18-Mar-2001 -- When I read about two weeks ago in the German computer magazine CT' about the confluence project, I thought
"whow, this is a really interesting thing". To my surprise I found out that there still was the confluence 51 N 9 E not
even attempted only about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away from the suburb near Frankfurt where I live.
Last Sunday was one of the typical days of this winter: You expect rain any minute and prepare to stay at home all the
day, but suddenly it's almost noon and the rain does not show any intention to come down.Too late for any proper
hillwalking or cycling, I decided to bag this confluence. I took my bike, got on the train and went to the town of
Kirchhain near Marburg. There I started my not very laborious ascent to the confluence - about 210 meters (650 feet)
uphill, stretching over 24 kilometers (15 miles), mostly on a separate, well-tended bicycle trail along the Wohra river.
Soon I reached the forest where the confluence was hidden somewhere. I was curious: Had maybe somebody attempted this
confluence during the days before? Would I also find wooden beams with an inscription as at 50N 9E? But first I had to find
the trail that left the forest road and lead near the confluence. Eventually I found it, but it wasn't a trail anymore,
mostly overgrown and blocked by dead trees. But I found another trail, not indicated in my topographic map, but according
to my GPS receiver and my compass leading directly to the confluence. I followed this trail, and just when I got the
feeling that this trail was only used by boars, I came onto a clearing. I thought, oh, this was easy, but then my GPS
receiver told me to continue another 100 meters. Unfortunately the clearing ended after 70 meters and I stood before a
plantation of very young beeches in very tight order. Hm. I left my bike and went along the front of the trees, holding my
GPS high into the air and hoping that it had only acquired a bad signal, but I was wrong and the confluence was to be found
about 15 meters inside the plantation. I crawled into the forest, at the same time holding the GPS as high as possible, and
soon found a small clearing about 3 meters by 3 meters. There my GPS indicated that I was only about three to five meters
from the confluence (for more convenience I had switched the display format to UTM instead of deg min sec). Nothing
indicated that other visitors had been there before, but almost certainly the clearing was not there by coincidence.
Considering the fact that most German topographic maps are still tailored after Potsdam datum (not WGS 84), I found this
But I had not time to think about it very long. I looked at the sky and knew instanctly that I better took my pictures
before it began to rain. Well, I didn't make is - it just when I started taking pictures, it began to pour down in a nasty
way. So please excuse the poor quality of my photographs. Anyway the surroundings were not the kind of landscape a a
painter might have selected as his favourite subject.
Extremely difficult was photographing myself. My camera has a timer, but I didn't have a tripod and there was no decent
tree trunk to be seen where I could have put the camera. In the end I hung it on a branch which wasn't not the best of all
ideas considering the wind. Well, the picture displayed on this website is not the worst but the best. Before I left I
erected a miniature cairn.
To give a better impression of the area, I took a picture of the view from the road beneath the forest. Another picture
shows part of the main street of the village of Herbelhausen, the nearest populated place.
About two hours later I was sitting on the train again, and to be honest, I was glad, since the rain was getting worse
all the time.