Mount Olympus to London

Lord Norton

Lord Bates

Lord Bates is away from the office at the moment.  He has begun a 2,000-mile walk from Mount Olympus in Greece to London in order to highlight the campaign for an Olympic Truce during London 2012.  As regular readers will know, this is something to which he is strongly committed.  His trip is self-financed and he set off from an Athens youth hostel last Friday. 

He says he would prefer Britain to “compete in peace rather than in medals” by becoming the first host of the modern Games to take the truce seriously.   He wants the creation of “humanitarian windows” in conflict zones such as Afghanistan. 

His progress can be tracked on  The site also has more details of his campaign.

5 comments for “Mount Olympus to London

  1. Senex
    27/04/2011 at 9:06 pm

    Ye Gods! Looking at his web page is he mixing his metaphors?

    He is relating miles and through the use of a pedometer the number of steps. In ancient Greece distance was measured in ‘steps’ too. Much later a Roman mile (milia passuum) would be equal to 1000 paces. By counting steps he effectively becomes a Greek betamist. According to wiki:

    “Bematists accompanied Alexander the Great on his campaign in Asia. Their measurements of the distances travelled by Alexander’s army show a high degree of precision to the point that it had been suggested that they must have used an odometer, although there is no direct mentioning of such a device: The overall accuracy of the bematists’ measurements should be apparent. The minor discrepancies of distance can be adequately explained by slight changes in the tracks of roads during the last 2,300 years. The accuracy of the measurements implies that the bematists used a sophisticated mechanical device for measuring distances, undoubtedly an odometer such as described by Heron of Alexandria.”

    The Greeks used a stade or stadion to measure length. One such measure was called an Olympic (176.4 metres) which was shorter than the accepted Italian measure of 184.8 metres. The award winning author ‘Newlyn Walkup’ in the link below talks not of metres but meters; I suppose a pedometer is a meter? Given the distance to be walked (18,246 Olympics) the noble lord will no doubt acquire athlete’s foot on the way.

    Ref: Eratosthenes and the Mystery of the Stades; How long is a Stade?

  2. Gareth Howell
    28/04/2011 at 2:11 pm

    With a back pack like that, the noble Olympian won’t get any further than the next row of pillars.

    He is no minimalist; he seems to have half a dozen assistants with him.

    • Michael Green
      20/05/2011 at 4:47 pm

      He has no assistants and is walking completely unsupported. He had a few friends come out to join him for the first two days, but otherwise that is it. You may want to check out his progress. Despite carrying a tent in his backpack, he’s now done several hundred miles.

  3. Carl.H
    28/04/2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh for God’s sake, have IPSA turned down another request for travel expenses !!


    P.S. I know it doesn’t apply to the Lords.

    Good luck Lord Bates but please note any injuries sustained will be unlikely to get prioritised NHS treatment.

  4. Gareth Howell
    29/04/2011 at 8:34 am

    I tried to leave a message from me, but you have to register with Yahoo to leave it, and that is too much trouble since i have about 50 other e-mail addresses.

    When will we change to machine numbers?

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