Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Europe 2007

Now that I have my mapping software under control, I've made a travel time estimate for the journey at 114 days, or about 3 1/2 months.

The two countries I'll be spending the most time in are Italy (20 days) and Norway (20+ days). The 2500km coast run in Norway from Vardø to Bergen is equivalent to Sydney-Cairns (Australia), or Seattle-San Diego and half way back. The entire round trip will be equivalent to driving from London to Sydney (as the crow flies).

The boxed KIRUNA label on the above map shows where I'll be on Sunday for the Ice Hotel.

I've clipped off a visit to Kaliningrad, the Russian seaport on the Baltic, because of the complications of getting a Russian visa. That's a shame, as this city, formerly known as Königsberg, has a long and interesting history. Not only home to Immanual Kant, it has a strong connection to mathematics: Christian Goldbach and David Hilbert were both born there, and Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler solved the famous Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem.

Trivial bridge problems aside, in addition to two English Channel crossings, I have to sort out ferries between:
  • Villa San Giovanni - Messina (Sicily), Italy (30 mins) OR Naples - Palermo (overnight)
  • Bari, Italy - Dubrovnik, Croatia (9hrs, overnight)*
  • Tallinn, Estonia - Helsinki, Finland (2-3 hrs)
  • Vaasa, Finland - Umeå, Sweden (3-4 hrs)
*I've just discovered that this ferry only runs once per week until April, which means either sliding dates before it, or possibly skipping Dubrovnik, as the next available ferry route up the Italian coast is Ancona - Split and requires another 600km+ of driving.

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