Tag Archives: quirky

{Netherlands} What’s in your bag?

November 21, 2014


If it weren’t for my interest in quirky and unusual museums, the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje in Amsterdam – or to give it its English name, the Museum of Bags and Purses – would probably never have caught my attention. Indeed, I have to admit to not owning a single handbag. Shoulder bags, backpacks and tote bags are more my style. But oh my goodness, what a fascinating museum it turned out to be! With a collection of over 4,000 bags and purses, the museum is the largest […]

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{Germany} What’s in your food?

February 10, 2014


Do you know what’s in your food? There’s a museum in Germany that does! The ‘Zusatzstoffmuseum’ (Additives Museum) was founded in 2008 by the ‘Hamburger Lebensmittelstiftung’ (Hamburg Food Foundation) with the aim of educating people about additives in food – why they are used, where concealed additives may be lurking, and what the alternatives are. It’s a very fascinating topic, though be warned – a visit here may put you off eating for the rest of the day! Additives are not a modern invention. We’re […]

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{Germany} The Culture & Art of Skateboarding

January 20, 2014

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I love it when my quest to visit unusual museums and hidden gems introduces me to a topic I’d previously never given a second thought to, and it then turns out to be highly fascinating. Such as skateboards. I have a terrible sense of balance, and the closest I’ve ever gotten to a skateboard is dodging the skaters on Bristo Square at Edinburgh University. But last year, I visited a preview exhibition at Berlin’s Lange Nacht der Museen, for the Skateboard Museum that will hopefully […]

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{Germany} The fascinating world of hemp

January 13, 2014


The Hanf Museum in Berlin Mitte takes its place alongside Amsterdam, Barcelona and Bologna as one of four hemp museums worldwide. And those who shake their heads as they walk past (I’ve seen them) or make jokes about the sign with the giant cannabis leaf out front (I’ve heard them) are missing out on a wealth of information. Far from only being of interest to stoners of hippies (see reference to jokes above), the museum covers all uses of this versatile plant, out of which […]

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{Netherlands} The Katten Kabinet

November 13, 2013


It seems that cat museums are a little like buses. First none come along for a while, then two turn up at once. And so it happened, that I recently visited my second cat museum this year! Both museums house private collections, were founded by cat lovers, and have the owners living in the same building on a different floor. But whereas the ‘Kleines Katzenmuseum‘ in Berlin is a centred around a collection of over 1000 porcelain cats, as well as cat collectibles in every other […]

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Please, Mr. Postman

May 29, 2013


Washington, D.C. is full of big, impressive and amazing museums. But as a champion for the underdog, my favourite is the National Postal Museum, the Smithsonian’s little brother to its millions of visitors pulling big siblings on the National Mall. And hey, they even *do* have a dog! Situated next to Union Station, it’s appropriately located in the old Post Office building and was actually created in an agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service in the early 1990s. I’ve written more […]

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