Gunnar Garfors doesn't travel like the rest of us. Whereas most people like to take their time leisurely taking in the sights, this Norwegian likes to do things fast. Really fast.
He and his buddies visited all 48 counties in England in 24 hours in what he said was a tongue-in-cheek invitation to the English.
“Next month it will have been 950 years since the Battle of Stamford Bridge, where a Norwegian king almost managed to conquer England. With the recent Brexit vote, we figured that it was about time to gently remind the English about the offer to join Norway instead, and we planted a Norwegian flag in every county to do so,” he told The Local.
“They have, after all, had 950 years to think about it,” he joked.
Garfors and his companions started off in Cumbria on Friday evening and 23 hours and 34 minutes later, they reached Cornwall, making them in their estimation the first travellers to ever visit all of England's 48 ceremonial counties in the course of one day.
Garfors said this modern Viking conquest was spurred in part by “how little people know about the English counties”.
“Everyone knows that there are 50 states in the US and can mention at least a handful of them, whereas almost no one knows that there are 48 counties, let alone is able to mention their names,” he said.
“To us this was a great way of discovering more of England and getting a glimpse at least of each and every county. And 48 in 24 is rather impressive in my mind. That is two counties every hour,” he said.
Garfors was joined on his whirlwind tour by his 39-year-old brother Øystein, Andreas Munkelien (41), and Øystein Djupvik (42), who drove for most of the trip, chugging 20 energy drinks along the way.
Although their breakneck pace might not appeal to everyone, Garfors said it's just the trick for he and his friends.
“The best thing about such stunts is that good friends have a great time together, experience an adrenalin kick and manage to do something that no one else has ever done. The record attempt itself is rather fast and leaves little time for gourmet meals or relaxing wine tasting sessions, but those things we have time to do before and after,” he said, adding that their victorious arrival in Bude in Cornwall was celebrated with a seafood feast washed down by champagne.
Garfors is the youngest person ever to have visited all 198 countries in the world and has become a go-to source for travel recommendations
. Last year, he and his friends passed through 22 US states in 24 hours.
The route of their 24-hour tear through England can be seen here: