Travel Miscellany

The Two-Metre Rule

The Two-Metre Rule

Second guessing the new parameters for life post-lockdown has become something of a national obsession. But whatever the next changes will be, there's one regulation that we just know will stay in place - the two-metre social distancing rule. Now, depending on your height you could just stretch your arms out to the sides, or take two strides, as a very rough approximation of two metres, but where's the tenuous travel-related analogy in that? Instead, here's our whistle-stop tour of lengths worldwide so you can calibrate to that magic two metre mark (or 6.65ft for us Brits not yet entirely au fait with this metric malarkey)...




1.75m - A Brazilian Surf Dude's Board

Anyone who thinks they're a dab hand at surfing might want to avoid visiting Brazil's Costa Verde. Every one of the many, many beautiful jungle-backed beaches along this wild stretch of coastline between Rio and Sao Paolo sports its own pod of absurdly skilful surfers on their tiny 1.75m surfboards. Just to rub it in, most don't even bother with a leash (which attaches the board to your ankle) because they never fall off.


1.80m - Black Diamond Helio Skis

Thanks for the immutable law of latent demand, we predict (the weather gods willing) that this coming ski season in the Alps might be one of the most popular in years. This winter, after weeks in lockdown and the phased relaxation of travel restrictions the call of the off-piste is likely to draw powderhounds who will gladly strap on their skis and seek out the finest backwoods skiing in the Austrian Alps and Italy's Dolomites.


1.90m - The Length of an Adult Female Giraffe's Legs

Giraffes give birth standing up, which means baby giraffes literally come down to Earth with a bump. Despite that, given the inherently dangerous nature of the neighbourhood into which the baby has dropped, they are on their feet and walking within 30 minutes.




2.00m Exactly - The Maximum Depth on a Bubblemaker Try Dive

Thanks to those clever peeps at PADI and their ingenious Bubblemaker introductory dives, dedicated divers around the world can introduce their children to underwater wonders from as early as the age of eight. Your child uses the instructor's spare regulator (so need to wear cumbersome kit) and descends to a maximum depth of that magic two metres. While they're down there, they might see a passing adult leatherback turtle, another member of the two-metre club.




2.03m - The Venus de Milo

Weaving together some of our all-time favourite European destinations is the larger than life-size (unless she was an actual giantess) Venus de Milo marble statue. Dating from around 100 BC, she was discovered on the island of Milos in Greece, is named after the Roman goddess Venus (although technically she is her Greek equivalent Aphrodite), and now resides in the Louvre in Paris. She's also one of the most exquisite of all examples of art from the age of antiquity.


2.10m - The Wingspan of a Bald Eagle

The First Nations inhabitants of beautifully wild British Columbia have long had a close affinity with the animals that share their home. This respect for nature seems to have rubbed off on the wider population too because there are signs popping up across the province showing that the wingspan of the resident bald eagle is a pretty good approximation of two metres, albeit a little on the long side.


2.20m - The Alleyways of Fez

The evocative Moroccan city of Fez is a medieval marvel whose medina (old town) is considered the largest car-free urban area in the world. The reason for the admirable absence of cars is that most of the 9,000 (not a typo) alleyways in the medina are not much wider than the two-metre mark and often even narrower. When you visit, we highly recommend ditching the map and getting unashamedly lost in the labyrinth. You will eventually emerge, having haggled, sampled sensational streetfood and experienced an atmosphere pretty much unchanged in eight centuries.


2.40m - The Highest Point in the Maldives

Several of our favourite properties in the Maldives - from Soneva Fushi to Six Senses Laamu - have long had an admirable attitude to sustainable travel, including creating their own drinking water (Soneva Fushi), banning single-use plastics (Six Senses Laamu) and reef restoration programmes (both). Small wonder when the highest point in this nation of islands is so, well, not very high.


So there you have it, you need to stay 0.985 Venus de Milos away from everybody else...