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Aviation

How many continents can they visit in 24 hours?

Thor Mikalsen and his son, Sondre Moan Mikalsen, will be attempting a special world record this spring. They will be flying to as many continents as they can in 24 hours. On scheduled flights.

Sondre Moan Mikalsen (18) och Thor Mikalsen (42) ska försöka besöka så många kontinenter som möjligt på 24 timmar.

It was in 1873 that author Jules Verne published his book Around the World in Eighty Days. It told the story of Phileas Fogg, who made a bet that it was possible to travel around the world in 80 days. Thor Mikalsen and his son Sondre Moan Mikalsen from Bodø plan to go one better. They’re going to travel to as many continents as possible in 24 hours. If they do it, they may earn themselves a coveted place in the Guinness World Records.

“Our attempt begins on April 29, when we set off from Cairo,” Thor Mikalsen (42) tells Scandinavian Traveler.

The next stop is Istanbul, where they will be taking a taxi from Istanbul Ataturk airport to the part of the city that’s in Asia. Then it’s on to Frankfurt and then Panama City to cover North America, before finally arriving in Bogotá in Colombia.

“We started planning the route in November and we’ve spent a lot of time on this,” Mikalsen says.

The joy of flying

Naturally, there are many others who have tried to do the same. And the current record of 28 hours and 25 minutes is already held by a Norwegian, travel enthusiast Gunnar Garfors. He flew together with Adrian Butterworth on the route Istanbul – Casablanca – Paris – Punta Cana – Caracas. According to Guinness World Records, the two benefitted from time zone differences. 

“We hope to beat the record without the help of time zones,” Mikalsen says. “But if just one of our flights is as much as an hour late, it’ll be game over for us.”

Why set off on such a fast-paced expedition?

“We love flying and travel, but we’re also interested in geography,” says Mikalsen, who otherwise works as a sports teacher at Bodin high school and as a football coach at FK Bodø/Glimt. “The fascinating thing about flying is how they get heavy objects up in the air. We’re both also obsessed with aircraft types, engine sizes, and how they look, both inside and out. The big planes such as the Boeing 777, 747, and 787, and the Airbus A380 are our favorites. In the summer we’re really looking forward to flying on the new Airbus flagship, the A350.”

During their record attempt, the pair will be flying exclusively with Star Alliance airlines.

“We’re hoping for lots of EuroBonus points, which we can then use for new adventures, hopefully a trip to America,” Mikalsen says. 

Tekst: Inga Ragnhild Holst

Last edited: May 13, 2016

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