Los Tres Reyes Magos en camellos

How would the Magi distribute gifts if they lost their camels?

05 of January of 2024

There is one night in the year when children in many parts of the world find it difficult to get to sleep. 365 days waiting for them to arrive! The youngest write a letter asking them for the gifts they want, and they are so excited that night that they even believe they can hear their footsteps in the living room.

If you’ve read the title, you already know who we are talking about: the Three Wise Men from the East. For those who don’t know this magical tradition, it is celebrated every year on January 6 in many countries around the world, especially those of Christian tradition. It commemorates the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus after his birth and offer him gold, frankincense and myrrh, very precious gifts at that time.

Although the story of the Magi is mentioned in the Bible, there are many theories about who these three wise men really were. Some believe they were astronomers, while others believe they were magicians or kings of Eastern lands. What we do know is that their visit to the baby Jesus was a very important event for Christian history, and that now the youngest members of the family are also very excited about their visit.

Every year on January 6 in the morning, children wake up early to see if the Three Kings have left them a gift, if they have behaved well, or if, on the other hand, they have been given some coal because they have been a bit naughty. According to tradition, shoes or boots must be left under the Christmas tree or next to the bedroom door the previous night, so that the Three Kings will know where to leave the gifts. Another deeply rooted custom is for families to prepare a small meal with food and drink, so that the Kings and their camels can rest a bit during their travels. From milk with biscuits or sweets for the Kings, to fresh water and tangerines for the camels, each home has its own tradition to prepare the children for bed, thinking about the magic that will take place in their home in the night.

It is also customary to hold a Three Kings parade the night before they arrive. Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar, the names traditionally given to the three Magi, ride through the streets of the city on camels, accompanied by other characters such as royal pages, in an event that is truly exciting for everyone. During the parade, the Kings throw sweets and small gifts to the delighted children who are waiting in the streets.

But… what would happen if this year the camels decided they wanted a vacation and would not take the Kings to their destinations? What would be the fastest and most efficient route for them to deliver gifts on time to all the children waiting for their arrival?

The Magi by plane

If the Kings from the East have to travel around the world, the most suitable means of transport would be a plane. Ideally, they should fly to cities with good transport networks, so they could split up once they land. Their route could start at Dalaman airport in Turkey.

This airport is in a strategic position, at the mid-point of Europe and Asia. From here, the Three Kings can take a direct flight to Madrid. Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport is the largest in Spain and is just a 20-minute drive from the center of Madrid. The next stop on the Three Kings’ route could be Aberdeen airport in Scotland. Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland and is known for its fishing port and oil industry. From here, the Three Kings could distribute gifts throughout Scotland and northern England.

But what happens if they have to cross the pond? Another strategic stop would be New York. From Aberdeen, the Three Kings can fly directly to New York, which is on the east coast of the United States. JFK airport is one of the largest in the world and is New York’s main airport. From here, the Three Kings could distribute gifts throughout North America, Central America and South America.

How can the Three Kings move around the city?

However, after landing, the Kings have to plan their itinerary carefully, depending on the area they are in. In areas with a large public transport network, such as Madrid, Sydney or London, would it be a good idea to take the subway?

The answer is yes: in these cities there are public transport routes that could be very useful for the Three Kings. For example, in London they could use the Jubilee underground line to travel quickly from Heathrow Airport to the city center, where the main shopping areas are located, and work out the final details before starting to deliver presents.

In Madrid, they could use metro line 8 to go from Adolfo Suarez Airport to the city center, and in Sydney they could use the T4 train line to travel from the airport to the center.

How do you deliver gifts in remote areas?

In mountainous or rural areas that are difficult to access such as Scotland, the Three Wise Men can consider the option of adopting technological advances and using drones to distribute gifts. Drones are unmanned aircraft that can be controlled remotely. In recent years their use has been popularized in different fields, such as agriculture, security and logistics. In the latter, their use for delivering packages has become an increasingly viable option. In fact, there is a project called CAELUS (Care & Equity-Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland), led by AGS (Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton) airports, which has been developing drone landing stations in Scotland, as the infrastructure is vital for delivery by drones to work.

The Magi by car

Finally, in countries with a good road infrastructure, the car would be a viable option. A good example would be the United States: from JFK Airport the Three Kings have several routes available. Highways such as the LBJ in Dallas, which connects this city with Fort Worth, would enable them to reach important cities in Texas such as Houston, San Antonio and Austin. This road is also very wide, with several lanes, making it ideal for driving and distributing gifts efficiently. Another excellent highway is the I-66 in Virginia. This road connects Washington D.C. to Front Royal and is one of the most important in the state.

And, as soon as they reach the north, they can travel across Canada on the 407. This highway is one of the most important in Ontario and connects Toronto to the cities of Hamilton and Burlington. It has a number of interchanges, making it ideal for distributing gifts quickly and efficiently.

We don’t want anyone to be left without gifts and hope the Three Kings never have any setbacks, but, if one day the camels decide to take a break, don’t panic. We have a large infrastructure network always prepared to offer solutions to complex problems and, on this occasion, we will also be able to save the day. The young and the not so young can sleep peacefully, knowing that the Magi have a wealth of options to deliver their gifts on time, whatever happens. It won’t be so magical, but it will certainly be more efficient, and slightly more comfortable than traveling on the back of a camel.

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