FACTS, FIGURES AND NONSENSE FROM RYANAIR'S DESTINATIONS
RITES OF PASSAGE
BARCELONA, SPAIN, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER
The balancing act of building human towers called castells is a spectacular tradition of Catalonia. The castells start with what looks like an enormous rugby scrum: a base that can consist of hundreds of people. On top of that comes a tower of castellers, standing on each other’s shoulders, up to nine levels high. Traditionally, a child clambers to the top to complete the tower and wave triumphantly (castells originated 200 years ago, in a time before health and safety laws). You can see castells in Barcelona at the Festa Major de Gràcia (15–21 August) and La Mercè (22–25 September).
Text by Trevor Baker
IMPRESS YOUR TRAVELLING COMPANIONS
4 Bronze lions sit at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London.
51.59 The height in metres of Nelson’s Column, all the way to the top of Nelson’s hat.
13 Longest recorded flight of a chicken (in seconds).
7 Breeds of chicken that are Belgian.
68 Million years is the age of a fossil that suggests chickens share a common ancestry with the T. rex.
66,326 Fireworks set oﬀ in largest ever fireworks display, in Portugal in 2006.
13.4 The weight (in kilograms) of the biggest firework ever exploded, in Portugal in 2010. The Portuguese like their fireworks!
73 Neighbourhoods that make up Barcelona.
5 Million people live there.
1.2 The approximate length (in kilometres) of La Rambla. The poet Lorca called it “the only street in the world that I wish would never end”.
HALKIDIKI, NEAR THESSALONIKI, GREECE
THIS MONTH, WE ASKED: “How do you like to relax in Halkidiki?”
“I go night swimming in the sea after work”
ANTHONY VOURTHIS, BARTENDER
“By drinking cocktails on the beach with friends”
KATERINA KIORTZIDOU, WAITRESS
“At the weekend I like to go camping, close to the beaches”
MICHAEL JOYCEY, ENGINEER
THE KING HAS A NEW CASTLE, AND IT’S IN DENMARK
Elvis fans say the King’s not dead, and who are we to argue? His legend has certainly been given a new lease of life in Denmark. Graceland Randers, 40km from Aarhus, is a new replica of Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis. As well as peeking inside Elvis’s home, you can roam around an Elvis museum, eat high-cholesterol meals in the diner and more. You can even get married here.
3 GRACELAND RANDERS VEJ, RANDERS, TEL: +45 (0)86 429696, WWW.GRACELANDRANDERS.DK
Text by Sophy Grimshaw
When August rolls round, so does Surströmming. Popular in northern Sweden, this fermented Baltic herring is sold in pressurised tin cans, and smells like vinegary flatulence (yes, that nice!). It’s served on buttered crispy bread and garnished with onions, dill and chopped potatoes, and I found it tastes better than it smells – though it took me a while to work up the courage to try it.
Text by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
I KNOW A LITTLE PLACE
THIS MONTH: LIMOGES, FRANCE
WHERE AGAIN? Slap bang in the middle of the country and a part of France considered by many as the land that time forgot – but in a good, fabulously picturesque way.
GATEWAY TO: France’s gloriously unspoilt Limousin region.
MUST DO: A bracing countryside walk. The region is vast and its geography ranges from gently undulating fields to an almost Alpine environment in the south-east.
TRY IT IF YOU LIKE: Porcelain – Limoges is the porcelain capital of France.
Text by Mike Peake
Drop what you’re doing and answer this…
Which of the following could you theoretically fit inside London’s O2 Arena?
A. 18,000 DOUBLE-DECKER BUSES
B. THE EIFFEL TOWER, ON ITS SIDE
C. THE PLANET MERCURY