My dad once told me that, if you travelled in a straight line from the top of Tinshill BT Tower to Moscow, you wouldn’t reach a higher point until you got there. But is it true?
Let’s release an imaginary crow from the top of the tower, flying straight and level to find out! How far will it get before it bumps into something?
According to Wikipedia, the top of the tower is 252.96m (830 feet) above sea level. So, this will be the cruising altitude of our crow.
Or feathered explorer flies due east through the Vale of York and crosses the Yorkshire coast between Filey and Flamborough. During that time, the ground only rises over 200m once.
The next 500 kms (300 miles) of the journey are over the North Sea before our crow reaches Denmark. Across Denmark and southern Sweden it flies, always more than 100m above the ground below.
Another 300km (185 mile) stretch over water (the Baltic Sea) takes our crow into Latvia where, again, the ground never rises to impede its progress.
As our intrepid corvid crosses the border into Russia, the landscape begins to get hillier but only occasionally does the ground pass the 200m mark until, at last, Red Square and the Kremlin are in sight and our crow can finally come to rest just to the east of the city at 255 metres (837 feet) – a journey of nearly 2,500 kms (1,550 miles)!!
So, it turns out that my dad was right!
I mapped the journey using Geocontext mapping tools (the red line is straight – it just appears curved because of the curvature of the Earth).
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