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Thread: International Travel

  1. #1
    fruitandextranutcase
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    International Travel

    Question: how would wizarding families get from place to place since the ban on magic carpets? Do you think it would be possible to Floo globally? What about side-along apparition? I get the feeling that brooms would be a little impractical, especially with small children. Could they just travel via Muggle transport?

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

    --Ellie

  2. #2
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Well, they can certainly use a Floo and Portkey to travel around 300 miles (distance from the Ministry(London) to Hogwarts(Scotland) and the Burrow to Hogwarts), so a Floo connection (or Portkey) from London to France should not be a problem. The wizards that were based abroad (like Charlie) certainly made it back to Hogwarts in time for the battle. There had to be some kind of international travel system set up for them to get back in time.

    Unfortunately here is where my geography fails miserably. I'm not sure, for instance, how one could plan a seried of Floo connections that would reach Australia or America (Ohh, USA - across Europe- through Russia and then down to Alaska - is that possible?)

    I agree that broomstick travel would be inadvisable. Possibly wizards would use Muggle transport - I'm sure Arthur would love to fly.

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  3. #3
    Inverarity
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    I don't see Floo networks working internationally. I also doubt that a country like the U.S. would have much of a Floo network, outside of a few East Coast cities.

    This is another area where canon gives us no definite information, but I think magical transportation should probably be assumed to be somewhat limited in range. If wizards could Apparate (or Portkey) between continents, for example, then we'd expect them to have been all over the world long before the Muggle colonization era.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    I don't see Floo networks working internationally. I also doubt that a country like the U.S. would have much of a Floo network, outside of a few East Coast cities.
    Why though? We know they can travel from London to Scotland via Portkey so why can't someone travel from Dover(south coast of England) to Calais ( North coast of France) (distance 23 miles)? I think it entirely feasible that Floo connections could be set up across Europe, and depending on treaties with other countries - why not? The bureaucracy involved would be immense, but Percy would love it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    If wizards could Apparate (or Portkey) between continents, for example, then we'd expect them to have been all over the world long before the Muggle colonization era.
    They are all over the world - Romania, Bulgaria, Brazil, Saudi Arabia to name but a few. The fact that they're not the dominent force in society has precious little to do with transportation and more to do with the fact that Muggle genes seem to be more dominant. The fact is that they were in the UK for centuries but the Muggle world still ran alongside it, so the presence of wizards in the Muggle world doesn't make much difference to progress.

    Plus it's very possible that Apparition and Floo connections are modern inventions, whereas broomsticks and Flying carpets are much older.

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  5. #5
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    Instances where we are lacking an answer based on canon, we are best off using our own imaginations...and we all know that everyone on the site has plenty of that!

    Something I came up with to address this problem was the idea of the International Floo Network. It operates a lot like a Muggle airport, by which I mean lots of lines, lots of delays, lots of transfers, and lots of migrains. It basicly a very large chamber full of Floos that can take you all over the world, but it is a very complex system and you actually have to take a lot of different Floos to get to where you want.

    Think of it as Floo leapfrog. It takes you part of the distance through a lot of different Floo channels until you finally reach your long-distance destination.

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  6. #6
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick
    Why though? We know they can travel from London to Scotland via Portkey so why can't someone travel from Dover(south coast of England) to Calais ( North coast of France) (distance 23 miles)? I think it entirely feasible that Floo connections could be set up across Europe, and depending on treaties with other countries - why not? The bureaucracy involved would be immense, but Percy would love it.
    In the absence of canon, my interpretation is no more valid than anyone else's. However, I imagine a Floo Network to imply that there is some sort of magical network connecting the floos. Not literal tunnels dug through hundreds of miles of earth, of course, but some sort of infrastructure must exist, which would preclude, for example, the Floo Network from working across an ocean (or under the Channel).

    An alternative interpretation is that the Floo Network is more like the Stargate system (if I may cross fandoms for a moment ), in which case wizards can connect any two fireplaces in the world. But I think if that were possible, then Portkeys would be much less necessary, and for that matter, why can't students just take a Floo to Hogwarts? The fact that the Floo Network seems to function as the equivalent of a wizarding mass transit system implies to me that it has the drawbacks of a mass transit system -- limited in range, and requires a lot of infrastructure.

    They are all over the world - Romania, Bulgaria, Brazil, Saudi Arabia to name but a few. The fact that they're not the dominent force in society has precious little to do with transportation and more to do with the fact that Muggle genes seem to be more dominant. The fact is that they were in the UK for centuries but the Muggle world still ran alongside it, so the presence of wizards in the Muggle world doesn't make much difference to progress.
    I meant European wizards. If wizards can Apparate between continents, why weren't European wizards waiting for the first Muggle explorers in the New World? It appears, for the most part, that wizards coexist with the local Muggle culture, and spread where Muggles do. Again, this isn't really attested to in canon, but Rowling's world doesn't seem to depict a multicultural global wizarding society where European and Arab and African wizards were all hanging out together in North America before Columbus arrived.

    Plus it's very possible that Apparition and Floo connections are modern inventions, whereas broomsticks and Flying carpets are much older.
    True, though I think Apparition is likely to have been around for a long time. Even the most ancient legends had wizards and other beings disappearing and reappearing somewhere else.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    I meant European wizards. If wizards can Apparate between continents, why weren't European wizards waiting for the first Muggle explorers in the New World? It appears, for the most part, that wizards coexist with the local Muggle culture, and spread where Muggles do. Again, this isn't really attested to in canon, but Rowling's world doesn't seem to depict a multicultural global wizarding society where European and Arab and African wizards were all hanging out together in North America before Columbus arrived.
    Hm, this is a good point. But if you think about portkeys and apparating, I always assumed that you had to have some idea of where you were going. I'm not sure if it had to be exact knowledge but some sort of idea is necessary, perhaps.

    But in terms of international travel, I think OliveOil_Med's idea is quite good. Another thing I keep on thinking about is the Knight Bus. It seems able to jump around vast distances if my memory serves me right. One minute they are driving around Wales and the next minute Harry is being dropped off at the Leaky Cauldron in London. I wonder if they have some sort of coastal portkeys which can take you to the different continents and then something like the Knight Bus which can take you to other places within that continent? Just a thought.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    But I think if that were possible, then Portkeys would be much less necessary, and for that matter, why can't students just take a Floo to Hogwarts?
    Well, Harry, Ron and Ginny do take the Floo to Hogwarts from the Burrow in HBP, so it is possible that pupils could take the floo from their homes to Hogwarts, but it would take an incredible amount of organiusation and time to get them all to arrive at their allotted times, so the Hogwarts Express is the best option (plus it gives us stories about the train journey ). I don't think there's enough fireplaces at Hogwarts- not like the Ministry which has to take into account that people will be travelling every day to work and so has a floor devoted to fireplaces, whereas Hogwarts only has to deal with students arriving once or twice a year.

    Not literal tunnels dug through hundreds of miles of earth, of course, but some sort of infrastructure must exist, which would preclude, for example, the Floo Network from working across an ocean (or under the Channel).
    Excuse me for being dim, but why does this preclude it working across an ocean, or at least the English Channel which is only 23 miles? The infrastructure is just a network of possible connections, like a wireless system. I think the stargate or teleport system from Star Trek is similar.


    If wizards can Apparate between continents, why weren't European wizards waiting for the first Muggle explorers in the New World?
    Perhaps they were? We know there's an American wizarding society (Salem witches institiute etc etc) but maybe the native Americans' were already there, and thus European wizards weren't needed in the New World.


    Quote Originally Posted by Olive Oil Med
    It basicly a very large chamber full of Floos that can take you all over the world, but it is a very complex system and you actually have to take a lot of different Floos to get to where you want.
    I think this is a very viable theory. Wizards and wiches do use the Floo network to get to the Ministry every day. And as I said earlier, Percy would be in his element sorting out all the times people needed to take connections.

    Moving on, though, perhaps the Knight Bus works in a similar way. That can jump from Surrey to Wales really quickly. Now, it travels on roads, so channel hopping is probably out, but perhaps there's a Knight Boat (Oh, this reminds me of the Simpsons now - there's always a canal... or a fjord.)


    Heads off to bed and hopes she doesn't dream of Floo networks.

    Carole

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  9. #9
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by the opaleye
    Hm, this is a good point. But if you think about portkeys and apparating, I always assumed that you had to have some idea of where you were going. I'm not sure if it had to be exact knowledge but some sort of idea is necessary, perhaps.
    Yup, that's a viable theory (and is the basis for limiting teleportation in a lot of games and science fiction novels): you have to know where you're going. So a European wizard who's heard of this "New World" can't just say, "That sounds interesting, I think I'll Apparate there and check it out."

    So, that would mean that the first European wizards in the New World would have to come over on ships, along with Muggle colonists or explorers.

    However, if intercontinental Apparition is possible, then once a wizard has been to the New World, he can Apparate back, then bring more wizards with him via Side-Along Apparition, and pretty soon, wizards are hopping continents freely.

    Is this possible? Again, Rowling doesn't tell us. But it's pretty obvious that long-distance teleportation would have dramatic effects on any society. The European wizarding world seems quite insular -- the only time we see foreign wizards is during the Quidditch World Cup or the Triwizard Tournament or other international events, and it's clear that they're considered quite foreign.

    A lot of words come to mind when describing Rowling's wizarding society, but "cosmopolitan" is definitely not one of them. Thus, if wizards were able to Floo or Apparate or Portkey between countries and continents readily, I don't see how their society could avoid being more cosmopolitan. Look how rapidly globalization has affected the real world, once air travel became relatively cheap and convenient.

    So, I draw my conclusions based more on what's absent in the books, rather than what's present. And since we only ever see the British wizarding world (with hints of mainland European society), maybe British wizards are just unusually provincial. However, I stand by my theory that there are significant obstacles to international magical travel.

  10. #10
    ahattab33
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    Just a note to add here: there was a lot of discussion in a previous Remus Reflection's topic on Magical Transportation here if anyone wants to browse it as a reference.

    ~Amanda

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