Podtours

August 6, 2007

Tourism ideas – ‘secrets’

Filed under: travel — podtourz @ 3:19 pm

Two nice ideas from Spain which seem geared to provoking tourists into seeing something a little bit different.

First, ‘The Secrets of Cordoba’. It’s a quiz, with questions on hidden patios, out of the way statues, and unfrequented alleys. Six questions; if you get them all right you get a diploma, apparently. I thought this was rather a nice idea; it certainly motivated me to go out of my way to find a couple of the smaller alleyways and yes, it was worth the detour.

Secondly, ‘unknown Toledo’. I found Toledo one of the most overrun cities in Spain – the problem seems to be that it’s now only 30 minutes from Madrid by train, so it’s daytripper territory, yet no one actually stays there overnight so it’s dead by 930 at night. And a day is not really enough, so the daytrippers tend to rush from one ‘must see’ to another.

‘Unknown Toledo’ suggests some interesting second-line sights. I found it particularly interesting since of these sites are still being excavated and evaluated – so it feels as if you’re participating  in the reinterpretation of the city’s history, as if you’re sharing the work of discovery.

As often in Spain, execution is lacking. The ‘Secrets’ are not well disseminated, and many of the Toledo sights remain unknown to me as I was unable to find them open. But none the less, these are great ideas for helping individuals explore a city in more depth – and perhaps spreading the tourist traffic a little more thinly across the cityscape.

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