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Curious Traveler takes you to the most intriguing places in the world, to dig deep into the mysteries of each destination's art, architecture and hidden histories. Christine van Blokland brings her passion and curiosity for history, the arts, quirky characters, storytelling, and lifelong learning to this fascinating series.

Curious Traveler is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (40 episodes). The series first aired on April 4, 2015.

Curious Traveler is available for streaming on the website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Curious Traveler on demand atAmazon Prime, Amazon, Hoopla, PBS online.

Janson Media
4 Seasons, 40 Episodes
April 4, 2015
Cast: Christine van Blokland
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Curious Traveler Full Episode Guide

  • Why does George IV's Royal Pavilion look so different than other British royal palaces? What happened at the Seven Sisters Cliffs? What is a Smugglers Pub? Who wouldn't sit under a dragon? Where did Sherlock Holmes retire? And what does the Guinness family have to do with a medieval hotel?

  • Who stole the famous Ghent Altarpiece, and who recovered it? And who is restoring it? What is Prinsenhof, and why is it so pretty? Where did the famous Ghent Dragon fly in from? Why is Ghent so famous for its lace? Why is St. Peters Abbey so important to Ghent history?

  • Why is Dublin so known for its pubs? Where did traditional Irish music come from? Why are there always flowers decorating a pub? What does the word "pub" mean? What is a "snug?" A Brian Boru harp? And how did a fella named Arthur Guinness become so important?

  • Who were the Flemish Masters, and how did they leave their mark on art history? Who stole Michelangelo's Madonna of Bruges? And who rescued her? Why does Bruges look the same as it did in the Middle Ages? What is a Beguinage? And 'Blind Donkey Alley'? And why are all the colorful buildings surrounding the Markt the same width?

  • We get curious about the stunning natural landscape of Wales. We visit Brecon Beacons National Park, Pembrokeshire National Park, St. Davids (the smallest city in Britain), Hay-on-Wye (Wales'"Town of Books"), the Victorian seaside resort town of Tenby, and lots and lots of curious castles.

  • How did Hong Kong get its name? What is so junk-y about a junk boat? Get curious about the Big Buddha, the Po Lin Monastery, and the Wisdom Path on Lantau Island. Then, the Kung Wo Tofu Factory, to learn the centuries-old tofu-making technique. We also take you inside a Tin Hau Temple, the Man Mo Temple, and a traditional Qipao dress-making shop.

  • How did Manchester kick-start 'Railway Mania' in the Industrial Age? What is Manchester's Water Palace? What is so curious about the architecture of the John Rylands and Chetham's Libraries? Why is a bee the symbol of Manchester? Which pub owner shooed her patrons out with a broom? Why is the National Football Museum in Manchester?

  • Why is there a giant wall in the middle of Cardiff? Who built Cardiff Castle? And Coch Castle? Why does Cardiff have so many Victorian and Georgian arcades? What is a bara brith? And laverbread? (Seriously, what is it?) Where did Princess Diana give her first public speech in Welsh?

  • Why is La Grande-Place so gilded? How did Brussels' chocolate legacy begin? Where can you walk through the pages of a comic book? How did Flanders become such a source of Master artists?

  • England's Great West Way follows the ancient path from London to Bristol. We take the train & get curious at stops along the way: Stonehenge, Bath's masonic architecture, the Roman Baths, the S.S. Great Britain, sample some curious pub pies, learn some cockney rhyming slang, and visit some charming villages too.

  • 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 Chteau 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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 look like the Paris Opera House?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?