07-May-2001 -- Warm in the afterglow of having found the confluence of N50 E020, we pointed our Volkswagen Passat westwards, for the Czech Republic. It had been a very wet weekend in Poland and we decided to head back to Prague where we hoped the weather would be better.
The town of Oswiecim is better known in the west by it's German name - Auschwitz. Debra and I had visited there before, and decided to drive past the chilling Auschwitz-Birkenau site on our route back to the Czech Republic as it was not too far off of our route. The death camp was, and remains, a blood-curdling place, and we resumed our journey feeling just a little depressed. I had a great idea to cheer us up - the confluence of N50 E019 was close by!!
Two confluences in one day seemed a little extravagant, but what the hell, we were there and had time to kill. From Oswiecim we travelled through Brzeszcze and Miedzna and then at the Pszczyna junction, turned north on the E75. A few kilometres down the road we turned off to the right and into the village of Jankowice.
We followed the GPS into a street called Zlote Lany. The road curved to the left and the confluence seemed to be in the driveway of the property at number 99. Hmmm!! This was going to be tricky as there was a barking dog on a chain! The grandma of the house looked bemused as I paced up and down outside their gate peering into my GPS while Debra sat in the car avoiding the drizzle. Soon her son (or son in law; a farmer) had joined her, and I plucked up the courage to call them over. Not speaking any Polish (and they speaking no English, German or Dutch) it was quite difficult for me to explain what exactly I was trying to do! Nevertheless, I managed to convince them to let me through the gate and head down the driveway!
By this time Debra had joined me, as had the farmer's wife and their son. She and I also had no common language, but the young son was apparently able to speak simple English. Unfortunately he was overcome with embarrassment and quickly disappeared into the house, keeping a low profile for the rest of our stay!
As I moved down the driveway towards the barn, the GPS reading got better and better, and I got two great shots of it reading N49°59'58.3" E019°00'00.0" and N49°59'59.7" E018°59'59.8". However, I was not satisfied with this and edged closer to the-uuuh-very -rural-smelling barn! Eventually I was right against the barn door and could go no further. I propped the GPS up against the door and the final reading was N49°59'59.9" E019°00'00.0".
I quickly shot a picture and waited a while for the GPS to come to a better conclusion, but that never happened - this is the best reading achievable. Unfortunately my photo of the GPS is somewhat out of focus - in my excitement and haste, I obviously did not give my Fujifilm FinePix 4700 the time it needed to focus. I apologise for the poor shot, but have better pictures of the other readings if anyone's interested!
Eventually Debra and I managed to explain the significance of the barn door to the wife of the farmer, and she was suitably amused. The farmer himself was utterly confused, and refused to have his photo taken on the spot! Grandma and the farmer's son peered down at us through the curtains on the first floor of the farm house. I felt that we were intruding and (although I would have liked to have stayed on and tried to get a 100% reading) decided to leave. We thanked the farmer's wife, apologised for the intrusion, smiled at the barking dog, and made our way back to the car.
Our sixth confluence had been different, and a little frustrating.