At this point, bulls have not just MET the world but are attached and intimate. My last weeks abroad have without a doubt been the most thrilling. The adrenaline rush to conquer my to-do list before I leave really played a role in this, along with visiting new cities of course! I had a FUN time visiting Madrid, Venice, Pisa, Cairo, and Alexandria and thought I’d share some FUN facts to bring you in on all the FUN :))). Fun stuff we got here huh, hope you enjoy!
- Real Madrid is the only soccer team is the world to have won FIFA’s Club of the Century award. The trophy, among all their other winnings, are on display in the Real Madrid Stadium.
- The Royal Palace of Madrid is Europe’s largest palace containing 3400 rooms.
- Before they built the palace, that area used to be home to the Alcázar: a Muslim fortress built in the 860s by the emir Muhammad I of Córdoba.
- We almost got ourselves featured in a movie (not really almost but it was pretty close). We tried walking into an alley where a show was being shot but were kicked out.
- One of Madrid’s most popular tourist destinations is the Egyptian Temple of Debod. Origins of the temple date back to the 2nd century in Aswan, Egypt. After Spain contributed to saving Egyptian historical monuments and building the Aswan dam, the Egyptian government gifted the temple to Spain in 1968.
- I ate churros at Madrid’s oldest chocolateria where all of Spain’s most famous artists, actors, politicians, writers, and poets once visited. Chocolatería San Ginés has been open since 1894.
- ‘La Casa de Papel’ or in English ‘Money Heist’, came out the weekend I was in Madrid and that was just really exciting.
- Using boats and gondolas as a mode of transportation is the norm for many of the Venetian residents.
- Venice faces threats of sinking.
- Ca’Dario, a residential building on the grand canal, is known for the mysterious deaths of its owners.
- I walked across the bridge in the Spiderman movie. Yeah the one that broke down. It’s actually still standing and I can confirm it really was just a spectacle.
- Selena Gomez was in Venice the same time as us.
- The Pisa tower didn’t start to lean until a year after construction.
- Because of the delay in construction, the tower stood unfinished through different periods of time. As a result, the complete product is a combination of Roman, Medieval, and Gothic architectural styles.
- The cathedral black and white design was copied from a mosque in Spain.
- Pisa and Florence have been long time rivals.
- Cairo is the capital of ‘om el donya’ or the ‘mother of the world’ ❤
- It’s also the largest city in Africa and the Middle East and home to over 9 million occupants.
- Eifel built a bridge in Cairo but it was taken down.
- There’s no pyramids in Cairo (they’re actually in Giza, a city often associated with Cairo but still under a separate governate).
- Muhammad Ali’s name inspiration came from Albanian Muhammad Ali, a conqueror who stole Cairo from the Ottoman Empire.
- ‘La shokran’ which translates to ‘no thanks’ is a phrase you will use at least 100 times while visiting tourist destinations.
- Cairo is one of the two cities in Africa with a metro system.
- I was born and raised here <3<3<3<3
- Despite being one of the oldest cities in the world, Alexandria has very few ancient ruins because of wars, floods, and earthquakes.
- Alexandria has the oldest tram system in Africa and the oldest American School (I went there), also in Africa.
- The ancient library (largest in the ancient world) was rebuilt and now houses three museums, a large library, a planetarium ,and multiple events.
- King Farouk, the last king of Egypt, designed a large and beautiful park surrounding his palace right by the ocean. Today, you can walk through the park, swim in the beaches, and see the old palace from outside the gates.
- All the Egyptian president’s built houses along the Mediterranean coast. This area and a residing town is blocked off by the army.
- Sunsets here are the best in the world and that is probably the realest fact I have posted here.
and a tribute to my home for six weeks: Florence
- The bull sign is an insult in Italy meaning your wife is cheating on you. Legend goes that the bull on the Santa Maria was placed in front of the architects mistresses husbands house.
- It’s 463 steps to get to the top of the duomo, but just keep in mind that you can’t see the duomo when you’re in the duomo.
- The Ponte Vechio, the most famous bridge in Florence, is known for it’s lineup of jewelers. No other vendors are allowed to have sales in the corridor.
- Florence borrowed money from Pisa to finish construction of the Santa Maria del Fiore under the terms that they would return the payment once they finished construction. To cut around this, Florence left the cathedral dome-less. Over 100 years later they commissioned Brunelleschi to build the dome.
- Brunelleschi’s dome is the biggest brick dome in the world.
- The Medici family are kind of a big deal in Florence.
- Michaelangelo’s statue of David was supposed to stand on a buttress outside the cathedral but was too heavy. Instead they placed it outside the Palazzo Vechio, Florence’s city hall. After a riot, the statue incurred damage and was moved once again. Today the statue stands in the Academia museum.
Okay one more for the most welcoming and charming country: Italy
- the Prime Minister quit and I just think Italian politics are by far the juiciest. The Kardashians could never.
- Check out this article for more tea!