Who says travel agents know everything? Whilst we have great first-hand experience of all the destinations we offer, there’s always room for more knowledge. Here are 10 interesting facts we learnt when writing our recent brochure.
Croissants Were Invented In Vienna
Although largely seen as a French breakfast staple, the delicious pastry we all know as the croissant was actually invented in Austria. French pâtissiers were influenced by a sweet treat called a Kipferl, which was first produced by August Zang at his Viennese bakery in 1839.
Helsinki Has Heated Paving Slabs
The recent bout of snow in this country has thrown up the age-old debate of why Britain grinds to a halt after a small flourish of flakes. Other countries seem far more equipped to deal with these weather conditions, including Finland. One of the Fins’ many innovations is heated paving slabs in Helsinki city centre, allowing the ice to melt straight off.
The People Of Mechelen Were Left Red-Faced By The Moon
The people of Mechelen, a city in Belgium, earned themselves the nickname ‘maneblussers’ thanks to the events of an embarrassing evening in 1687. One January night, a drunken man thought that St. Rumbold’s Tower was on fire and rallied the whole city to help him put it out. It was later established that he had mistaken the moonlight shining through the low fog for flames. The term translates as ‘moon extinguishers’.
Hanover’s Most Famous Cookie Producers Were Once Held To Ransome
If you’ve ever tried the Leibniz biscuits made by Bahlsen, you’ll know exactly how delicious they are. So delicious that a gang of thieves thought they were the perfect thing to help cheer up sick kids at the Hanover children’s hospital. After stealing a golden cookie which hung outside the biscuit-makers’ head office, they demanded cookies be sent to the needy. Heart-warmingly, Bahlsen obliged.
Berlin Has More Museums Than Rainy Days
We’re not sure if this says more about the German capital’s weather or its fantastic selection of cultural activities. Berlin is home to 175 museums, ranging from the historic Neues Museum to the quirky Currywurst Museum, and an average of only 164 rainy days every year. This, of course, means, when the heavens do open, there’s plenty to do indoors.
Nessie’s Cousin Is Italian
We’ve all heard the stories of a mythical beast living in the waters of Loch Ness, but it turns out that Lake Como is home to a similar creature. After a fossilised dinosaur was found at the bottom of the lake in 1830, numerous sightings of a monster with webbed feet and the head of a crocodile have been recorded. The animal has been nicknamed ‘Lariosauro’ after the dinosaur that was discovered.
Leipzig Has A Cool New Nickname
Previously thought of as one of the more industrial German cities, Leipzig is garnering more and more attention thanks to its recent contributions to modern culture. The fact that it is much cheaper than Munich or Berlin has resulted in it becoming a centre of fashion, underground music and modern art – earning it the nickname ‘Hypezig’.
8,000 Bicycles Are Pulled From Amsterdam’s Canals Every Year
You only have to spend a few moments in the Dutch capital to see just how much the locals love their bikes. However, it turns out that there are just as many in the famous canals as there are being ridden along the streets. Staggeringly, 8,000 only represents the number that are recovered from the water and it is thought thousands more remain lost in the depths.
Zagreb Has The Shortest Funicular In the World
Funiculars are popular in European towns as a way to navigate easily between areas of different levels. Most take a few minutes to transport you from the bottom of a hill to the top, but Zagreb’s will take you from the Lower Town to the Upper Town in just 64 seconds.
Reykjavik Refuses To Be Bought By The Big Brands
Whilst you can now stay in a Hilton Hotel and eat at Dunkin’ Donuts during your stay in Iceland, the capital of Reykjavik still loves to champion local and independent brands over the big boys. There is an abundance of quirky shops and traditional restaurants along the high street and it remains the only western capital where you won’t find a McDonalds or a Starbucks.
If you would like to go on a fact-checking mission to any of these destinations, we can tailor-make a holiday to your requirements. Call our team on 0800 988 3369 for more details.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we look forward to helping you plan your next trip in 2018.