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More Details About the European Peace Walk 2015

European Peace Walk 2015

European Peace Walk 2015

First things first: Thank you!

A gigantic thank you goes out to all the people who so generously donated to my fundraiser for the European Peace Walk. The money has made this dream a reality and I am humbled by your generosity and support. I am also so touched by the comments and well-wishes of those who donated. You guys are awesome!

Now, you’ve got questions.  I have a few answers.

This post provides more information about the European Peace Walk. Perhaps some of you will get lathered up to do it yourselves. Or maybe you’re waiting to see how it goes with me as the guinea pig. Fair enough! Smart, you are!

Some have written to me with questions about the Peace Walk and I’m going to address some of those questions here. Because it’s a new walk there is a lot that is still unclear. Certainly, in a month I will know more! Hopefully, by following along, the answers will unfold.  Be sure to enter your email in the column to the right (GET UPDATES BY EMAIL) and you will be notified of new posts.

How long is the European Peace Walk?

This year the route is supposed to be 560m kilometers (348 miles) though 6 European countries. The organizers suggest that it will take 24 days to complete.  The route begins in Vienna, Austria and ends in Trieste, Italy.  In between is Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia.

European Peace Walk? Why?

European Peace Walk

Photo courtesy of the European Peace WalkEuropean Peace Walk? And why?

Founder, Grattan Lynch and a team of volunteers brought this walk from conception to reality. Lynch describes it as a trans-national experience: “6 countries, 6 languages, 6 cultures, 6 foods.” Geo-politically, it is in the center of the New-Europe.

When asked why he has labored so intensely to create it, he replied:

Having done the Camino [de Santiago] myself, I was inspired by watching Europeans gather round the table at night and share stories/flirt etc…and I was fascinated by the fact that a mere 100 years back we were all slaughtering each other over property (aka natural resources and national identities). Beyond being great for health and for the spirit, “There should be more of these [walks]” I thought.

The first walk began in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.  The walk traverses countries ravaged by both World Wars.

Is the walk open all year?

No.  In 2015, the walk is only open and waymarked between July 27th and August 25th.

European Peace Walk

Photo courtesy of European Peace Walk

How do you find your way?

Because the trail is new, there is no published guide book. The guide “book” was delivered to me by email on July 21st. Updates are coming through email and on the European Peace Walk’s Facebook page.

Here is an excerpt from Day 5 in Hungary:

Leave Erdos and walk towards the church of Pusztasomorja. 70ms after the church the main street takes a sharp turn to the right. On this corner you will see a street straight ahead that leads 30ms to a mini park, where you turn left (called Bercsényi utca) all the way to the end of the street (200ms) and out into the countryside. Nearly 200ms later you arrive at a crucifix and turn right. 500ms later you take a left, and 300ms later a right. Keep walking for about 1.5kms keeping the trees on you left and fields on right. You arrive at a canal-ditch. Turn left and 700ms later you arrive at an old asphalt road. At asphalt you turn right, you will pass an old derelict army house. 400ms later the road veers left, but you continue straight into the woods. You will see an old 1980s army house, with some farmers using the side house. 500ms later the road goes left and then 250ms later it turns right. Ok. Here we go into the woods. The best way to think of this is NYC – as in Blocks. You will walk 4 and a half blocks. Each block is 600ms long and full of tall beautiful trees. So four and half blocks later you arrive at a small canal, this is the AT border. You go left for about 1km and you arrive at a big canal. Here you can turn right over the smaller canal. Walk along the big canal bank for 1 kms and you arrive at the famous Brucke von Andau. Cross bridge. You walk along this canal bank (on South side) until you can walk no more (i.e. you meet another canal) which is 8.5kms straight ahead. Then you turn left for 1.8kms and you arrive in Tõzeggyármajor village (S) and the shop is 200ms to your right, the last house in the village. Well done !

Very fortunately (OMG), volunteers report that they have placed over 1000 markers (red arrows and stickers) along the route to guide the walkers.  If not, I will likely become religious.  And friendly. May the force be with me.

European Peace Walk

Photo courtesy of European Peace Walk

Are you walking alone or in a group?

As far as I know, I am walking alone. I don’t know if there are any other registered walkers on the day I begin. I won’t know until the evening before beginning, when we are instructed to meet other walkers at 6 PM at “Hlavné Námestie” fountain in Bratislava, Slovakia. That is when destiny plays a hand. Who will I meet? Anyone? Where are they from? What is their story?

That’s fun.

How many people are doing this?

This year 200 people have registered to walk.

Where do walkers stay?

The walk has been organized with affordable and interesting accommodation for PeaceWalkers every 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) or so. Places include hostels, horse farms, schools, community centers, mountain huts, and private homes.

European Peace Walk

Photo courtesy of European Peace Walk

How much does it cost?

Registration:

It costs 44 euros (48 US$) to register.

Accommodation:

The European Peace Walk committee specifically negotiated for reasonably-priced accommodation for PeaceWalkers. The cost of a bed varies between 7 – 12 euros ($7.15 – $13.15 US at the time of this writing) per night. According to the founder of the EPW, normally a night in a pension in these parts of Europe would be 25-40 euros/night.

The EPW website suggests that a walker will need 25-35 euros per day to “live and eat like a king”.  My frugality is time-tested.  I’ll be eager to share my actual costs with you.

Do you have to register to walk?

Yes. In 2015, registration is limited to 20 people a day so organizers can ensure that everyone has a bed at the end of their long walking day.

European Peace Walk

Photo courtesy of European Peace Walk

Miss Laura, why are you doing this?

I appreciate that the inquirer called me “Miss Laura” suggesting that I am young and spry. I like it. Now, to the answers:

  1. I’m intrigued by the mental and physical challenge.  And by intrigued, I mean scared, but doing it anyway.
  2. Because the route is so new, there is an open opportunity for me to educate/entertain you by writing about the experience.
  3. I’ve fallen into obscenely flabby shape in the last year and want to get the muscles working again.
  4. I like exploring unknown territory (especially by foot) and all of these countries are new to me.
  5. I like cultural exchange and building friendships with people from all over the world.
  6. To prove to myself that I can.

Where can I learn more?

Photos (click to view):

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