INTREPID traveller Barnaby Davies has set a new Guinness World Record by visiting seven capital cities within 24 hours.
The 39-year-old of St George’s Road, journeyed by train from Hastings to London, Paris, and Brussels before flying to Ljubljana in Slovenia.
He then travelled by train to Vienna and Bratislava before ending his mammoth trek in Budapest, Hungary.
The father-of-one, as well as breaking the world record, raised more than $300 for ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking), an organisation dedicated to combating child sex trafficking.
He said: “I came up with the idea of doing this after reading an article in an Easyjet in-flight magazine. I then spent a day trawling through timetables and flight schedules to work out the route.
“At this point it was nothing more than attempting to break the previous record of six capitals visited in 24 hours. I then realised it could be an opportunity to highlight the issue of human trafficking.”
Throughout his European trek, Mr Davies, who works as a travel guide, needed to find independent witnesses to sign statements to verify his journey and also video it. His trip took 23 hours and 49 minutes in total.
When he arrived at Budapest’s Keleti (East) station, he went across the road to a hotel and got a signed witness statement.
He said: “I needed someone to be an independent witness on film to sign the statement for the record so I went across the road from the station in Budapest to find someone who spoke English in a nearby hotel.
“There was a man in the reception area who was only too happy to.”
After the journey ended the father then flew back to 1066 Country, arriving home in Hastings eight hours later. Mr Davies’ trip was undertaken on April 15 and 16 and his world record was officially declared last week by the Guinness Book of Records.
He told the Observer he was pleased he made the record books but added the more important goal was highlighting the problem of human trafficking.
Mr Davies said: “It is going on right under our noses in daylight hours. People are being trafficked on planes and buses and trains all the time. It’s absolutely everywhere and 161 countries are involved. That’s the scope of its global impact. He said between 21 and 30 million people are enslaved in the world today, which he added ‘vastly dwarfs’ the entire number of slaves shipped to the Americas from Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. “1888 was supposed to be the abolition of slavery, but that’s not the case at all. It’s sickening,” Mr Davies, who has a three-and-a-half-year-old son, added.
Mr Davies said many children were often abducted from fairgrounds around the world. Such stories are only too common.
“What I can’t understand is to take children away from their parents and sell them. I just cannot get my head around that,” he added. Visit www.ecpat.org.uk.