Controlling in my 132nd country, and therefore, past the half way mark, Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport was the perfect place to be. Boasting rich natural and cultural history, the Creole and French inhabited island is actually a part of France, where even travellers from France and the Schengen Zone are free to travel to the island just as they are within the Schengen Zone in Europe. Thus, airlines operating from France to overseas territories could well be considered to be one of the longest domestic flights in the world.
Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (SGAS/ASU)
Paraguay is the second of two landlocked countries in South America that I’ve controlled in. Not to mention, while it is a landlocked country, has the largest navy of all landlocked country. However, there is still access to the ocean through the Rio Panara or Parana River which flows through Argentina and Brazil. In addition, the river access allows Paraguay to take advantage of hydroelectric power, with 99.9% of the country’s power being produced by hydroelectric means.
Uruguay’s name comes from the Uruguay river, and while it starts in Brazil and ends in Argentina, it flows through Uruguay and hence, adopted its name. Uruguay is well known for many reasons, however, one of which may include President José Mujica who is thought tome the poorest president in the world Having donated most of his income to charitable causes, he owns a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle and said that he would donate a million dollars if someone would pay a million dollars for his car.
Portugal could often be seen as a friendly little giant on the world stage. A small coastal nation with a population of just over 10 million, you wouldn’t think that this country would have been one of the most powerful country in the world just a couple hundred years ago. However, having mastered the ocean, it has since gone on to spread its influence to various countries around the world, and was the first to have circumnavigated around the world with the sailor Ferdinand Magellan.
Rio de Janeiro/Galeão International Airport (SBGL/GIG)
To the fifth largest country by land area and sixth largest country by population in the world, Brazil is the largest Portuguese speaking country that borders all countries in South America except for Chile and Ecuador. Being some of the most successful country in the FIFA World Cup with 5 wins in the tournament, Brazilians take their football incredibly seriously with legends like Pelé, Garrincha, Roberto Carlos, as well as people like Ronaldinho and Neymar in more recent times.
Ministro Pistarini International Airport (SAEZ/EZE)
To a major footballing rival country of Brazil, Argentina has also incorporated football as a major part of its culture. Plenty of the world’s greatest football players such as the likes of Diego Maradona, Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Diego Simione and perhaps the most famous of them all, Lionel Messi. However, looking away from football, Argentina is the birthplace of the world’s most famous freedom fighter, Che Guevara.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a little known island off the coast of Newfoundland, this island to this very day is still technically a part of France. It has a unique history, with plenty of high profile visitors for various reasons throughout its history, however, some of the most famous visitors may include the infamous mobster, Al Capone. This island then became a well known alcohol smuggling port, with millions of litres of beverages flowing through it every year.
Montserrat is a rugged, mountainous island that was formed due to volcanic activity. The pear shaped island is also commonly known as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” due to the large Irish immigrant population. Not to mention, the volcanic activity in Montserrat has also made the island infamous in the region, having since left Plymouth a ghost town as a result of pyroclastic flow casing major devastation to the settlement.
Falkland Islands was the conflict site between Argentina and the United Kingdom. In 1982, the Argentinian forces invaded the island, leading to a 10 week conflict between the British and the Argentinian forces. Since the Falklands War, the Falkland Islands has operated as a self-governing territory of the United Kingdom Overseas Territory, and does serve as a gateway to the South Pole. In more recent times, Lufthansa has operated an A350-900 filled with researchers who were travelling to the South Pole.
Unfortunately, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands does not have any airports, which is why I elected to open at RAF Mount Pleasant, which is the closest airport that I could find. This island, quite like the Falkland Islands, is claimed by both the British and Argentinian, and has a climate which is very similar to Antarctica. Snow capped mountains are a common sight, as well as a barren, tundra lands that cover the remaining bits of the island. The island has no permanent population, however, scientific explorations has been a big part of the history of the island, with a small group of scientists commonly making the trip down when the weather permits.
The Northern Mariana Islands are a group of 14 inhabited islands that has a population of just over 50,000 people. It was the site of the Battle of Saipan in the second world war, and known as the Pacific D-Day. This operation was part of a much larger goal of establishing the presence of the Allied Forces in the Pacific region, an area under heavy Japanese control at the time.
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (PGUM/GUM)
Guam is the westernmost point territory of the United States of America, it is also the southernmost island in the Mariana Islands. It has had a predominantly Spanish colonial heritage, not to mention it has a very important role in recent history, especially so during the second world war. Its primary industry is military-related, with the United States maintaining a strong military presence through Guam, though tourism has seen an increase over the years, with its location in the tropical region being popular for those who wish to seek warmer weather.
Palau, rather interestingly, was the first country in the world to require inbound tourists to sign an “Eco-Pledge” on arrival, where every incoming visitor must sign a stamped pledge in their passports to be a good environmental citizen during their stay in the country. All flights inbound are also required to show a video on environmental conservation on the island, to increase awareness among the public, as well as how to behave responsibly during their stay too.
Sint Maarten, known to the Dutch, and Saint Martin to the rest of the world, is perhaps most famous for its airport. Sitting mere meters from the beach, plenty of people have made it a point to try to ride out the jet blast from planes such as the A340-300 that Air France once sent, to the B747-400s that KLM sent on a regular, up until the retirement of the aircraft.
The Federated States of Micronesia is a group of over 600 islands which is a part of the Caroline archipelago. Two main types of islands are made from either volcanic activity, or from low lying corals. It is part of the itinerary of United Airline’s famous island hopper which flies from Honolulu to Guam through Majuro, Kwajalein, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk. Of which, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk are located in the nation of Micronesia.