By Zoe Smith
A Sun feature writer has begun a 600-mile journey from Wapping to Frankfurt — on foot.
Tim Spanton, who last year walked from London to Edinburgh to cover the G8 Summit, aims to reach Frankfurt by 10 June for England’s opening World Cup match against Paraguay.
Spanton said: "I was sitting in the office when the features editor came in saying what a lovely day it was, a good day for walking to Edinburgh, and I jokingly said, ‘Or Germany’. About an hour later my editor came back and I was told: ‘Right. You’re off to Frankfurt.’"
Each day he has to file a story, write a blog, check his emails, produce a videolog and contribute to a dedicated MySpace site.
Spanton, who is currently on route to Dover, reached Chatham, Kent, on Sunday and is travelling around 10 miles each day.
"I don’t really know which route I’m taking. I’m heading for France and the idea was to walk straight there — which is about 480 miles — but that means going through the Ardennes forest. That was OK for Hitler’s Panzers in 1940 because they only had the French Army up against them, but I won’t be able to get decent accommodation there."
Instead, Spanton will head north through Belgium and Holland towards the Rhine valley, walking by the Rhine and eventually turning off for Frankfurt. This route adds around 100 miles to the journey, but gives Spanton a roof over his head each night.
He is joined on the route by various photographers, who also take his luggage on to the next staging post.
Despite his marathon walking effort, Spanton has not got a ticket for the opening game. "I’d rather watch it in the pub anyway," he told Press Gazette.