15 Fun Facts About Europe  
You think you know everything about good old Europe. Well, here are some interesting facts that will surely surprise. For instance, did you know that the first croissant wasn't invented in France or Italy, but in Austria?
However, what's most striking is that London's underground escalators travel a distance equal to two trips around the world each week. That's a lot of travelling.
They say that Rome wasn't built in a day and the leaning tower of Pisa took a bit longer than that - well, no less than 200 years. Brick by brick over two centuries lead tho this majestic piece of architecture that has become one of the best-known buildings in the world.
That the Turkish community is exceedingly large in Germany should surprise nobody, but what about this fact? Berlin has even more doner kebab places than Istanbul.
We know that Germans like their Christmas period. Indeed, they even invented the Christmas Tree. Plus German markets are also well known. Who hasn't tried a bratwurst or a pretzel at a market during the holiday season? Yet, who was aware that Berlin alone boast more than 60 Christmas markets. Sixty!
Not that you'd be looking for them, but if you are wondering where you can find Europe's highest toilets, then that would be atop Mont Blanc. Hopefully, you don't suffer from vertigo because they are at 4,260 metres.
We all know the majestic Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but no matter how majestic can you believe that this building, built in contemporary times took longer to build than the Great Pyramids built thousands of years ago.
If you are stranded in Brussels airport, be merry and indulge yourself in some chocolate. Here you'll find more of this sinfully delicious treat than anywhere else in the world.
In Italy, locals never drink cappuccino after 11am. So if you find yourself in Italy and you are not an early riser, you turn to milkshake.
Your First Time in London  
Unforgettable first moments in London abound and are up for grabs. Make sure that when you visit the city, you take advantage of all the magical moments it offers, for “there's in London all that life can afford”.
It might not sound like a thrilling activity, but it will surely make for a hell of a holiday snap if you pose in an iconic red phone booth. Don't you dare turn down this opportunity, otherwise your friends and family might just send you back to London so you can get that traditional picture.
Nobody will believe you visited one of the capitals of the world if you don't get a picture of the Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. Yes, these pictures flood the Internet and postcards, but you still need your own so go get it.
As if typical pictures of the Big Ben were popular, what about shots of the aerial view from the London Eye, another unmissable landmark when you visit London for the first time.
If you are travelling with a special someone, take a stroll down the Thames as the sun sets and illuminates the water, for an incredible view. Then you can sit on a bench and be mesmerised as the Tower Bridge lights up as the sun descends.
That amazing moment when you see the Buckingham Palace for the first time and feel overwhelmed from its sheer magnitude. Then get amazed five minutes later when you see the Westminster Abbey.
London also offers time travelling like when you feel caught up in the Victorian era as you stumble upon traditionally dressed men on horseback.
The first time you rush to the higher level of a double decker bus so you can admire the view of the city as you are riding the bus.
Another unmissable moment is when you spot the Platform 9 3/4 cart by Kings Cross and you pose for a photo, whether you like Harry Potter or not, this picture is a must-have.
Fun Facts about Spain  
So you think you know everything about Spain? Well, that knowledge is about to be tested. For instance, going to basics... Did you know that the name Spain diverged from the word Ispania, which means the land of rabbits. Perhaps rabbits used to abound when the land was conquered.
Spain is one of the world's top touristic destinations. No doubt the food, the culture and landmarks are on each traveller's bucket list, but it's the beaches what attracts most people from colder countries in Europe. With over 8000 km of coast, there are beaches for every whim.
There is no tooth fairy in Spain but rather a tooth mouse called Ratoncito Perez. Apparently, Spanish kids are not afraid of mouses rolling into their pillows as long as their leave money underneath.
Another reason to attract tourists, and well, Spanish people are known for their willingness to have drinks out, they have the highest number of bars out of all the countries in the EU.
And apparently the local government knows where to invest the money to promote the city. Indeed, Barcelona's city hall provided 1 million euro to fund the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
And the Chupa Chups are not an American invention. The famous lollipops that line cash registers across the world were actually created in Spain by the Catalonian Enric Bernat in 1958.
Even the Coca-Cola has a shady origin. Indeed, Juan Mica claims that his family were the first to invent the drink called Nuez de Kola Coca, which he then took to the US and sold the recipe.
Instead of dancing to Beyonce's tune, on May 15th all the single ladies in Madrid visit the chapel called Ermita de San Isidro to prick their fingers with pins and put it in a vessel, in order to find a husband.
Teenagers in Spain normally start dating in groups when they are 14 years old. s
Things to do in Amsterdam  
With its world-class art museums, its vibrant nightlife and unique Red Light District, Amsterdam remains one of Europe's most diverse and boundary-pushing destinations. Whether you you want to sample Amsterdam's best restaurants, chill out in one of its weed-touting coffeeshops, or pound the cobbled streets for one-off shopping finds, the capital of Netherlands caters to every whim.
If you have a curious mind, you've come to the right place. First, you can explore the past of the city at the Amsterdam Museum, which documents the last eight centuries of urban evolution using quirky objects like 700-year-old shoes. Travel back to the 17th century in the Red Light District as you step into a Church, yes, a church conveniently hidden but really charming called Museums Ons' Lieve Heer op Soldier.
Shop till you drop in the famous flower market. There you can find clogs, tulips, cheese and windmills, put them on the basket of your cycle and feel like you are in an old movie as you ride across the city.
Lose yourself in the city's Canal Belt. Criss-crossed by bridges, 165 canals encircle the city of Amsterdam and keep the sea at bay. The waterways provide an attractive border to the arty locales of the Museum Quarter, the Jordaan and the Pijp. In the land, you can find shops, galleries and quaint cafes.
Have a typical picnic in the Vondelpark, the largest green space in Amsterdam. The park was named after its best-known poet Joost van der Vondel whose play Lucifer caused the religious powers of the time to crack down notorious living. The park is the place to be in the summertime, when people gather to smoke, drink and feast here. With a number of sculptures, the park is also a cultural hub.
Europe's Top Bizarre Events  

You never know what wacky can do and some people have a way to express their freakiness en masse. From bog snorkelling to bed racing, there's a bizarre event Europe for every loony out there.
Germans might be known for being formal and rational, but in their annual Mud Olympics release their inhibitions and get dirty. The event's nature is reflected in its name: revellers play football, hand, volleyball and sledding in the mud. In contrast with the traditional Olympics, Germans forget their competitive nature and focus on having fun more than on winning. Although the event is all about spirit and having a blast, it's also used to raise money for charity. Participants pay an entry fee that is then donated to a local hospital to provide cancer patients with counselling.
If you thought that the pumpkin-related event of the year was Halloween, then you hadn't heard of the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin festival. With about 400,000 pumpkins consisting of 500 different varieties, the event offers countless and every conceivable pumpkin-related activity. The main attraction of the event is the Pumpkin Regatta, in which competitors paddle their hollowed out pumpkin to victory with Germany's Ludwigsburg Palace in the background.
A curious event which has become world famous is the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake. Held annually on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper's Hill near Gloucester in England, the event couldn't be truer to its name - it consists of rolling a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese from the top of Cooper's Hill and racing down the hill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese.
Let's get fired up. Leave it to Spaniards to set a city on fire for a fiesta. Set in the city of Valencia in the commemoration of Saint Joseph, the Falles is a week-long celebration of parades and midday fireworks, all night partying and crack-of-dawn marching bands that lead to a massive fire. In one night, Valencians burn almost 350 multi-story sculptures, which amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars of work, risking the city to up in flames.
Equipped with a weighted mountain bike, a mask, a snorkel and occasionally a costume, participants compete at the bottom of a 6ft deep peat bog. Set in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells, the World Bog Snorkelling Championship takes place every August Bank Holiday.
There might be only one Marilyn Monroe, but in the Latvian capital of Riga, the blonde babies compete dressed up as the iconic Hollywood star. The event called “Go Blonde” is today the world's biggest blonde festival and boasts beach parties and a Harley Davidson bike parade.
There couldn't be a list of bizarre events without a Hospital Bed Race and that's exactly what they do at the Festival of the Unusual, held in July in France. The event's purpose is to highlight the sports nobody thought were possible, are a product of somebody under some kind of influence or a peculiar sense of humour. Apart from hospital bed racing, of course there was going to be a crepe launching at the country where these delicious pastries were born. Most alarming though, there's also apricot kernel spitting, now there's a reason to run for the hills. Strange or not, this is the opportunity for anyone with skills in bed racing or crepe throwing to go down in history and make it to some kind of unusual record book.

Edinburgh Festivals  

Edinburgh immerses itself in art during the whole month of August. From the Castle to the Georgian New Town, the city lives and breathes arts and hosts the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts and cultural celebration in the world.
The Edinburgh Festival is a common term for many arts and cultural festivals that take place in the Scottish city town each summer. The festival fever starts with the Jazz Festival and the Tattoo, followed by the Fringe, then the International Festival and the Edinburgh Book Festival.
The original festivals are the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival fringe, being the latter the world's biggest arts festival. The Edinburgh International Festival was born in 1947 to “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit” as an antidote to post-war gloom.
That same year eight theatrical companies “gatecrashed” the official Festival by organising an alternative event, which is now known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Both the EIF and the Fringe continue to be independent bodies and run separate programmes.
Today the International Festival is a marvelous mix of classical, dance, drama, and opera productions at some of the best venues of the city, such as Usher Hall and the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
The Fringe features the performing arts, especially theatre and comedy, but dance and music are also represented. The festival encourages big-name comedians to kick-off major tours and A-list Hollywood stars to do a pre-West End run in the event.
In the Edinburgh Book Festival, top authors arrive to discuss their new books and the issues of the day.
The celebrations climax with the International Festival's massive fireworks display from the Castle.

Franz Ferdinand UK Tour  
Franz Ferdinand is going to ‘take the UK out' for a music tour to remember. The indie band started to hit the road back in 2014 after the success of their 2013 comeback album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, which debuted at number 6 in the UK Album Charts and number 1 on the UK Indie Chart.
Well Franz Ferdinand, You know the fans are here waiting for you. They're just a cross-hair. They're just a shot away from you. And they are lucky the band is touring at all, especially after frontman Alex Kapranos recently admitted he nearly ended the band during their break from music.
“The fun went out when I felt I was working to someone else's schedule or deadline,” the frontman said in an interview with The Observer.
“I'm not naturally the kind of person who works well under those conditions. In fact, my whole adult life before that point, if I'd been in a job where I felt I was under pressure, I would usually just jack in the job. And suddenly I couldn't do that anymore. But maybe... Maybe, that's what we did after the third record.”
When he was asked whether or not the band actually split up, Kapranos explained: “I met up with Bob (Hardy, bassist) in Orkney about two years ago. I wanted to split the band up, because in my head it felt like one of those jobs... the ones I had to jack in. I didn't like the routine and the obligations. And whether those obligations lay with my contemporaries, my peers, my record label, the fans, the audience - or maybe myself... I felt... It was time to stop that.”
Here are the upcoming dates for the UK tour:
June 16, 2015 The Glasgow School of Art 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, UK
June 29, 2015 Troxy 490 Commercial Road, London, UK
August 24, 2015 Festival Theatre Edinburgh 13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, UK
August 25, 2015 Manchester, UK
French Film Quotes  
They say that a picture is word a thousand words, but when it comes to the depth and emotion in quotes from French movies, an image falls short. As Amelie is a favourite, most of the quotes are from Jean-Pierre Jeunet's classic, yet there are many other quotes from other marvelous French films.
“These are hard times for dreamers” “Without you, today's emotions would be the scurf of yesterday's.” “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” “At least you'll never be a vegetable - even artichokes have hearts.” “We pass the time of day to forget how time passes.” “A woman without love wilts like a flower without sun.” - Amelie
“I have an idea. Would you like to be called ‘Belle de Jour'?” - Belle de Jour
“Sophie was back in the game! Pure, raw, explosive pleasure! Better than drugs, better than smack! Better than a dope-coke-crack-fix-shit-shoot-sniff-ganja-marijuana-blotter-acid-ecstasy! Better than sex, head, 69, orgies, masturbation, tantrism, Kama Sutra or Thai doggy-style! Better than banana milkshakes! Better than George Lucas's trilogy, the muppets and 2001! Better than Emma Peel, Marilyn, Lara Croft and Cindy Crawford's beauty mark! Better than the B-side to Abbey Road, Jimmy Hendrix and the first man on the moon! Space Mountain, Santa Claus, Bill Gates' fortune, the Dalai Lama, Lazarus raised from the dead! Schwarzenegger's testosterone shots, Pam Anderson's lips! Woodstock, raves... Better than Sade, Rimbaud, Morrison and Castaneda! Better than freedom, better than life!” - Love me if you dare
“You're better suited for making love than for making war.” - The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.
“Nobody is entirely evil: it's that circumstances that make them evil, or they don't know they are doing evil.” - Delicatessen
Hanson tour Europe 2013  
MMMBop! They are back! Hanson, the three American brothers who took the world by storm back n 1997 are back in the Europe in December to promote their latest album “Anthem”.
The pop-rock trio released their newest album back in July 1st with their single “Get the girl back”. The music video pleased the band's fans with a melodious song that is true to the band's signature soulful pop-rock sound, an interesting plot and the stars of the moment: Two Broke Girls' Kat Dennings and Twilight's Nikki Reed.
The tour will bring the band back to the UK after two years and a half. The last appearance took place in London for the band's 5 of 5, a series of concerts in which the band performed one album per gig.
ANTHEM was produced and written by the band, and mixed by the epic Tom Lord-Alge. The guitar-driven sounds of the band displays the band's rock and R&B influences ranging from The Beatles, Michael Jackson and AC/DC.
From December 3rd to December 8th, fans of the band will queue for hours outside popular venues across Europe. The tour starts in the UK in Glasgow on December 3rd and ends in Milan on December 17th.
Tour Dates: 3 December Glasgow, UK 5 December Manchester, UK 6 December Cardiff, UK 7 December Birmingham, UK 8 December London, UK 10 December Tilburg, Netherlands 11 December Cologne, Germany 13 December Paris, France 14 December Solothurn, Switzerland 16 December Rome, Italy 17 December Milan, Italy
Anthem track listing: 1. Fired up 2. I've got soul 3. You can't stop us 4. Get the girl back 5. Juliet 6. Already Home 7. For your love 8. Lost without you 9. Cut right through me 10. Scream and be free 11. Tragic symphony 12. Tonight 13. Save me from myself
Benicassim Festival, Spain  
Party until sunrise by the beach! Camping overnight, celebration and epic bands are nothing surprising about the world's top music festivals, but when the event takes place in a party country like Spain, all other festivals can step aside.
Jamming, beach and speedos! That's what characterizes this unmissable mid-summer event in the coastal town in Valencia. Beach all day and bands all night! Over 35,000 music lovers gather in this event, a mix of the fun laid-back spirit of a beach party and a rave-up, with the background of the best music in the world.
Benicassim is also a modern version of the Arab baths; one way or another you will get wet. If you don't start sweating from the Spanish weather or take a dip in the shore or the waterpark, don't worry, someone will surely get beer on you. Nobody is leaving this party dry... in any sense. But don't panic, there are showers at the campsite. As to the other case, there's hangover food, including paella tapas, in the town centre.
Benicassim is also known as Glastonbury-on-Sea is not random: over half of the crowd are British. That figure does not only show Brits love of Spain but also their impeccable taste in music and long tradition as festival-goers. Besides, most of the bands are international and sing in English.
If you attend this festival, which takes place mid-July, don't miss the waterslides and rope-swings of Benicassim's waterpark. Also, if you are camping, make sure you pick a shady spot since the Spanish weather can turn tents left open into canvas saunas.
2013's line-up included The Killers, Kaiser Chief, Beady Eye and Primal Scream. We are yet to know what 2014 has in store for music-beach-lovers!
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