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Thread: International Travel

  1. #11
    fruitandextranutcase
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    Wow. Lots of ideas here! This is turning out to be a rather interesting discussion, I must say.

    Originally posted by Inverarity:
    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).
    Originally posted by Equinox Chick:
    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.
    Hmm. I don't see the problem with Floo-ing over the Channel - after all, Harry and the Weasleys Flooed to Hogwarts (in Scotland) from the Burrow (anyone know where Ottery St. Catchpole is? I'm going to say the Midlands), which is feasibly considerably more distance than over the Channel. I just wonder whether the water might break up the connection. In any case, I don't think that Flooing from England to, say, Japan is feasible without a number of stops. There's just too much ground - not to mention sea - to cover.

    Overseas Apparition, on the other hand, is something I can see working - just as long as you know exactly where you're going (as the opaleye pointed out). One of the "three D's" is Destination, isn't it? Anyway, in the Middle Ages, when Columbus and Marco Polo and all of their chums were gallivanting across the ocean, maybe the idea of Apparition just wasn't very evolved yet. Maybe there wasn't a direct term for it, and wizards didn't know the exact method. Furthermore, even today, splinching yourself whilst Apparating internationally would not be fun, or easy to sort out. (Imagine Apparating to India and finding out that you've left a leg in Bristol!)

    Keep the ideas coming, they're really helpful!

    --Ellie

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruitandextranutcase

    Anyone know where Ottery St. Catchpole is? I'm going to say the Midlands.
    Ottery St Catchpole is in Devon. Near the River Otter.

    I like Molly's idea about the Floo Network, but what about Portkeys? They are, afterall, used in getting everyone to the Quidditch World Cup, so I can see something along the lines that Molly suggested, but using Portkeys instead. Fudge harps on about unauthorised Portkeys in OoTP, so perhaps you can apply to the Ministry for one if you want to go on holiday, and they set one up for you.

    I doubt that Apparation would be used as someone says in GoF (I think) that it becomes unreliable over long distances, so for long distance international travel, I think that would be out. However, Harry and co. Apparate all over the country in DH which must amount to leaping distances totalling hundreds of miles, therefore I think it would be possible to Apparate across the Channel, or over to Ireland, say.

    There could also be something like the Hogwarts Express over Europe, or the Durmstrang ship and the Beauxbatons carriage. I think that seeing as we know so little about long distance travel, you can use your imagination with it.

    Sarah x


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  3. #13
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    For long-distance travel, like London to New York or other transoceanic or transcontinental journeys, I think Portkeys would be the best option, since there are no range limitations to Portkeys as they are described in the books. Portkeys do not require any sort of complicated network like the Floo - all a Portkey needs is a skilled wizard or witch who can accurately "program" the object to go where it is supposed to go at the right time. With this in mind, there would probably be some kind of Portkey station (like an airport), where specially trained wizards/witches make Portkeys to requested destinations for exorbitant prices. I think this is more likely than having wizards take Muggle transportation, since I cannot imagine an ordinary, Muggleness-illiterate wizard or witch getting through an airport, much less flying on the plane.

    But I have a question about Portkeys and Apparation. Do these methods of transportation transport you across physical space, or do these methods remove you from the physical world and take you to your destination via a detached, parallel plane of some sort? Judging by how you can Apparate into buildings, I would argue that you do not zoom through physical space (since if you did, you would smash through a whole bunch of walls), but I'd like to hear what you think.

    And if we assume that Portkeys and Apparation operate via sending passengers through some sort parallel plane or other dimension or something like that, do you think it is possible for these methods of transportation to function across a vacuum? For example, if we optimistically assume that in say, 500 years, humans have terraformed and colonised Mars, would it be possible for wizards to make a Mars-Earth Portkey?

    This leads me to another question. Faster-than-light travel is impossible since it would break quite a few laws of physics, but as we well know, magic does not seem to obey the fundamental laws of Muggle science. If we ignore for the moment that the wizarding world is reclusive and would probably never dabble in interstellar travel, do you think spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light speeds using magic? Could an entire spaceship be made into one big Portkey, to quickly teleport from one planet or even star system to another?

    Tim the Enchanter

  4. #14
    psijupiter
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    Interesting ideas Tim! I think if you assume that apparition and port keys transfer you through some sort of alternative level of reality, then it is likely that similar methods could be used for interstellar travel. I wonder if there would be some time delay once you started crossing larger distances. Apparition might seem instantaneous if you are only travelling across the globe, but perhaps with interstellar distances it does take time. We do know that port keys seem to take some time, long enough for the user to register the experience, so it's possible that they take longer for larger distances.

    I wonder whether you would ever develop a partkey large enough to transport an entire spaceship, but perhaps individuals and small amounts of cargo could be transported safely. This would mean any exploration would have to be done via more time consuming methods!

  5. #15
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    I also feel like some witches and wizards, still have an adventurous streak in them would still want to fly their brooms on cross-country trips.

    I feel like this is something Charlie Weasley would want to do.

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by psijupiter
    Interesting ideas Tim! I think if you assume that apparition and port keys transfer you through some sort of alternative level of reality, then it is likely that similar methods could be used for interstellar travel. I wonder if there would be some time delay once you started crossing larger distances. Apparition might seem instantaneous if you are only travelling across the globe, but perhaps with interstellar distances it does take time. We do know that port keys seem to take some time, long enough for the user to register the experience, so it's possible that they take longer for larger distances.

    I wonder whether you would ever develop a partkey large enough to transport an entire spaceship, but perhaps individuals and small amounts of cargo could be transported safely. This would mean any exploration would have to be done via more time consuming methods!
    About using Portkeys for space travel (if they are feasible), I not sure if it would be faster than light, but I am quite certain that it would be a lot faster than reaction drives. But then again, if a Portkey does indeed travel by phasing in and out of an alternate plane of existence, then distances could theoretically be meaningless - perhaps travelling by Portkey takes the exact same amount of time regardless of destination, since all it does is just step into another dimension and step out somewhere else. Random thoughts...

    Anyway, I've had a plot bunny about space-faring wizards in the far future, so you can see I've given this topic a little bit of thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I also feel like some witches and wizards, still have an adventurous streak in them would still want to fly their brooms on cross-country trips.

    I feel like this is something Charlie Weasley would want to do.
    For regular commuting, I think flying is too slow and inconvenient for wizarding standards (though a Muggle like me would leap at the opportunity). However, for non-regular trips, I think some wizards would enjoy taking a long broom journey.

    Tim the Enchanter

  7. #17
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    How far do you think it is possible for a person to travel by means of Apparation? Do you think it would be possible for a person to travel across countries as long as they had a very clear picture of where they were going?

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  8. #18
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    I think it would be veeeeeery uncomfortable to apparate a long distance. We know from the books that it isn't a pleasant experience no matter how far you are travelling. So, perhaps it is possible (and a clear picture of where you are going would be preferable since splinching over a long distance would be horrid) but I think wizards would try other forms of transport before resorting to apparition over long distances.

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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    How far do you think it is possible for a person to travel by means of Apparation? Do you think it would be possible for a person to travel across countries as long as they had a very clear picture of where they were going?
    I think that Apparation has, at least theoretically, unlimited range. However, with increased range comes increased discomfort and chance of Splinching, so while Apparating from Britain to China is possible, you have a 99% chance of getting ripped to pieces and dying.

    A more skilled wizard with a clear picture of the destination can reduce the risk of Splinching, but long-distance travel will still be a difficult and dangerous affair.

    Instead of making one big Apparation jump from Britain to China, a wizard who wants to Apparate should take it in stages with smaller jumps. For instance, it would be a better idea to Apparate to France, then to Germany, then to Poland, and keep going east until you hit wherever you want to be in China.

    Or you can just take a Portkey.

    Those are just my thoughts.

    Tim the Enchanter

  10. #20
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    So, I suppose Apparation would be possible, it would just be extremely risky. Nope, wouldn't work out for my story then.

    I suppose people would just assune not use Apparation for long-distance trips then. Then again, it seems like most wizards in the Harry Potter books don't venture very far from where they were born, with a few great exceptions.

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