Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spain: 12 Fun, Fast Facts

It’s the beginning of a new month, which means that we begin our next virtual journey through our latest Country of choice! And what better choice than the stunning country of Spain?

via Flickr by Les Haines
Welcome to the Country that gifted us with incredible artists, athletes, and a variety of fabulous vacation destinations. With the Pyrenees Mountains and a plethora of pristine beaches, the landscape of Spain is absolutely second to none – not to mention the incredible cities. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Málaga...and the list goes on!   

We’ve rounded up a few fast facts to get us started in on our next adventure:

1. The name “Spain” was originally derived from the word “Ispania,” which means “land of rabbits.”

2. Although officially known as the “Kingdom of Spain,” Spain is actually a constitutional monarchy. This means that the government operates much like that of the United Kingdom. The current head of state is King Felipe VI and the current Prime Minister is Mariano Rajoy Brey.

3. The country’s population is estimated at 46 million people. This makes Spain one of the least densely populated countries in Europe!

4. Spain’s largest city is also the capital – Madrid. It’s home to approximately 5,145,000 people.

via Flickr by Felipe Gabaldón 
5. While the ‘official’ language of Spain is Castilian Spanish, apparently Catalan, Basque and Galician are also recognised as official languages. There are an additional three unofficial regional languages – Asturian, Aragonese and Aranese.

6. Spain has 4,964 km of glorious coastline and 8000 km of beaches.

7. At 12,198 feet tall, Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain and is also an active volcano.

via Flickr by Gabriel Hess
8. Famous contemporary Spaniards include Hollywood power-couple Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. Bardem was the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar, and Cruz was the first Spanish actress to win an Oscar for a supporting role.

9. Spain has also been home to some of the most famous contemporary artists in the world, which include Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Juan Miró.

via Flickr by Nathan Laurell
10. Spain is the only country in Europe that produces bananas!

11. There are many unique festivals held in Spain throughout the year. This list includes San Fermin in Pamplona (the running of the bulls), Tomatina in Buñol (the tomato battle), and Fallas in Valencia (St. Joseph’s Day).

12. And last but not least...a little quirky cultural fact: there isn't a tooth fairy in Spain. They have a tooth mouse (named Ratoncito Pérez) instead!

via Flickr by xenalll

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the list!