19 countries in one day sets record

By Justin Huggler

Photo / AP
Photo / AP

In a modern reinvention of Phileas Fogg's expedition around the world in 80 days, three Norwegians have set a world record by visiting 19 different European countries in a single day.

Using a combination of hire cars and scheduled flights, Gunnar Garfors, Oyvind Djupvik and Tay-yong Pak started in Greece just after midnight and travelled as far as the Netherlands before looping back to Liechtenstein with just 20 minutes to spare.

True to the spirit of Jules Verne, author of Around the World in 80 Days, the journey was not without its mishaps and adventures. The queue at the border crossing to Kosovo was so long that the three had to abandon their car and sprint across and back, just so they could say that they had set foot there. And, unknown to the team, their cameraman managed to get himself briefly arrested in Greece for filming illegally at the border with Bulgaria. Garfors described the adventure as "just a bit of a road trip".

What had started as a private challenge became something of an expedition when a Norwegian bookmaker started taking bets on whether the three would make it, and which country they would visit next.

Djupvik did all the driving, Garfors planned the route and took care of map-reading, while Pak kept them supplied with sandwiches and energy drinks.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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