01-Jul-2014 – I decided to spend my 50th birthday at "fifty-fifty". Three possibilities are in the oceans, the fourth is in West Kazakhstan, but west of the Ural-river, therefore geographically it belongs to Europe.
I went there with my mobile home from Austria via Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia. It happens that the European road E50 roughly goes into that direction and part of the trip I spent on it.
After extremely adventurous roads in Russia – not least at one point the whole steppe around me was on fire – the roads in Kazakhstan were new and ok.
Of course they do not lead to that peculiar spot, from A31 you have to go some km on a dirt track to Beysterek and beyond. The last 500 meters or so I walked, guided by my iPad.
I arrived shortly after sunrise, ca. 50 hours ahead of plan and actually celebrated later near E50 in Privolnoje, that's the Russian village where Gorbachev was born.
At 50°N 50°E there is no human being or building in sight (maybe a tower on the horizon?), no agriculture, just plain steppe with sandy soil, dry grass and some thorny plants.
There is no sign that this location is special and I did not leave one. In summer it is hot and I'd rather not go there in a wet season.
But it is not the end of the world. On the dusty way back I came across the lonely hut of a shepherd and it did have a satellite dish. Do not expect mobile Internet coverage though.
Definitively one of the most surprising and interesting corners of Europe. I drove 13000 km and it was worth it.