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the Degree Confluence Project
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Germany : Niedersachsen

2.0 km (1.3 miles) SSW of Munster-Alvern, Niedersachsen, Germany
Approx. altitude: 86 m (282 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 53°S 170°W

Accuracy: 6 m (19 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View east #3: View south #4: View west on the slope with the exact spot #5: GPS display #6: The exact confluence spot is a few metres behind me on the steep slope #7: The road K36 passing less than 10 m from the Confluence. The point is approx. in the picture's centre, down the slope and among the trees

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  53°N 10°E (visit #6)  

#1: View north

(visited by Gerhard Kaufmann)

28-Apr-2007 -- I was still on my way to Hamburg, and after having visited 52N 10E in southern Niedersachsen, there was still one more Confluence right close to the autobahn, so that its visit wouldn't delay me much. I passed Hildesheim and Hannover, and after a while I reached the region south of Hamburg that is known as the Lüneburger Heide (heathland). I left the autobahn at the exit Soltau/Munster, only about 5 km west of the Confluence.

A straight road brought me closer to the point, and after a turn right on another road I was less than 2 km from it. I knew from the map that this road would pass very close to the Confluence. At first it ran through farmland, then it entered a forest. Soon afterwards the road began to rise over the surrounding land on a causeway, until it had gained enough elevation to pass over a railroad line in a wide-swung curve. Only about 100 m after passing over the railroad, my GPS receiver's arrow swung to my left and signalized the Confluence to be only 10 m beside the road. Here the road was framed on both sides by guard railing, so I didn't like to park the car here, but continued along the road a little farther. Just at the end of the causeway, when the road was at the level of the surrounding land again, there was the entrance to a forest road to the left, and here I parked the car. I was only 300 m south of the Confluence now. Since leaving from 52N 10E about 1:20 h earlier, I had driven 135 km.

I grabbed all my equipment and started walking towards the Confluence, up the causeway again. Although there was not a lot of traffic on this road, one or two other cars passed by. I soon had reached the point of closest approach and saw that the Confluence obviously was down the eastern slope of the road's causeway, just among the first trees. Carefully, I scrambled down the slope, but as soon as I was among the trees (pines, firs, and birches), two things happened: I lost a stable GPS reception, so that I had to start an extended 'confluence dance', always a couple of metres left and right and up and down on the steep slope. Second, my appearance caused a real stir among hundreds and hundreds of mosquitoes. I have to mention that the weather was extraordinarily fine since several weeks, which is absolutely not usual in April, and also today I registered outside temperatures between 25 and 30°C all along my way. Now in late afternoon, these annoying beasts were uber-frantic for not missing their unexpected 5 o'clock bite-to-eat, in a sort of literal sense.

Oh dear, I must have given a truly insane sight for every unsuspecting observer: crawling erratically up and down the slope under the trees, staring at some weird gadget, pulling up a camera for a moment, pointing it at the gadget, and then letting it drop again while uttering expletives, and every now and then swinging both arms furiously around my head and slapping on my arms. Luckily for me that there was no one to watch this spectacle!

After quite a while I succeeded in photographing an all-zeroes display on the GPS receiver. It was now half past 5 p.m., the EPE was fluctuating between values of 6 m and 12 m, and the indicated altitude was around 90 m. It would have been difficult to take the pictures of the cardinal directions on the slope and the results would have been rather poor, so I finally stepped down towards the bottom of the slope, here was a soggy ditch to jump over (most probably the origin of the mosquitoes), then I stood on a forest road. Here I took the pictures, still having to fend off the mosquitoes, and then fled up to the road again, where they did not pursue me any longer.

I must say that I was kind of disappointed of this Confluence, as it had nearly naught to offer: no views and what is even worse, not even a "confluence mood", which I regard as an important constituent of the success when having located such an elusive spot. But one has to accept such outcomes, too.

At around 6 p.m. I continued my way to Hamburg, where I arrived about an hour later. The next day, I passed an enjoyable forenoon promenading along the Alster lake with a friend, in the afternoon I gave the lecture I had been invited to, and in the evening I returned to my hometown, where I arrived again at 11:30 p.m.


 All pictures
#1: View north
#2: View east
#3: View south
#4: View west on the slope with the exact spot
#5: GPS display
#6: The exact confluence spot is a few metres behind me on the steep slope
#7: The road K36 passing less than 10 m from the Confluence. The point is approx. in the picture's centre, down the slope and among the trees
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)