Shake a hand, open a door. On the front doors of the 17th century St. John’s Basilica in Saarbrücken, Germany are four unique handles to the church. Shaped out of hands, these handles are beautifully crafted. Travel Curiosities Grade: B+ (Stop-worthy if Near) Kath.-Kirch-Straße 66111 Saarbrücken  Germany  

Thumbnail image for Medieval Church Tattoos, Malta

Medieval Church Tattoos, Malta

September 28, 2015

Church art to make most tattoo artists drool. On the island of Malta, the tiniest nation in the European Union, crusader history defines all you see. Located on the Mediterranean midway between Europe, Africa and the Middle East Malta became the central battleground between the Islamic forces and the Crusader Knights. Today, Malta remains an island locked in time. Near the interior of the island the ancient capital of Mdina remains a quiet, and quite…

Thumbnail image for Vouza, The Solomon Islands, Oceania

Vouza, The Solomon Islands, Oceania

September 21, 2015

One man can save a nation. When I first knew I was going to the Solomon Islands I was clueless about their place in history.  But this small independent nation located in Oceania (primarily the largest island of Guadalcanal) became the primary location of the Pacific campaign between the United States Navy and a Japanese invasion force that was rapidly expanding across the Pacific Ocean. When I landed in the capital city of Honiara I…

Thumbnail image for Crazy-Eyed Goat Sucking Jackalope: Unusual Austin Bars

Crazy-Eyed Goat Sucking Jackalope: Unusual Austin Bars

September 14, 2015

Sure, a good selection of beer and scotch is important but atmosphere is everything. In a college town inundated with bars that are packed to uncomfortableness on weekend nights, it is hard to find something original. But Austin does have a few wonderfully weird choices for our audience. First you have the Mean-Eyed Cat, the Johnny Cash themed dive bar. Kitsch meets stuffed road kill which morphs into a Louisiana swamp saloon with a sprinkle…

Thumbnail image for The Funny Faces of the Minster, York England

The Funny Faces of the Minster, York England

September 8, 2015

Face Time medieval style. The York Minster is an architectural marvel. As the largest cathedral in northern Europe, the York Minster remains influential in the Anglican Church. For years, York battled with Canterbury for the seat of primacy. When the Legate from Rome came to settle the question the battle became humorous. The Legate sat down in the judgment seat to listen to the arguments. Both the representatives of York and Canterbury remembered the scriptural…

Thumbnail image for Viking Church, Moorhead Minnesota

Viking Church, Moorhead Minnesota

August 31, 2015

A church worthy of a Viking warrior. Guy Paulson had a vision. In 1997 he began to carve his dream project, something that would honor his families Christian heritage. In 1998, the Hopperstad Stave Church was dedicated. The Stave church is a perfect replica of a Viking church in Vik, Norway. Stave churches (named for the intricately carved vertical posts that form the body of the building) began to thrive as the Viking era came to an end in…

Thumbnail image for The Devil of Notre-Dame, Dijon France

The Devil of Notre-Dame, Dijon France

August 24, 2015

There’s a devil in the doorway and he’s not happy. As you enter Notre-Dame Cathedral in Dijon France, make sure you walk to the doorpost in the center of the large front doors. You will see the visage of the devil carved into the stone lintel. He looks toward the east window over the altar. His angry crumpled face is squinting as if he want to look away. He faces the large stained glass window…