14

Sep
2012

K is for Kingdoms and Kountries

I have made a startling discovery: while only three KLM destinations begin with the letters I and J – Istanbul, Johannesburg and Jakarta – no fewer than nine destinations begin with the letter K. What’s even more intriguing is that ten KLM destinations begin with L, and twelve begin with M! Conclusion? There must be a network planner out there obsessed with collecting destinations that begin with KLM.

I’ll present more proof of this as we go along, but first allow me to explain the rules of my alphabet challenge once more. I’ll briefly discuss the origin of the names of the nine KLM destinations starting with K. I’ll also show you photos of these cities, posted in random order and marked A through I. All you have to do is tell me which photo goes with which city (e.g. Khartoum = D, Kiev = A, etc.).

All clear? Here goes.

Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Khartoum: The capital of Sudan is located at the confluence of the White Nile and Blue Nile. The city’s name is said to derive from the Arabic kartūm meaning “tip of the elephant’s trunk”, possibly referring to the strip of land between the two great rivers.

Kiev: The name of the Ukrainian capital means “belonging to Kyi”, a tribal leader who is said to have founded the city together with his brothers Schek and Khoriv, and sister Lybid.

Kigali: The Rwandan capital takes its name from nearby Mount Kigali, which is said to stem from the Rwandan word “gali”, meaning “broad”. Could this be a reference to the panoramic view?

Kilimanjaro: This airport in Tanzania takes its name from Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. I like the idea that the name derives from the Chagga phrase “Kile-lema-irho”, meaning “we failed to climb it”, which is why so many tourists keep trying.

Kingston-upon-Hull: The Obsessive Network Planner (ONP) strikes again! Most people know this city as Hull, but ourfriend has managed to sneak it in under the letter K..

Photo F

Photo F

Photo G

Photo H

Kralendijk / Bonaire: And here’s even more evidence of our ONP at work! Most people will have heard of the Antillean island of Bonaire, but not so many will have heard of its capital, Kralendijk, meaning “coral reef” and beginning with K…

Kristiansand: This port in Southern Norway is named after its founder King Christian IV, as well as the sandy headland upon which the city is built.

Photo I

Kuala Lumpur: In a previous blog, I explained that Kuala Lumpur means “muddy confluence”, because it is located at the point where the Rivers Gombak (previously Lumpur) and Klang come together.

Kuwait City: The capital of Kuwait gets its name from the Arabic ākwāt, meaning “fortress built near water”. Is this also the origin of the word “aquatic”, I wonder?

Good luck pairing descriptions with photos. Meanwhile, I’m going to see if I can identify the ONP. He or she needs to be stopped, otherwise it’s going to take me ages to compile the L and M blogs. Luanda and Lusaka were both added this year!

PS: Congratulations to Brian Lusk and Sam who correctly identified Terra Incognita No. 2 as Morocco without cheating in any way, of course, by using the photo tag that was accidently left attached to the third photo…