Facts, figures and fun from the Ryanair world of travel
Rites of Passage
Random customs, rituals, festivals and superstitions
GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO AREZZO, TUSCANY, ITALY It’s a jousting tournament and it’s pretty insane – every year on the first Sunday in September (that’s the 7th this year), Arezzo’s main square goes all medieval. Every local boy (and sometimes girl) worth his/her salt takes part in the Giostra del Saracino at some point in their lives, and the streets are filled with costumes – 13th-century crusader chic to be precise.
There’s a parade that ends at the piazza, where flag wavers tout the standards of their knights, before the jousters get down to business. Each jouster and horse wears the colours of Arezzo’s four districts, and all compete for the Golden Lance. But here’s the rub – they don’t fight each other, rather they point their lances at a wooden target carved in the image of a Saracen king! And who doesn’t like the sight of people dressed in funny clothes galloping on horses with great long spears? FOR MORE DETAILS, VISIT www.lagiostradelsaracino.it
The NumbersImpress your travelling companions 5,000 The number of passengers carried by Ryanair in the airline’s first year of operation in 1985.
2,260,000 The number of passengers carried by Ryanair just 10 years later in 1995.
52,460,000 The number of passengers carried by Ryanair from May 2007–May 2008, just 23 years after the airline began.
56 The percentage of respondents who say Germany is the world’s most popular country (BBC World Service poll).
82 The percentage of Italians polled who believe Germany has a “mainly positive” impact on the world.
303 The depth in metres below sea level of Katie Melua’s concert on the Troll oilrig in 2006 – a world record.
20 The number of oilrig workers who won tickets to see the concert.
1.2 The number in millions of tonnes of coffee consumed per year by the US, the top consumer in the world.
2.3 The number in millions of tonnes of coffee produced per year by Brazil, the number one producer in the world.
Your ShoutIn Tampere, Finland. This month, we asked: “What’s your favourite cocktail and why?”
|HEIDI, 26, NURSE||JISSI, 28, RAILWAY TICKET STAFF|
|““Cossu Battery, a vodka energy drink. It gets you going to party!”||“Gin and tonic, because it’s smooth.”|
MARJO, 21, STUDENT
|“Long Island Iced Tea, because it has the most alcohol in it!”|