28-Aug-2004 -- During our 2-week-vacation in a cottage in Øster Sømarken I pressed the wrong button on my car's radio-navigation system so the display showed my actual position instead of the destination menu. Surprisingly, the coordinates shown were very close to the integer position of 55E/15N.
Since I had read about the Degree Confluence Project just 2 days before, I was very excited about this coincidence and was very eager to get to the exact spot as soon as possible.
So I drove in different directions to get closer but unfortunately before getting to it I had to exit my car at the end of the road at a parking lot of a sightseeing spot (an old mill) leaving my built-in GPS behind.
I approached the "correct" location by walking in the estimated direction for the estimated distance when I crossed a trail which turned out to have its origin at the parking lot! So I got back in the car and used my 4WD feature (I got that new car just one week before!) to steer on the trail until ...yes...really... my GPS locked in to 55,00,00N / 15,00,00E at an altitude of 10 meters!
The next day all of our vacationers group joined the re-visit of that special place. As stated by earlier visitors we found an official landmark on the confluence about 150 meters south south west of the GPS-spot featuring an engraved rock in the ground and a descriptive panel nearby. Actually the guys of visit#1 took their group picture at that "old" landmark.
So I wonder who is correct: the "classic" surveyors putting up the landmark years ago or the "modern" GPS satellites?
Interestingly, the GPS-spot is kind of landmarked, too. However, this is just by a small wooden pole with a yellow painted top looming out of the ground for about 25cm with nothing else to indicate its meaning. But what else should such a little pole denominate standing somewhere on a large meadow just where my GPS shows "all zeroes"? Our dog tried to use it as a retreiving toy but with no luck.
The group celebrated on both spots and we enjoyed the great view on the Baltic Sea from both locations for quite some time before we left with the feeling of having visited a very special place and having been exactly on Central European Time (15N is the CET reference longitude degree).
This was my first visit to a degree confluence but definitely not my last!
Why? Because I completely agree with the remarks of Michael Carl (visitor#4 of 47°N 13°E in Austria:
"You find the spot turning out to be complete different to all others you've visited before.... /
Every tree, bush, stone, flower, animal is turning its head toward you /
It's almost like nature is starting to talk to you again /
Suddenly, as you let the scene getting access to your mind, you realize nature never stopped to talk, you just didn't listen anymore /
And now something warm and cosy is accessing your soul and your heart /
You've already located the spot some minutes ago, but now you've found it ... "
See you at the next degree confluence,