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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.

Curious Traveler  
  • Curious Loire Valley
    Tuesday, July 21
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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
    Tuesday, July 28
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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
    Tuesday, August 4
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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
    Tuesday, August 11
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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
    Tuesday, August 18
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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
    Tuesday, August 25
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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 Stockholm
    Tuesday, September 1
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    What did Alfred Nobel invent that led him to create the Nobel Prize? What is Gamla Stan? What's so important about the throne inside the Royal Palace of Stockholm? What is the Djurgarden Canal, and why was it only for the Royal Family? Why did the Swedes grow grass on their rooftops, and what's the history of their folk costumes?
  • Curious French Villages
    Tuesday, September 8
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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?

 

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  • Curious Vancouver
    Tuesday, July 14
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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 Copenhagen
    Tuesday, July 7
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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 Sussex
    Sunday, July 5
    12:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Why does George IV's Royal Pavilion look so different from 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?
  • Curious Rome
    Tuesday, June 30
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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. Peter's Basilica come from, and why are those windows in the dome so heavenly?
  • Curious Ghent
    Sunday, June 28
    12:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    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?
  • Curious Paris
    Tuesday, June 23
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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 Dublin Pubs
    Sunday, June 21
    12:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Why is Dublin known worldwide 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?
  • Curious Sussex
    Tuesday, June 16
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Why does George IV's Royal Pavilion look so different from 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?
  • Curious Bruges
    Sunday, June 14
    12:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    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?
  • Curious Ghent
    Tuesday, June 9
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    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?
  • Curious Southern Wales
    Sunday, June 7
    12:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    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.
  • Curious Dublin Pubs
    Tuesday, June 2
    6:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Why is Dublin known worldwide 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?