IT was not exactly the same as rocker Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday movie outing to Greece as Karl Christiansen made his way in an alternative fashion to Athens... his wasn’t a fictional trip on a bus for the cinema, his was a pilgrimage on foot to the Greek capital for charity – all 2,000 miles of it.

And the Sunningdale man raised £3,500 for Cancer Research UK and Chance For Childhood...and he’s still fundraising.

Mr Christiansen, a naturalised American with dual nationality, 66, and a retired teacher from the International School in Thorpe, Surrey, wanted to give something back to a society he loves.

Given he met wife Caroline there in 1980 and that his daughter Sophie, 30, is an eight-time paralympian medal winner in four Paralympics, his mind was set on this enormous task.

He set off from his home on April 22, from Sunningdale to Windsor castle – three days after Sophie was presented with her CBE at Buckingham Palace from Prince William – and from then on to Staines, Richmond, London, Canterbury and the Dover ferry to Calais from where he took the medieval Via Francigena pilgrimage route through France, through the St Bernard’s Pass into the Italian Aoster Valley, Tuscany, Sienna, Rome, down to Bari on the south Italian coast and another ferry to Patras before the walk to Athens.

He said: “It was life-changing and a challenge, but one that I enjoyed although it was tough.

“I wild camped and stayed in hostels, monasteries, B and Bs and hotels along the way, whatever I could. I also had to make sure I had all my food ready in advance, so sometimes I had to forage or look for shops along the way.”

Mr Christiansen said he chose to the two charities because of family issues. Mrs Christiansen battled and beat bowel cancer 24 years ago.

Sophie, who battled difficult conditions from birth, is a Team GB paralympic equestrian competitor.

You can donate to Mr Christiansen’s cause through virginmoneygiving, typing in his name and looking for Windsor Athens Walk.