Omar (around 70 USD). I know that 70USD sounds

Omar Bishr

Discussion Section
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Travel Writing


January 28th, 2018

Dear Josh,

I hope you are doing well. Since both
of us are almost done with our finals, I had this great idea to spend our
summer break. I know we have always tried to plan a trip to Aquileia,
but we never did go due to both the expensive flight tickets and
accommodation.  The good news is that I
found a way to travel to Aquileia from Amastris and it is cheap too. Lucky us,
I heard about this website called “Orbis,”which was designed by Stanford
university. This website shows a map of the ancient Roman world, where it
calculates the distance, time, and cost between any two ancient Roman cities.
Orbis can also show you different ways of transporting and recommended paths.
When I found out about this website, this is when I decided to compare and
contrast Google maps and Orbis and decide which is cheaper for us.

After doing some extensive
research, here is what I found. On Orbis, the distance for the cheapest route
is 3272 kilometers. This includes both walking and taking boats off the coastal
sea. In my opinion, I would recommend taking a donkey as it will be cheap, plus
we get to have a new experience while not getting tired. The cost for donkey
food per kilogram of wheat is 4.51 denarii (around 70 USD). I know that 70USD
sounds too much for 1kg of wheat, but I know for a fact that we can get it
cheaper. Also, if we take that route, we get to stop by 21 cities! With that in
mind, we can visit more than one city depending on the cost. On top of that,
the duration period for this whole trip is 25.1 days. Lastly, I came up with an
idea for our accommodation. I read in the news about this lady who decided to
camp in every country around Europe. She would go to a safe place, let’s say a
park, and she would set up a tent and spend the night over there. I was
thinking about bringing a tent with us and do the same. By cutting off
accommodation from our expenses, we will have extra money to visit more cities
and have a great experience.

Google maps on the
other hand, has numerous easy traveling options. If we decide to take a car,
the distance would be 2136 kilometers and this will take us 29 hours only. If
we decide to rent a car for two weeks on a rate of 30USD/day, then total cost
would be 420USD. Interesting thing is that if we decide to walk and take a boat
between coasts, Google maps shows that it would take 16 days and the distance
is 2008 kilometers. This last option sounds great, and it would take us less
time and distance than the route recommended by Orbis. I think one of the
factors that makes Google maps faster is that the boats we use now are way
faster than in the ancient Roman world. And the last option, which turned out
to be out of budget, is taking an airplane. All tickets start from 500USD, also
Aquileia doesn’t have an airport. Therefore, we would need to pay for a bus to
get us to the airport.

As you can see, the
cheapest options with Orbis and Google maps involve us walking and taking boats
across the coasts. With all the options taken into consideration, I believe we should
go with the Google maps route, but at the same time, we should experience
traveling by donkeys or even by foot. This option gives us the best of both
worlds, plus it’s within the budget.

I hope I got
everything explained to you in this letter, and if you have any questions or
suggestions please let me know. Looking forward to this vacation!


Omar Bishr




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