Okay folks - enclosed are the answers to my annual Travel Quiz. Many people responded but the person with the most correct answers, 16 - was Dave Wiggins. Congratulations Dave, nice job - you are a serious traveler.
1. Which city ranks highest in population, amongst US state capitals?
Answer: Phoenix, Arizona
2. Which one of these was a real military battle, and where did it take place?
A) Battle of the Dead End
B) Battle of the Cul-De Sac
C) Battle of the One Way Street
D) Battle of the Traffic Light
E) Battle of the Shady Lane
Answer: B) Battle of the Cul-De Sac. In the waters off of the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Also known as the Battle of St. Lucia, the battle took place on Dec. 15, 1778 between the British and French navies. St. Lucia finally gained full independence in 1979.
3. Recently, Vladimir Putin made news by stationing new missiles in Russia’ exclave. What is this exclave called, and where is it?
Answer: Kaliningrad. It is a part of Russia located on the Baltic Sea and bordering Poland and Lithuania. This exclave - a country geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory - is some 200 miles from Russian proper.
4. Which state’s new official pastry is the “Kringle?”
Answer: Wisconsin. Kringles are a type of butter flaked, ovular Danish pastry. In fact Racine, Wisconsin is oft considered the most Danish city in America and produces a ton of them. Here's a cute apocryphal kringle joke.
Lars Larson, was on his deathbed in an upstairs bedroom. His doctor had said Lars would last for only a matter of hours. Lars woke from a deep sleep and sniffed. His wife must have just returned from the bakery, and the aroma of freshly baked kringles bought a spark to Lars. He whispered, "If I could just have a taste of kringle before I die, it would make my dying sweeter." He mustered every ounce of strength and got out of bed. Slowly he made his way downstairs and into the kitchen. There he spied two kringles on the counter. Just as he was reaching out to take a piece, his wife swatted his hand away. "Stop that," she said. "We're saving these for the funeral."
5. Which continent has the most countries? Hint: it isn’t Antarctica.
Answer: Africa leads the way with 54 countries. South Sudan is the newest.
6. According to the Press Freedom Index, in conjunction with Reporters Without Borders, in 2013 which country enjoys the highest amount of freedom of the press on earth?
7. Which three countries do NOT use the metric system?
A) United States
C) Myanmar (Burma)
G) North Korea
Answer: A) The United States, C) Myanmar (Burma) and F) Liberia are the only countries that don’t use the metric system. Go figure.
8. The Galapagos Islands are an amazing living laboratory showcasing many endemic species of animals only found in the Galapagos. Question: which are the only Galapagos Islands where one can see a Flightless Cormorant?
Answer: Flightless Cormorants are only found on the islands of Fernandina and Isabela. These cute birds have evolved with such an abundance of food nearby that they have lost the ability to fly.
9. Match the country to its former name?
A) Perak Benin
B) Dahomey Zambia
C) Kampuchea Malaysia
D) Northern Rhodesia Botswana
E) Bechuanaland Cambodia
Answer: A) Perak is today Malaysia, B) Dahomey is now Benin, C) Kampuchea is Cambodia, D) Northern Rhodesia is Zambia, E) Bechuanaland is now Botswana.
10. If placed on the surface of the continental United States, approximately how far would our Moon reach?
A) From Seattle to Boise
B) From Dallas to Denver
C) From Minneapolis to St. Louis
D) From San Francisco to Cleveland
E) From Boston to Buffalo
Answer: D) The Moon would stretch from San Francisco to Cleveland if it landed but I hope that does not happen.
11. Brazil and Argentina are very large countries in South America. However, after those two, what is the next largest South American country in size, coming in at approximately 798,596 square miles?
12. According to the 2011 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the top drinkers of alcoholic beverages with 18.2 liters per capita are from which country?
B) Czech Republic
F) Great Britain
H) South Korea
Answer: A) Moldova
13. One country by far leads the rest of the world with over 8,000 vessels in its merchant ship registry, often called a flag of convenience. Which country would that be?
14. According to some measurements, at 29,029 feet, the might Mt. Everest is NOT considered the highest mountain in the world. What is the highest mountain, really?
Answer: Mauna Kea, the active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is actually the tallest mountain on earth. Mauna Kea rises 13,796 feet above land while 19,304 feet of the mountain lies beneath the surface of the ocean, making it 33,100 feet in total - the world’s tallest.
15. Match the International Auto Symbols with their respective countries.
HKS Democratic Republic of the Congo
Answer: HKS = Jordan, FL = Liechtenstein, CYM = Wales, ZRE = Democratic Republic of the Congo, WD = Dominica, DZ = Algeria
16. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful blue lake high up in the Sierras on the California-Nevada border. Where is the highest lake in the world?
Answer: The massive Ojos del Salado volcano at the northern tip of Chile and Argentina contains an unnamed crater lake at 20,960 feet in elevation and is considered the highest known lake in the world. Still not fully explored, the lake is about 328 feet in diameter and its exact depth is unknown. Seems like someone should explore it, no?
17. Who is Ogopogo and where does he live?
Answer: Ogopogo is the mythical sea monster (a la Loch Ness Monster) that supposedly lives in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna, British Columbia. They say he’s friendly.
18. Times change. In 1790, what was considered the wealthiest community in the United States?
Answer: Salem, Massachusetts
19. Fortune cookies are a popular item in many Chinese restaurants throughout the world (though not in China). Yet they are not a Chinese invention. Where was the fortune cookie invented?
A) Bangkok, Thailand
B) San Francisco, California
C) Bali, Indonesia
D) Kyoto, Japan
E) Burton-on-Trent, England
F) Berlin, Germany
Answer: D - Reportedly fortune cookies were a 19th-century Kyōto invention, linked to the tradition of omikuji – small paper strips with a saying written on them,
20. The exciting and highly anticipated World Cup (of soccer) is fast approaching and the competition will be held at stadiums throughout Brazil this coming June and July. What is the only host country to have been knocked out in the first round?
Answer: South Africa in 2010.
*Bonus Question: According to the latest statistics from MARAD, the United States Marine Administration, after the big cruise ports in Florida, (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral) what is the busiest cruise departure port in the US?
Answer: New York City had 612 cruises in 2011. Not bad. Miami however launched 1,970 cruises in 2011
How did you do?
17 – 21 correct answers = State Department worthy
12 – 16 correct answers = Road warrior
8 – 11 correct answers = Your luggage needs you
7 or less correct answers = Time to renew your passport
c. Bob Ecker 2013