It’s now Day 26 and Roberts arrives at the famous Suez Canal in Egypt. The Suez Canal opened in 1869 and Phileas Fogg travelled through it, just three years later in 1872, as he left the European continent heading through Egypt’s Suez Canal, then around the Arabian Peninsula heading for India.
The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea. It enabled a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia, effectively allowing for passage from the North Atlantic to the Indian Ocean without having to circumnavigate the African continent.
The waterway has been vital for international trade and, as a result, has been at the center of conflict since it opened in 1869. Inaugurated in 1869, the Suez Canal was not just a technical achievement that connected the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, the East to the West. In the Arab world this was a inflammatory symbol of European imperialism, worsened as it was also built by the Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps, and majority owned by France.
Egypt was ruled by Britain and France at the time and the Canal has ben the source of tensions for more than a century. Phileas Fogg arrived in Suez aboard the SS Mongolia six and a half days after leaving London. ‘As to seeing the town, he did not even think of it, being of that race of Englishmen who had their servants visit the country they passed through. Today standing beside the Suez Canal in the desert just after dawn, you can watch the northbound convoy of container ships go through.
EDITED BY MARCO PENG.
80 DAYS Series
In 80 DAYS, starting from his home base of Sydney, adventurer and Award winning film maker Paul G Roberts, retraces the global footsteps of Phileas Fogg, hero of Jules Verne’s most famous work, “Around the World in 80 Days”, and this time around Roberts is not going to spend half his time out at sea on Steamers as Fogg did, instead he does a deep dive on history, art and culture of the cities he visits, and he captures and records his global adventures for a new 80 Episode TV series.
Making an Award winning film is no small feat. Roberts has no less than 16 Best picture wins from major international Film festivals to his credit. Usually it takes a great story, a team of highly skilled artisans. Writers, producers, a great director, editors, actors and usually a pile of money. And even then it takes a decent amount of luck and a lot of dedication for it to realise the promise it had on paper.
There are a million things that can derail the project. The degree of difficulty is amplified many times over when it has ambitions to become a series. But for one person to attempt to all of this solo, is for most experts just insanity. In this new 80 episode solo ‘Round the World’ Series, Award winning filmmaker and travel lover Paul G Roberts attempts to do the impossible, in which he is the writer, director, producer, star, presenter, camera / sound / lighting / drone cam operator and financier. Everything but the editing.
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