14-Sep-2008 -- On the day before, my colleagues and I had travelled from Estonia to Riga. On our way we stopped by at 59°N 25°E. We spend the night in a hotel in Riga and agreed to meet at 9 am for breakfast. This gave me enough time to make a quick early-morning visit to this confluence in just 8 km distance (beeline).
I got up at 6 am and left the hotel 10 minutes later. Only equipped with minimum requirements for a successful visit - camera and GPS – I simply started running towards the confluence. It was still dark at the beginning, but as I left the urban area of Riga the break of dawn begun. I followed the road Kleistu iela up to a turn off in 1.7 km distance. Then I followed forest tracks until I saw the sign-post. In the four cardinal directions is printed:
- A Rīgas Paralēle (Astrum = East)
- 24° 00’ 00,0” D (Dienvid = South)
- 57° 00’ 00,0” R (Rietum = West)
- Z Rīgas Meridiāns (Ziemel = North)
It appears a little overbearing to me to call these grid lines the “Riga Meridian” and the “Riga Parallel” as there are other places along this latitude or longitude. However, Riga can be proud to have a confluence within its city-limits – not many cities share this property.
At the sign, my GPS receiver displayed a distance of 3 m to the confluence. Taking into account that the confluence is on a steep slope in a dense forest, which degrades the GPS accuracy to more than 10 m, this accordance is quite good.
Due to the darkness in the forest (the sun was just about to rise), I used a flash to take a picture of the GPS reading. At least the zeros came out well.
After documentation of the confluence, I ran back to Riga city and reached the hotel right in time to have a shower and sit at the breakfast table at 9:05 am.
This is my 200th unique visit – thereby I entered a new stage. One can be categorized as follows:
- up to 5 confluence visits: the curious guest
- up to 20 confluence visits: the passionate visitor
- up to 100 confluence visits: the addicted seeker
- up to 200 confluence visits: the obsessed hunter
Everything beyond 200 confluence visits is an indication of the serious sickness “Confluenza” that can lead to divorce. It is a male disorder where the focus in life is shifted to reaching integer-valued places. The symptoms are: secret nocturnal recharging of batteries for the GPS and camera. Inability to leave these two devices. Continuously finding excuses for deviating family, co-workers and friends to confluences.
CP visit details:
- Distance to a road: 1.7 km
- Distance to a track: 12 m
- Distance to houses: 600 m
- Time (distance) for the hike from Riga: 1 hour (8.2 km)
- Time at the CP: 7:07 a.m.
- Measured height: 25 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 7 m
- Topography: the general area is flat, but the exact location is on a steep slope up a sand dune.
- Vegetation: pine forest, moss at the ground
- Weather: sunny, 9° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: Located exactly in-between the Gulf of Riga (3 km) and the City of Riga. Deep in the forests on a steep dune slope.
- Given Name: The Riga Parallel and Riga Meridian Confluence