Abu Dhabi, Paris, Washington, London… capital cities around the world usually have something unique that people associate them with. For Washington, DC, it’s the White House, and for Paris, it might be the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. But there are other interesting aspects of these capital cities that are worth discovering.
Click start to play today’s Crossword and name all the capital cities!
Here is our list of unique, less-known facts about three of the world’s capitals:
London, United Kingdom
Did you know that in the 1960s, London Bridge was, in fact, falling down? The 1,000-foot bridge stood for over 130 years, even surviving World War II’s Blitz, but it was not made for modern automobile traffic, and slowly began sinking into the River Thames at the rate of one inch every eight years. Renovations were costly and impractical so the city decided on building a replacement. That’s where eccentric American industrialist Robert McCulloch came in. He heard about the bridge for sale and thought it would be the perfect fit for the tourist oasis he planned to create in Arizona’s Lake Havasu region. In 1968, for a final price of $2.46 million (worth Dh69 million today), McCulloch became the proud owner of the world’s largest antique!
The busy capital is an eye-popping mix of the ultramodern and the traditional, with neon-lit skyscrapers and historic temples. As the world’s largest metropolis, Tokyo (pictured above) is always bustling, and its extensive underground train networks are no exception. During rush hours, oshiya (translating to ‘the pushers’) are employed to literally push people into the trains when rush hour is at its peak. So, if you visit Tokyo and use public transport, try to avoid travelling during rush hour or you might find yourself shoved into a commuter sandwich before you know it.
The Louvre museum, the Eiffel Tower, and other Parisian landmarks may be ideal for the average tourist, but if you’d like to wander off the beaten path, check out the statue at the intersection of Rue Norvins and Rue Giradon near Montmartre. The story behind the statue is of a man who discovered he could walk through walls, but lost this ability after taking some prescribed medication. Unfortunately, he was halfway through a wall at the time, so he is trapped there for all of eternity. Also, visit the bronze plaque on the floor outside the Notre Dame. Called Point Zero des Routes de France, it is considered the official centre of Paris. You know you’ve spotted it when you see people superstitiously spinning on the spot while standing on one foot, or dropping coins on it, as you would in a wishing well.