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Travellers break world record after visiting 19 European countries in just ONE DAY ... despite queues at border crossings and rental car nightmares

  • The trio beat the previous record of 17 countries set in 2012
  • It was the group's second attempt after equalling the previous record in May 
  • They finished their journey 20 minutes before the 24-hour period was up 

By Simon Cable for MailOnline

Published: 11:19 GMT, 23 September 2014 | Updated: 11:54 GMT, 23 September 2014

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Most people might feel satisfied if they manage to visit 19 European countries in a whole lifetime.

But three friends from Norway have managed to achieve that feat in a single day.

Travellers Gunnar Garfors, 39, Tay-young Pak, 42, and Øyvind Djupvik, 38, have now set a new world record, surpassing the previous record of 17 countries.

Travellers Tay-young Pak, (Left) Gunnar Garfors, (Middle) and Øyvind Djupvik, (Right) have now set a new world record, surpassing the previous record of 17 countries

The group used a combination of hire cars and scheduled flights to complete the journey after departing from Greece just after midnight on Monday.

The trio then travelled northwest passing through Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland, and ended in Liechtenstein just 20 minutes before the 24-hour period was up.

The main mode of transport was rental cars, but they also took two commercial flights from Skopje, Macedonia to Beograd, Serbia and from Wien, Austria to Dusseldorf, Germany. 

The group visited Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Mr Djupvik was in charge of doing all the driving while travel writer Mr Garfors took responsibility for planning the route. 

Mr Pak took care of providing all the necessary provisions, including energy drinks to help them stay awake.

However, no amount of planning was able to prevent a series of mishaps that threatened to de-rail their world-record bid. 

It was the group's second attempt at the world record after an initial effort in May ended in a tie with the previous record holders, a group of four friends who passed through 17 countries in 24 hours in 2012

The queue at the border crossing to Kosovo was so long that the three men had to abandon their car and sprint across and back, just so they could say they’d set foot there.

The team’s cameraman also managed to get himself briefly arrested in Greece for filming illegally at the border with Bulgaria.

When they arrived in Macedonia they found that the car they’d booked had been rented to someone else, and they were eventually given a run-down Ford Focus with 100,000km on the clock.

It was their second attempt at the world record after an initial effort in May. 

On that occasion they only managed a tie with the previous record holders, a group of four friends who passed through 17 countries in 24 hours in 2012.

The group in Switzerland after finally breaking the record. They then finished in Liechtenstein just 20 minutes before the 24-hour period was up

This time around, Norwegian bookmakers were taking bets on whether the group would complete the world record.

‘I don’t like sharing. Not world records, at least,’ Garfors wrote in a blog post on his personal website ahead of the record attempt. 

‘The route is all brand new, we have put even more planning into the project this time and we have experience. The experience of failure. Can’t beat that.’

The group used hire cars and scheduled flights to complete the journey after departing from Greece

After completing the epic journey, he told the Huffington Post website: ‘Now we need to celebrate for 24 hours as well. It has been a fantastic journey.

‘Everything went smooth, besides from some bad weather in Switzerland, and some trouble with a rental car in Greece before the start of the race.

‘Now we have been on the road and should be tired, but setting a new world record feels like winning the lottery and we wonder if we should continue to travel for 24 hours more.

‘We crushed the old record with two countries, and we are extremely happy with ourselves. We even had time to spare, but the weather conditions were just too bad to continue towards our 20th country, Italy.’

 

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