Travel is so many things – it’s exciting, thrilling, invigorating, profound, scary, educational, soul-stirring and sometimes life-changing too. But it can also be surprising. A lot of travelers think they know everything there is about travel, but do they really? Scratch beneath the surface and there are a lot of things that could surprise even the most avid travelers.
What’s more, there are secrets that you can unveil even via virtual travel. You just need to look carefully. Therefore, to whet your travel appetite and make you aware of what you might have missed during your travels, we have curated a list of fun facts about travel that you can make sure to check out the next time. Let’s jump right in!
- A free wine fountain can be found in the small Italian town of Ortona. The “free for the public” fountain at Dora Sarchese Winery opened primarily to serve visitors to the Camino di San Tommaso. It’s not the first public wine fountain in Italy; for its annual carnival, Venice has a fountain in St Mark’s Square. Even, the one in Ortona is open all year, and while the winery won’t say what kind of wine is flowing through the fountain, travelers who’ve been there have given it a big thumbs up!
- The shortest commercial flight in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, between the neighboring islands of Westray and Papa Westray, takes just one and a half minutes. The fastest flight time ever recorded was less than 50 seconds.
- When visiting Canada, there’s a fair chance you’ll see a lake or two. In reality, there are over three million lakes in the country. That equates to 60% of the world’s total.
- Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand’s longest single-word place name, is the world’s longest.
- Firewalking is an old Fijian custom dating back over 500 years. The ability to walk on fire comes from a Fijian legend. Firewalking is now considered a sacred practise. Many visitors to Fiji can to see one of these firewalking ceremonies first-hand.
- The workers who built the Ming dynasty sections of the Great Wall of China, mixed a paste of sticky rice flour and slaked lime, which was the standard ingredient in mortar, the workable paste used to bind building blocks. The sticky rice mortar held the bricks together so firmly that even today, weeds can’t grow in many areas. Doesn’t this make the Great Wall of China even more interesting?
- Every day, India’s trains carry approximately 23 million passengers.
- That’s Australia’s entire population. In addition, the tracks from India’s railway network could circle the globe one and a half times if laid out in a single line.
- Alaska is the country’s westernmost and easternmost province. Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are west of the 180th Meridian (the dividing line between the eastern and western hemispheres), making it the only U.S state with a portion of its territory in the eastern hemisphere.
- You thought pineapple was a strange topping for pizzas? Wonder how you will react when you’re served Banana-topped pizzas in Sweden! Banana is a popular pizza topping there and is often paired with curry powder.
- Over 820 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea, or 12% of the world’s total.
- Are you a beach baby? Then, Australia’s the place for you. Australia has over 10,000 beaches. If inclined you could visit a new beach every day for over 27 years.
- A trip to Antarctica is quite rare for most people. More than tourists, one can find meteorites there. 90 per cent of all meteorites are found there.
- Rocks are used as currency on the island of Yap, which is part of Micronesia. The value of each rock is determined by its size and history (where it came from). Despite the fact that U.S dollars are now widely used on the island for daily purchases, rocks are still used for ceremonial transactions (during weddings, for example). Turmeric, shells, and fabric are also used as official currency in Yap.
- The minarets of the Taj Mahal lean outwards slightly. This was done deliberately to ensure that if the structure collapsed the minarets would fall away from the central tomb, and not destroy it.
If this piqued your interest and you still want to stay on the safer side and travel when the pandemic situation has settled down, then you can even check out these travel ‘secrets’ via virtual travel.