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Most people don't manage to visit 19 countries in twenty-four years, leave aside 24 hours! But three young Norwegian men have proven that where there is a will, there is a way especially, when the motivation is to shatter a Guinness World Record.
Gunnar Garfors, Tay-young Pak and Øyvind Djupvik began their whirlwind trip from Greece at midnight on Monday, September 22nd. Traveling Northwest, they make a quick stop in Bulgaria before dashing on to Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
What's amazing is that they managed to get to their final destination, a good 20 minutes before the 24-hour period expired. In fact, the three said that if the weather had been more cooperative, they would have even managed to sneak in a 20th country and ended their record-breaking tour in Italy. But they were thrilled to have broken the standing record of 17 countries set by a group of four friends in 2012, especially given that during their first attempt earlier this year, they had only been able to match it.
While the travelers did take two short flights, from Skopje,Macedonia to Beograd, Serbia and then again from Wien, Austria, to Dusseldorf, Germany, most of the trip was completed using rental cars. With Djupvik in charge of driving, Garfors taking care of mapping out the most efficient route and Pak ensuring that the trio had the necessary provisions to keep them well-fed and awake, the three knew they had taken care of the basics. What they could not anticipate and therefore not prepare for, were the unexpected challenges that threatened to derail their quest of shattering the world record, for the second time in a row.
The issues started right at the beginning when the team's cameraman was arrested for a short period of time in Greece for filming illegally at the border with Bulgaria. Then there was the long queue of cars at Kosovo's border crossing. After debating for a few minutes, the three men dashed across the border gate, took a selfie to prove they had been there and moved on to the next destination. While most of us would not consider a hop across the border a 'country visit', it was enough for the record these travelers were trying to break.
But despite these minor setbacks, it all worked out at the end. And while most travelers would be exhausted after rushing around non-stop for 24 hours, these three were so excited at having broken the record that they claimed they could keep going for an additional 24 hours! Maybe their next attempt will be to set a record for the most number of countries traveled in 48 hours!
Resources: Huffingtonpost.com, Dailymail.co.uk, news.com.au