Travel with Kids
London, Singapore, Vancouver
Before starting JAM's three city day's journey, we thought it might be fun to share a few fun facts and offer a brief history lesson for the kiddos to read on these splendid cities.
Named at various times Caer Ludein, Londinium, Lowonidonjon, Lundenwic, and Lundenburh, London was established by Romans, conquered by a Brittonic tribe led by Queen Boudica, re-inhabited by Anglo-Saxons, attacked by Vikings, conquered by Normans, and in the 16th century expanded rapidly into a major commercial center, the London of the British East India Company and Shakespeare. The original fortification wall built by the Romans still defines the boundaries of the City of London, called the ‘Square Mile’ by locals, while London contains the City of London and 32 other boroughs with a population of 8.8 million and still growing.
London is the home of the Prime Meridian, 0 degree longitude, and Greenwich Mean Time. Every place and time zone on the globe is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line, which divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth. A fitting beginning to our journey!
Halfway across the globe, during the 14th Century, while Medieval London was changing from a French-influenced country to an English one, a prince from Palembang was on a hunting trip when he caught a glimpse of an animal he had never seen before. Taking it as a good omen, he founded a city on the same spot, naming it The Lion City, or Singapura, from the Sanskrit words “simha” (lion) and “pura” (city). Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the city flourished as a trading post for vessels from all over Asia and Europe.
In 1819, Sir Thomas Raffles established a British colony in what is now modern Singapore. After WWII, occupation by the Japanese and the British, and temporarily becoming part of Malaysia, Singapore finally became a sovereign nation in 1965. Singapore is famous today for its street food, created out of the city’s rich tradition of multiethnic influences; what began as a way of eking out a livelihood is now earning Michelin stars.
Vancouver’s first inhabitants arrived in the area following the Last Glacial Period, 11,700 years ago. The Coast Salish peoples had settlements thoughout modern-day Vancouver, including in what is today Stanley Park, a beautiful urban park with a West Coast rainforest. Vancouver had its beginning as a sawmill during the gold rush, gaining a saloon run by the talkative Gassy Jack, which grew into Gastown and then became Granville, and eventually Vancouver itself.
The city was named after George Vancouver, an explorer from the British Royal Navy who mapped out the Pacific Northwest coastline, and who spent only a day in the area of the city named after him. Nowadays, Vancouver has become an international hub along the Pacific Rim and a stand-in for almost every other city around the world in film and TV, from San Francisco in Godzilla to Seattle in Fifty Shades of Grey, from Minnesota in Juno to both(!) New York and Pyongyang in The Interview, from a jungle in Jumanji, to a futuristic dystopia in I, Robot.
Written by Krystal Chang