20-Dec-2003 -- This Saturday I celebrated my 60th birthday with my two sons. They organized a surprise weekend for me. After a nice breakfast with the family we left the village of Best, close to Eindhoven (Netherlands) heading for Belgium. When I realized this would bring us close to the confluence of 51North and 6 East I proposed to go for it. Two of us are experienced confluence hunters. From a visit via internet I remembered the location is easy to find and there is a statue as well.
Driving through the nearby village of Gangelt I suddenly recognized the road. About a year ago my wife was reading the map and guided me by small roads from Germany to the Netherlands. Neither of us realized we were passing by a confluence at only 800 m.
Turning North in Gangelt we drove too fast and had to return, turning right brought us within 20m. The car was parked at a convenient spot without blocking the road which is permitted to be used by local farmers only.
Photograph #2 shows a view to the North. The confluence is 10m behind the wooden pole with my GPS bonded to it. The plastic bag was already there, we even examined it for the possibility of a geocache.
Photograph #3 is looking to the East, up to our approach road. The farm is called "Lindenhof". Linden means in English, in German and in Dutch the same: a brand of tree (Tilia in Latin).
Photograph #4 shows some houses of Gangelt in southern direction. The red-roofed house can be seen in photograph #3 of visit #2, this wide-angle image shows a more panoramic view. In photograph #1 (SW) the statue I mentioned before can be seen.
The picnic table close to the statue enabled us to take photograph #5 with the help of the delayed shutter function of the camera (next time I will bring a tripod). For a short moment we stood empty handed, normally there is a GPS in it. The confluence, according to GPS WGS84 measurements, is 165m behind the statue.
The apparent misplacement is not a misplacement, measured in ED50 the statue is exactly located at the confluence. ED50 means European Datum 1950, based on a Hayford ellipsoid with a = 6 378 388 m , 1/f = 297 and Potsdam as fundamental point. Another statue, found at 52N 7E has about the same offset to the WGS84 confluence.
Former visitors described the statue and all text in detail. Our attention was drawn by the goose (see photograph #6). My sons told me this goose was a sure sign of what was going to happen. We were on our way to an inn called "Moeder de Gans" which refers to "Mother Goose" of the fairy tales. And indeed, at the end of the day we enjoyed some very nice beers (see photograph #7) and a good dinner. For information (in Flemish) see www.moederdegans.com, you can find it at 50.7513° N / 5.876° E = 29km SW, you are strongly advised to call for reservation.
Only 1.5 km South of the confluence, at 50.9864° N / 5.9981° E, near the swimming pool, you can enjoy "Kaffee und Kuchen" which means coffee and cake, the German way.
Image #8 gives some technical information, all data is measured and recorded with the Garmin12. The left side shows our track plotted in purple on a map with 2.5m / pixel. The map is a section of a topographical map from the Netherlands, imported in Fugawi. No corrections are made to the track except for the presentation in terms of color and type of line. Once again the accuracy amazes me. The right side gives the detailed positions as recorded around the confluence and the statue with the globe.
Indeed, we understand the nomination by Malte Uhl (see visit #2) for most-easily-reachable-confluence, but have a look at 52N 5E in the Netherlands (close to were I live). That confluence is at the edge of the road surface, with a convenient meadow entrance to park your car.