The Obsessive Network Planner (ONP) has struck again. A couple of weeks back I made the surprising discovery that KLM serves a disproportionate number of destinations starting with the letters K, L and M. Earlier this year, KLM began operating flights to Luanda and Lusaka. Before that, it was Linköping and Lima, and I recently received word that Lyon will be added to the network. So I reckon it’s just a question of time before Las Vegas, Ljubljana, Lafayette and Lizard Island are added to the list.
All of which silliness brings me to the more serious matter of this week’s quiz, in which you’ll be asked to match descriptions and photos of KLM destinations beginning with L. Needless to say, this is still one of the best and cleanest ways to have fun in the office without taking your clothes off and running the risk of getting fired.
So, are you ready? Pants on? Let’s go to L and back!
Lagos: Nigeria’s biggest city gets its name from the Portuguese “lagos” meaning “lakes”, which is probably a reference to the waters between the islands upon which the city is located.
Leeds/Bradford: The city of Leeds in Yorkshire, England, was previously called Loidis, meaning “people of the flowing river”, possibly a reference to a tribe that founded the first settlement on the River Aire.
Lima: The Peruvian capital was previously called “Limaq” in the coastal Quechua tongue, a reference to a famous oracle or “talker” who lived in the area.
Linköping: This Swedish city is thought to take its name from the “Lionga ting” assembly and the market (“köping”) there.
Lisbon: The Portuguese capital “Lisboa” takes its name from the Phoenician “Allis Ubbo” meaning “safe harbour”.
London: There is some debate as to the origin of the English capital’s name, but I like the theory that it stems from the pre-Celtic “Plowonida”, meaning “boat river” or “swimming river”.
Los Angeles: This city in California, USA, was originally known as “El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciúncula” meaning “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion”.
Luanda: The Angolan capital was originally named “São Paulo da Assumpção de Loanda” by the Portuguese. “Loanda” is thought to mean “flat land”, possibly in reference to the coastal plain on which the Angolan capital is located.
Lusaka: The Zambian capital is thought to take its name from the chieftain Lusaaka, whose village stood near where Zambia’s National Assembly now stands.
Luxembourg: The name Luxembourg is thought to derive from the word “Letze” meaning “fortification”, possibly a reference to a Roman watchtower that originally stood here.
Lyon: This French city was originally called “Lugodunon” in Gaulish. “Lug” is a Celtic god represented by a crow, and “dunon” means “hill fort”.
I look forward to seeing how many of you can match the cities with their photos. Meanwhile, I’m going to see if I can track down the ONP before s/he complicates my life by adding Monkey Bay, Moose Jaw and Mount Magnet to the KLM network. On the bright side, it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of those names.
(PS: Congratulations to Menno, Bram and Lydia, who all correctly identified Terra Incognita No. 3 as Bali, Indonesia. Thanks to Nitesh Goyal for letting us his photo of Lusaka, and to Gawasah for his photo of Lagos.)