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133 votes

Why do American gas stations' bathrooms apparently use these huge keys?

So that people don't forget them in their pocket and leave the gas station with the key.
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106 votes
Accepted

Identifying a church by a lake and a railway line, claimed to be in the Canton of Lucerne

Alte Kirche St. Georg und Nikolaus, Flüelen, Canton of Uri, Switzerland (from Wikimedia Commons) Found by noting the time & direction of shadows, inferring that the view was facing north, looking ...
99 votes
Accepted

Why does Paris have two large train stations next to each other? (Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est)

The Gare du Nord was originally the Paris terminus of the Compagnie des chemins de fer du Nord (see Wikipedia). The Gare de l'Est was originally the Paris terminus of the Compagnie du Chemin de Fer ...
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95 votes
Accepted

Where is this tower, likely photographed in Belgium about 100 years ago?

This is not in Belgium, but in Béthune, France, although not far from the Belgian border. The belfry (the tower) is originally from 1346, but was destroyed during the first world war and rebuilt ...
69 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of the swastikas at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen, Denmark?

Regarding the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek: The collection is built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen (1842–1914), the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. According to the same ...
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56 votes
Accepted

Did something happen in 1987 that caused a lot of travel complaints?

The answer appears to be a combination of unrealistic scheduling and a flurry of mergers. A Travel Weekly article from 2003 (the record low year at that time) gives some clues: The 2003 decline is ...
47 votes

What is the meaning of the swastikas at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen, Denmark?

The Carlsberg brewery started using the swastika as their logo in 1881. After the nazis adopted the swastika as their most prominent symbol, Carlsberg stopped using it some time in the 1930ies, but it ...
46 votes
Accepted

How did security checks at airports change after September 11th, 2001?

There were a bunch of changes to US airport security screening after 9/11. I'm not sure if there's a comprehensive list anywhere, but here are a few highlights: What Didn't Change You still walk ...
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45 votes
Accepted

Identifying a Romanesque church in France from a 1900s photo

This is the Église Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Brissac, Herault, Occitanie (Google StreetView). The front has changed, the two rectangular windows seem to be bricked up; their former location is ...
  • 5,551
43 votes
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Need help identifying/translating a plaque in Tangier, Morocco

This is written in Classic Arabic (MSA), using the Maghrebi script, the translation is: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم In the name of Allah, most merciful and gracious. فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن ...
38 votes

Denied US Entry in 2012. Is this on my PERMANENT record?

You can use the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program to help clear up issues like being delayed at the border every time. After you file your application, you will have 30 days to submit any ...
37 votes
Accepted

Where is this chained man statue, photographed a century ago?

This is the Sculpture "Nègres marrons surpris par des chiens" by Louis Samain. In the context of Slavery, the term "marron"French Wikipedia refers to fugitive slaves (cf. the ...
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37 votes

In-Transit Waiting Area in USA Airports?

International sterile transit used to exist about 20 years ago in quite a few US airports. You'll find a few references to it in this thread from 2001 on Flyertalk, though even at the time, it was ...
  • 53.3k
29 votes
Accepted

Where, specifically, was the statue of King George III in Manhattan? Can I visit there today?

This turned out to be hard to find, but not impossible... The Teach US History web page you linked to contained an interesting footnote: (4) Marks, Arthur S. “The Statue of King George III in New ...
28 votes

Are there any retrocomputing museums in the former Eastern Bloc countries?

Since most (all?) computer museums can qualify as retrocomputing museums, you might find this list of computer museums useful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_computer_museums You could also ...
27 votes

Why do American gas stations' bathrooms apparently use these huge keys?

These are very common in the US, I've usually seen them as a large wooden block, roughly 1"x3"x12". Note, the one in the Beavis & Butthead clip posted looks like an old muffler, ...
26 votes

Identify location of old paintings - WWII soldier

This might be the "White Tower" of Thessaloniki, Greece: Anonymous photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Destinygreece, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • 5,551
24 votes

Why does Paris have two large train stations next to each other? (Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est)

The simple answer is that the reasons are exactly the same as in London, where, in the Victorian age, different parts of the railway network were built and owned by different private companies. In ...
  • 546
24 votes
Accepted

Where can I eat medieval food?

It's not a restaurant, but you may have luck with the Society for Creative Anachronism (the SCA), and Renaissance Festivals, which SCA members frequent or work at. The SCA is a group that keeps the ...
21 votes

Are there any retrocomputing museums in the former Eastern Bloc countries?

There is a computer museum in Halle, Germany, formerly in the GDR. They have a lot of old computers and other devices on display from that time and place : http://rechenwerk-halle.de/usr/digital-ag/...
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21 votes

Where in the world can you see WWII U-boats or U-boat pens?

Preserved U-boats [1]: 1) Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven, Bremen, Germany U-2540 / Wilhelm Bauer, Type XXI scuttled near Flensburg 1945, salvaged 1957, relaunched 1960 as 'Wilhelm Bauer', became museum ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Why isn't there a direct train from JFK to Manhattan?

By the time air travel became economically accessible to the masses, such that high-classed public transportation to airports was on the political radar at all, New York City was already one of the ...
20 votes

Are there any retrocomputing museums in the former Eastern Bloc countries?

Yandex Museum, in the headquarters of Yandex -- Moscow, Timura Frunze st., 11 str. 13. Not a very large one, but has a dozen or so of old computers, from around the world, not only from Soviet block. ...
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18 votes

Where can I eat medieval food?

Yes, in many German cities you will be able to find restaurants that serve medieval food. I know some of the places as I am actively taking part on some medieval groups and we sometimes meet in such ...
15 votes

How did security checks at airports change after September 11th, 2001?

In US airports, the biggest change from a "civilian's" perspective was probably the fact that only ticketed passengers are now allowed in the secure area. Before 9/11, anyone could go through the ...
15 votes
Accepted

Places to Visit in Seattle as a Nirvana Fan?

Fortunately one fan wrote up such a tour idea for the NY Times. To summarise, he started by staying at the Marco Polo, a motel where Cobain used to get his heroin nearby, and shoot up in room 226. ...
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15 votes

Is the London pass valid(/free) for multiple entries to same tourist attraction?

Regarding the attractions - it is not possible. But regarding the Boat cruise, you actually can enter it multiple times. You will receive 1-day ticket (see http://www.londonpass.com/london-...
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14 votes
Accepted

Hastings Battlefield and the 'Right to Roam'

There is no general "Right to Roam" in England and Wales, in contrast to Scotland. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 only allows public access that can be recognised and "Right to Roam" on "...
  • 12.7k
14 votes

Did TGVs have restaurant-style dining?

I travelled on TGV from Paris to Nimes in 1999. I was only eighteen but I travelled first class because my french pen friend's dad was the train manager! I wasn't expecting to be fed, but then one of ...
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