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#15 POLAND

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 18:56

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: POLAND

2013 KRAKOW MARATHON, POLAND: 4:17:27 (2013-04-28)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735913619897309

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/krakow-marathon-poland-2013-04-28/


POLAND

Capital: Warsaw (1.7 million)

Population: 38.5 million (Krakow 755,000)

Currency: Zloty

Famous people from Poland:

Marie Curie (physicist and chemist), Nicolaus Copernicus (astronomy), Fryderyk Chopin (composer), Pope John Paul II, Grzegorz Lato (soccer)

Fun facts about Krakow and Poland:

The city of Krakow has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. Within Krakow are about 6,000 historic sites and 2 million art works, it was one of the few cities that escaped the carnage during the wars.

In 1978, Karol Wojtyła, archbishop of Kraków, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first ever Slavic pope.

There are about 7.3 million people that visit Krakow every year, nearly 10x the actual population. Krakow was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596.

According to legend, Krakow was founded by and named after the mythical ruler Krak, who built the town above a cave occupied by a ravenous dragon.

The famous astronomer, Nicolas Copernicus, was Polish and was the first person to theorize that the Earth was not the center of the universe.

Gdynia has been voted, on more than one occasion as the best place in Poland to live. The poll takes place each year and gives the wining city bragging rights.

Some of the first shots fired during the WWII took place in Gdansk – Westerplatte, There is a monument there in honour of the Polish solders that stood for seven days against the German’s attack.

Polish officers, either police officers or military, use a two-finger salute.

In Poland the name day is considered more important than the birthday.

More facts: http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-poland-2094.html

Logistic: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g274772-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland-Vacations.html

Many hostels in and around Krakow, Hostelworld has them all listed. Be also sure to take a guided tour to Auschwitz when you visit Krakow.



#14 SERBIA

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 18:46

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: SERBIA

2013 BELGRADE MARATHON, SERBIA: 4:45:06 (2013-04-21)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735911663230838

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/belgrade-marathon-serbia-2013-04-21/


SERBIA

Capital: Belgrade (3,2 million)

Population: 7,2 million

Currency: Serbian Dinar (RSD)

Famous people from Serbia:

Nikola Tezla (engineer), Vlade Divac (basketball), Novak Djokovic (tennis), Karl Malden (actor), Nemanja Vidic (soccer), Jasmina Vujic (nuclear engineering)

Fun facts about Serbia:

Serbia is a landlocked country.

‘Vampire’ is a Serbian word and it is known the world over.

Serbia formed a union with Montenegro in 1992 and spilt up again in 2006 to become independent.

Serbia is slightly smaller than South Carolina in area.

Majority of Serbian last names end with ‘ic’.

According to statistics, Serbians are known to be the most hospitable people in the world. They believe that they won’t gain any favor from the gods if they are not hospitable to their guests.

A fact about Serbia is that it is the largest exporter of raspberries in the world. It contributes 30% of the total raspberries to the international market.

Ivo Andric is the only Nobel Prize winner from Serbia. He won the esteemed award for literature in 1961.

Nikola Tesla, regarded as one of the most important inventor in history was a Serbian. Tesla made great inventions and discoveries in the disciplines of electric current and magnetism. His name is also used in the unit of magnetic induction (T).

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia has been ranked the highest among party places in the world by Lonely Planet.

More facts:

http://www.slavorum.org/20-facts-about-serbia-that-you-didnt-know/

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g294472-Belgrade-Vacations.html

Many good and inexpensive hostels close to the start/finish. I stayed at a great place called Hostel Manga just 100 meters from the start of the marathon.



#13 AUSTRIA

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 18:39

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: AUSTRIA

2013 VIENNA CITY MARATHON, AUSTRIA: 4:32:22 (2013-04-14)

2016 SALZBURG MARATHON, AUSTRIA: 3:54:44 (2016-05-01)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735909843231020

Race report Vienna City Marathon:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/vienna-marathon-austria-2013-04-14/

Race report Salzburg Marathon:
http://www.runnersworld.se/blogs/andersforselius/salzburg-marathon-osterrike.htm


AUSTRIA

Capital: Vienna (1,75 million)

Population: 8,6 million

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Famous people from Austria:

Josef Strauss (composer), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (composer), Franz Schubert (composer), Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Sigmund Freud (psychiatrist), Niki Lauda (Formula One race car driver), Franz Klammer (skier)

Fun facts about Austria:

The name Austria derives from a Germanic word ‘austro’, meaning ‘east’.

The Austrian flag is one of the oldest national flags in the world.

The sewing machine was invented by Josef Madersperger, an Austrian.

Approximately one quarter of the population of Austria lives in Vienna.

Vienna has the oldest zoo in the world, founded in 1752.

Ferdinand Porsche, who is the founder of the German sports car company ‘Porsche’, was from Austria.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Hollywood actor, grew up in Austria.

62% of Austria is covered by the Austrian Alps.

The first postcards used were in Austria.

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g190454-Vienna-Vacations.html



#12 FRANCE

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 18:28

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: FRANCE

2013 PARIS MARATHON, FRANCE: 6:06:23 (2013-04-07)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735906929897978

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/paris-marathon-2013-04-07/


FRANCE

Capital: Paris

Population: 65,7 million

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Famous people from France:

Edith Piaf (singer), Jeanne d’Arc (soldier), Zinedine Zidane (soccer), Emile Zola (author), Alexandre Dumas (author), Jean-Claude Killy (skier), Eric Cantona (soccer), Rousseau (philosopher), Voltaire (philosopher)

Fun facts about France:

It’s illegal to kiss on railways in France.

There is a Victor Hugo street in every town in France.

France is home to the highest number of Nobel Prize winners.

French is considered to be the language of nobility across Europe and became the world’s first international language until English replaced it in the 20th century.

French is the mother tongue of 75 million people worldwide. It was also the official language of England for over 300 years.

France was founded in 843, making it one of the oldest countries in Europe.

French people have the highest female life expectancy in Europe.

France is home to more than 40,000 castles and manors.

Famous French inventions include: the hot air balloon, the submarine, and the parachute.

More facts:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-france-1116.html

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187147-Paris_Ile_de_France-Vacations.html



#11 ITALY

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 17:56

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: ITALY

2011 PISA MARATHON, ITALY: 3:08:56 (2011-12-18)

2012 PISA MARATHON, ITALY: 4:40:13 (2012-12-16)

2014 ROME MARATHON, ITALY: 5:56:07 (2014-03-23)

2016 MILANO MARATHON, ITALY: 4:13:40 (2016-04-03)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735896159899055

Race report Pisa Marathon:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/pisa-marathon-italy-2011-12-18/

Race report Roma Marathon:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/rome-marathon-italy-2014-03-23/

Race report Milano Marathon:
http://www.runnersworld.se/blogs/andersforselius/milano-city-marathon-italien.htm

ITALY

Capital: Rome (2,6 million)

Population: 60,8 million

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Famous people from Italy:

Marco Polo (explorer), Antonio Vivaldi (music), Giuseppe Verdi (music), Leonardo da Vinci (artist), Michelangelo (artist), Galileo Galilei (astronomer), Roberto Baggio (soccer)

Fun facts about Italy:

The average consumption of pasta in Italy is 25 kg per person per year. Arabs introduced dry pasta to the Italians. Before that, all the pasta was freshly made on an everyday basis.

When McDonald’s opened in 1986 in Rome, food purists outside the restaurant gave away free spaghetti to remind people of their culinary heritage.

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s most popular play, was set in the backdrop of Verona, Italy.

The volcanoes of Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius, situated in South of Italy, are the only three active volcanoes in Europe.

The oldest university in Europe, in continuous operation, is the University of Bologna, founded in 1088.

Viol, violin, cello, piano, mechanical clock, barometer, thermometer, optical glasses and telephone were invented by Italians.

More facts:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-italy-1307.html

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187899-Pisa_Province_of_Pisa_Tuscany-Vacations.html

The airport is in walking distance (!) from the city center and there are many good hostels and B&B in Pisa.



#10 PORTUGAL

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 17:45

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: PORTUGAL

2011 LISBON MARATHON, PORTUGAL: 3:11:58 (2011-12-04)

Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735889579899713

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/lisbon-marathon-portugal-2011-11-04/

PORTUGAL

Capital: Lisbon (548,000)

Population: 10,5 million

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Famous people from Portugal:

Ferdinand Magellan (explorer), Vasco de Gama (explorer), Pedro Alvares Cabral (explorer), Rosa Monta (Olympic marathon champion), Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer), Eusebio (soccer), Luís Figo (soccer), Jose Mourinho (soccer coach)

Fun facts about Portugal:

Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. Portugal has the same defined borders since 1139, making it the oldest nation-state in Europe.

Bartholomew Diaz, a Portuguese explorer, was the first person to sail round the southern tip of Africa, which he named the Cape of Good Hope.

Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who was financed by Spain, was the first to complete a circumnavigation of the world. He set the record in the year 1522.

During the Roman times, Portugal was called Luisitania.

It is illegal to kill a bull in Portuguese bullfighting.

The oldest alliance in the world, still in force, is the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, signed in 1373.

70% of the world’s corks are exported from Portugal, making it the largest producer of corks.

Portugal was the first colonial power to abolish slavery. It did so in 1761.

More facts:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-portugal-1568.html



#9 TURKEY

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 17:13

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: TURKEY

2010 ISTANBUL MARATHON, TURKEY: 3:39:28 (2010-10-17)

2014 ANTALYA MARATHON, TURKEY: 4:06:47 (2014-03-02)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735888599899811

Race report Istanbul Marathon:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/istanbul-marathon-turkey-2010-10-17/

Race report Antalya Marathon:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/antalya-marathon-turkey-2014-03-02/

TURKEY

Capital: Ankara (4,55 million people)

Population: 74,7 million

Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)

Famous people from Turkey:

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (founder of modern Turkey), Orhan Pamuk (author), Hakan Sukur (soccer)

Fun facts about Turkey:

The highest peak in Turkey is Mount Agri (5,166 m). It is also said to be the place where Noah’s Ark came to rest.

The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (dating back to 7th millennium BC).

The Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was in Ephesus.

It were the Turks who introduced coffee to Europe.

More facts:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-turkey-1865.html

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g297962-Antalya_Turkish_Mediterranean_Coast-Vacations.html

I stayed at Sabah Pansiyon in the old town. A great place with a huge breakfast and just a one-minute walk from the beach front.



#8 HUNGARY

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 17:08

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: HUNGARY

2010 BUDAPEST MARATHON, HUNGARY: 3:18:06 (2010-09-26)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735884066566931

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/budapest-marathon-hungary-2010-09-26/

HUNGARY

Capital: Budapest

Population: 9,9 million (Budapest 1,8 million)

Currency: Forint (HUF)

Famous people from Hungary:

George Soros (investor/philanthropist), Franz Liszt (composer), Zsa Zsa Gabor (actress), Ferenc Puskás (soccer)

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g274887-Budapest_Central_Hungary-Vacations.html

There are many inexpensive accommodations all over Budapest. Hostelworld has a wide selection of options. Be also sure to spend at least one day at a spa. My favorite spa is Széchenyi, one of the biggest in the world.



#7 GREECE

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 16:59

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: GREECE

2009 ATHENS CLASSIC MARATHON, GREECE: 4:43:35 (2009-11-08)

2010 ATHENS CLASSIC MARATHON, GREECE: 3:12:50 (2010-10-31)

2015 ATHENS CLASSIC MARATHON, GREECE: 4:29:23 (2015-11-08)

2016 OLYMPIA MARATHON, GREECE: 4:10:38 (2016-03-27)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735857073236297

Race report Athens Classic Marathon:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/athens-classic-marathon-greece-2010-10-31/

Race report Olympia Marathon:
http://www.runnersworld.se/blogs/andersforselius/olympia-olympia-4-olympia-marathon.htm

GREECE

Capital: Athens (664,000)

Population: 11,3 million

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Famous people from Greece:

Herodotos (father of history), Spiridon Louis (Olympic marathon champion), Mikis Theodorakis (composer), Socrates (philosopher), Achilles (warrior, Greek mythology)

Fun facts about Greece:

No one in Greece can choose to not vote. Voting is required by law for every citizen who is 18 or older.

The world’s third leading producer of olives, the Greeks have cultivated olive trees since ancient times. Some olive trees planted in the thirteenth century are still producing olives.

According to Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon agreed that whoever gave the city the best gift would become guardian over the city. Though Poseidon gave the gift of water, Athena’s gift of an olive tree was deemed by the other gods to be more valuable.

Greece has zero navigable rivers because of the mountainous terrain. Nearly 80% of Greece is mountainous.

The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. The first Olympic champion was a Greek cook named Coroebus who won the sprint race.

More facts:

http://facts.randomhistory.com/interesting-facts-about-greece.html

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g189400-Athens_Attica-Vacations.html



#6 AUSTRALIA

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 16:09

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: AUSTRALIA

1997 MELBOURNE MARATHON, AUSTRALIA: 3:39:00 (1997-10-07)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735853783236626

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/melbourne-marathon-australia-1997-10-07/


AUSTRALIA

Capital: Canberra

Population: 22,7 million (Melbourne 4,1 million)

Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)

Famous people from Australia:

Cathy Freeman (Olympic gold medalist – 400 m), Errol Flynn (actor), Greg Norman (golfer), Dawn Frazer (swimmer), AC/DC (music), Nicole Kidman (actress), Russel Crowe (actor), Midnight Oil (music)

Fun facts about Australia:

Melbourne changed the Olympic Games for good! It seems absolutely normal to us when we see all the competing athletes walk in together with their countrymen for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics. But it wasn’t always like that. In 1956 Melbourne became the first host of the Olympic Games outside of Europe and North America. Besides all of the athletes who challenged each other, the real star was a young teenager called John Ian Wing. He sent an anonymous letter to the Olympic committee suggesting that the athletes should walk in together by the end of the games to symbolise global unity. He remained anonymous for another 30 years until they lifted his secret of sending the letter.

According to the RSPCA, Melbourne is the ”Fox Capital” of the western world, with 6-23 foxes every square kilometer in the metropolitan area.

The largest Greek population in the world beside Athens in Greece can be found in Melbourne.

Melbourne’s famous beer, Foster’s Lager, was actually produced by two Americans.

The Australian rules football, a sport, was invented in Melbourne.

Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902.

Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital of Australia.

More facts:

http://www.weekendnotes.com/interesting-facts-about-australia/

http://www.gotravelyourway.com/2013/08/26/10-awesome-facts-about-melbourne/#.U-OH9lZn7eY



#5 SOUTH AFRICA

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 16:02

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: SOUTH AFRICA

1997 CAPE TOWN MARATHON, SOUTH AFRICA: 3:10:08 (1997-02-21)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735852039903467

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/cape-town-marathon-south-africa-1997-02-21/

SOUTH AFRICA

Capital: Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein

Population: 48,7 million

Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)

Famous people from South Africa:

Zola Budd (long-distance runner), Desmund Tutu (archbishop), John Maxwell Coetzee (Nobel Prize-winning author), Charlize Theron (actress), Miriam Makeba (singer), Dave Matthews (musician), Manfred Mann (musician), Nelson Mandela (president)

Fun facts about South Africa:

South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast (Simonstown) near the Cape.

South Africa has the longest wine route in the world, the R62 wine route.

The world’s first heart transplant was done in South Africa in 1967 by Dr Chris Barnard

South Africa has eleven official languages.

South Africa is the first country in Africa to build nuclear weapons, and voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons.

More facts:

http://www.southafricaexplorer.co.za/articles/facts-about-south-africa.html



#4 USA

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 15:53

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: USA

1996 HONOLULU MARATHON, HAWAII, USA: 3:46:44 (1996-12-08)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735851053236899

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/honolulu-marathon-hawaii-1996-12-08/

HAWAII, USA:

State capital: Honolulu (375,000)

State population: 1.4 million

State nickname: The Aloha State

State bird: Nene

State mammal: Hawaiian monk seal, Humpback whale

State motto:

The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness

Famous people from Hawaii:

Kaahumanu (Hawaiian queen), Kamehameha (first Hawaiian king), Barack Obama (U.S. president), Tia Carrere (actress)

Fun facts about Hawaii:

Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines

More facts:

http://www.50states.com/facts/hawaii.htm#.U8KzqV5n7eY



#3 MACAU

World Marathon Tour Posted on 2017-01-05 15:48

WORLD MARATHON TOUR: MACAU

1996 MACAU MARATHON: 3:27:00 (1996-12-01)


Photos:
https://www.facebook.com/730374053784599/photos/?tab=album&album_id=735845783237426

Race report:
http://bikingviking.net/listing/macao-marathon-1996-12-01/

MACAU

Population:624,000

Currency: Macanese Pataca (MOP)

Fun facts about Macau:

Macau is the last Asian country to remain a European colony. The last Portuguese governor left it in 1999. It was ruled by the Portuguese for 442 years since 1557.

Fifty percent of Macau’s revenue comes from gambling, and 20% of its population are employed by the casinos.

People in Macau have the 2nd longest expected life span in the world at 84.43 as of 2012.

More facts:

http://www.weekendnotes.com/interesting-facts-about-macau/

Logistic:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g664891-Macau-Vacations.html