“‘Curiouser and curiouser'” cried Alice’. Imagine travel as a cake that says ‘Eat Me’, and by complying you, like our heroine in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, open out, ‘like the largest telescope in the world.’ Just think what you could see.
The idiosyncrasies of travel
This section is a guide to curious and wonderful things that involve travel with the aim of opening up our view of the world, and hopefully acting as an inspiration allowing you to look for the idiosyncrasies in your next destination. Perhaps that’s to consider the purpose of a city statue or maybe to explore the story behind the name of a place you’re visiting. Curiosity lies just beneath the surface, uncovering it gives us a richer travel experience.
A little curious inspiration
On a trip to Spain and Mijas, a whitewashed Andalusian village in the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean, I took in the view of the sea below, explored the stores selling porcelain and leather, ate a vanilla ice cream and bought some caramelised almonds (garrapiñadas) from a street seller who was toasting them on the spot. The usual tourist activities. Then I found something else.
My curiosity, quite suitably, led me towards a museum of curiosities, contained within a yellow building made to look like a wagon from the American West. The Carromato de Mijas (Caravan of Mijas) contained within it all things miniature from around the world: a pin with Abraham Lincoln painted on it, the Last Supper on a grain of rice, a shrunken head from the Balauba tribe in Africa (apparently FBI-certified, whatever that means).
Not only had my visit allowed me to procure a taste of a typical Andalusian village, but also, through this chance find, I’d discovered an unexpected alternate world tucked away in the cliffside.
It’s these alternate worlds that I find fascinating, that opens things out like a telescope, and allows me to see more than the obvious. Join me in entering this world of curiosities here:
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Monumental change – The art of replacing statues
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Time for a Fugging change – and 12 other reasons behind geographical renaming
There are many justifications for renaming a place. Disassociation with an English expletive is just one of them.