Salisbury to Saintes -how far is it?
Why are our councils trying to force us apart?
Both Salisbury and Saintes celebrate our twinning with signposts pointing to our twin city and stating how far they are apart.
As can be seen from the photos, Saintes says that Salisbury is is 1000 kilometres away, whereas Salisbury, with great British love for precision, says that we are in fact 1061 kilometres apart.
This just leaves one question, where on earth did these figures come from? Anyone who has travelled between the two will lnow that they are completely wrong. The fact that they are so wrong but so close to each other in their inaccuracy has to make one think. Are we being deliberately put off visiting one another? After all, what better way to deter someone from making a journey than by exaggerating the distance? Conspiracy theorists among you can have a field day.
Personally, I prefer the 'crass error' theory. Someone at one of the councils misread the map and made a miscalculation. This error, never challenged, has become perceived wisdom and accepted into folklore. That being said, the differernce of 61 kilometres is intriguing....
Let me put the matter straight. If you were a crow and wished to fly between Salisbury and Saintes it would be a flight of 599 kilometres. A more likely journey would be by car and ferry. There are several options so I have chosen the Portsmouth to Ouistreham/Caen ferry route. This is a journey of of 763 kilometres, of which 187 kilometres is on the ferry.
However, if you are determined to prove the councils right, you can take the route through the channel tunnel, which is 1050 kilometres. By no means the most direct route, but at least you have the satisfaction of agreeing with the signposts.