Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Spring 2018
Questions: Why does some ice look blue?
Answer: The simple answer is that it has to do with the compression of air bubbles as the snow and ice compact over time. The ice reflects the blue wavelengths but absorbs the other light wavelengths. Generally, the older the ice, the bluer it is. You can see lots of blue ice in Iceland and Greenland.
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Winter 2018
Question: Which island nation has the only operating transit railroad in the Caribbean?
Answer: Cuba. While St. Kitts operates a scenic railroad, Cuba’s railway is the only one in the Caribbean used for transportation and freight.
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Fall 2017
Question: What is unique about Nepal’s time zone?
Answer: Nepal Time is 45 minutes off the Coordinated Universal Time. So, 12 pm in New York is 9:45 pm in Nepal. A handful of time zones are offset by minutes, including India, Newfoundland, Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar, parts of the Pacific, and North Korea.
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Summer 2017
Question: In which country are members of the royal family traditionally the only people to use surnames?
Answer: Bhutan. Traditionally, the average Bhutanese person only went by a single name, while the royals had a last name that was passed down through generation. However, as the country has opened up to outsiders and the population has grown, more and more people are starting to use surnames.
Bonus: Most Bhutanese names are unisex—this can get confusing!
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Spring 2017
Question: Where was the necktie invented?
Answer: Most historians agree it was first seen in Croatia in the 17th century. King Louis XIII of France hired Croatian mercenaries who tied fabric around their neck as part of their uniform. The word for necktie, “cravat,” comes from the term for people from Croatia, “Croats.” Croatia even celebrates Cravat Day in October!
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Winter 2017
Question: Where is the world’s oldest actively producing grape vine?
Answer: Slovenia! People in this region were making wine before the Romans brought it to France and Spain, and the oldest vine is almost 500 years old. Most people outside of Europe don’t know Slovenia is a wine destination because Slovenians export so little of it, but it’s well known on the continent, especially for the white wines from Brda.
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Fall 2016
Question: Why does Cuba have so many vintage American cars?
Answer: When Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, he banned all car imports, but the cars already on the island were allowed to remain. Cuba is nicknamed the “Rolling Car Museum.” The ban was lifted recently by Raul Castro, but prices for new foreign cars are expensive.
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Summer 2016
Question: What is the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?
Answer: Great Britain is not a country. It’s an island off the northwest coast of continental Europe. It’s called “Great” because it’s the largest island of the British Isles group of about 6,000 islands total. The island of Ireland is the second largest.
The United Kingdom is a sovereign state that includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland—the country unites the entire island of Great Britain and part of the island of Ireland.
Travel Trivia from The Dispatch, Spring 2016
Question: Can you name the only three countries in the world that are completely within another country?
Bonus: What is the term for these countries?