side of a cliff? And how do Cadillac and Pauillac make time stand still?

  • Curious Dublin (#301)

    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?

  • Curious Vienna (#302)

    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.

  • Curious Yorkshire (#303)

    This beautiful region of England is full of picture-perfect rolling hills, quaint stone cottages, sprawling country estates and that distinct Yorkshire dialect.

  • Curious Salzburg (#304)

    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.

  • Curious San Miguel De Allende (#305)

    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.

  • Curious Edinburgh (#306)

    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?

  • Curious Guanajuato City (#307)

    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?

  • Curious Austrian Christmas Markets (#308)

    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?

  • Curious London Shops (#309)

    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).

  • Curious Glasgow (#310)

    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?

  • Curious Williamsburg (#311)

    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?

  • Curious Quebec City (#312)

    After nearly 500 years, French is still the official language of this North American city.



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