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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Far from the maddening crowds

When you are done visiting the popular and the crowded tourist spots in Europe, take the road less travelled and explore.

travel Updated: Jun 15, 2019 13:55 IST
Garima Verma
Garima Verma
Hindustan Times, Delhi
(EuropeNature_Travel/Instagram)
         

Imagine what Indiana Jones would have become had he stuck to the routine — visiting the iconic landmarks, treading the suggested lanes and fattening the family album. But then neither you need to be an archaeology professor nor you have to be committed to a level that every journey is a ‘Last Crusade’.

Leaving aside the mainstream locales and choosing the different, even the bizarre, is what it takes to graduate from a tourist to an explorer.

For instance, the wonderful sights of Europe would have enamoured one and all. You might have even waited to get a perfect frame at the places that feature on every must visit itinerary. However, you might want to take inspiration and check out these lesser-known places to make your trip worthwhile Micropia is probably the only zoo dedicated to microorganisms.

PUT THE QUIRK BACK IN QUIRKY

Blame it all on the likes of Downtown Abbey that rekindle the romance with everything English, and make many go searching for that lost world or what is left of it in Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey or elsewhere. Forget that pretentious life that gets paraded on the screen and instead check out the alternatives that bring fun to the equation. London boasts of some weird museums and activities that can make your trip memorable. Not too far from the celebrated British Museum is the Cartoon Museum in Holborn. It has a collection going back to the 18th century. Further ahead in Euston is the Magic Circle Museum, where magicians from all over England have come together and formed a club. Their shows are nothing less than mindblowing. History buffs should not miss Churchill War Rooms, the Old Operating Theatre Museum can definitely revive the 1800s with its surgical demonstrations. Hunterian Museum with its collection of Churchill’s dentures, an extinct giant sloth’s teeth should do the trick. There are also London Loo Tours by the way!

 

WANDERLUSTIN’

Amsterdam’s beautiful historic places such as Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the Heineken Experience are among the top attractions and enough to make anyone a fan of the Dutch way of life. The city, however, has more to offer. If uncovering secrets is your thing, then Micropia and the Rijksmuseum’s escape room adventure should be on your list. While Micropia is world’s only zoo dedicated to microorganisms, Rijksmuseum is an interesting quest that tasks you with recovering sorcerer and alchemist Alessandro Cagliostro’s stolen formula with clues hidden all around the museum.

 

BESIDES EATING WAFFLES

Brussels is a archetype o European city boasts of grand a history and good foo . when you’re done with the glorious chocolates, waffles and the Grand Place, you must visit the ‘Little Pisser’ cousins. Manneskin Piss is Brussels’ landmark, a little naked boy pissing into a fountain. You might find a little girl squatting to pee (Jeanneke Piss) on Impasse de la Fidélité. Go on a giant scavenger hunt — the Brussels comic strip route. Hailed as the capital of comic strips, Brussels has more than 50 comic strip murals by well-known comic artistes.

 

INFAMOUSLY FAMOUS

If the luck of the Irish has been on your side, you have already ticked off Dublin Castle, the Spire, the Old Library of Trinity College from your list and partied like an Irish at the 14th century Temple Bar. But you aren’t even close to being Irish till you have drank in a church and visited the Irish Whiskey Museum. On a day when the hangover has been taken care of, you could go clicking the unique doors of Dublin. With most houses built to look alike, painting their doors in different colours was the only way the owners could set the entrances apart. It is now a significant character of the city. And, to see what spectacular means, head to the marvellous Cliffs of Moher, which are a favourite for many film shoots.

 

SHORTEN VISITS

The Seine, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe define the usual. However, you can short visits to these and unravel the darker secrets of Paris. The Catacombs of Paris were once ancient stone mines. These quarry tunnels existed on the outskirts of the city since the time of the Romans, and came directly under the busy city after it expanded. Though the underground world is vast, a portion at Place Denfert-Rochereau is open to public. Housing skeletal remains of millions of Parisians, the Catacombs were a result of Paris’ cemeteries becoming overcrowded. It was probably the dire situation of Les Innocents cemetery in the late 18th century that led to priests and police discreetly moving the bones to the tunnels. There are many more interesting stories and some recent happenings that warrant a visit. But this place is surely isn’t for the fainthearted.

 

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