24-Mar-2001 -- INTRO -- We - the team of the Explorer Magazin - are always looking for new interesting and challenging ideas concerning travelling, navigation, outdoor etc., that are worth to be reported on. A few weeks ago we found the confluence project in the internet and it took only a minute until we studied the maps of our environs to find out near confluences. And as you can see (in the map to the left) the 49th northern latitude is the "Bavarian Equator" and we decided to visit the 3 confluences on this equator within one weekend trip.
But first let us tell something about the "Bavarian Equator". This equator really exists in the mind and history of the people. The Romans built here the famous "Raetian Limes" and a part of it follows the 49th northern latitude approximately between 11°E and 13°E.
Nowadays it is called "Weisswurscht Aequator" (translated: "white sausage equator") and as a latitude is not visible in the landscape, they used the river Danube (Donau) as equator ;-), which flows more or less parallel to 49°N. In the "southern hemisphere" of Bavaria, there is it usual to eat Weisswurscht before noon, a tasty boiled white veal sausage that is served with sweet mustard and pretzel. In the "northern hemisphere" the people prefer small pork sausages roasted on a charcoal grill served with hot mustard, dark bread or sauerkraut and you can eat them from morning to evening.
But the equator is not only a border concerning the habitudes of making and eating sausages, it is also the border between the Bavarians and the Franken, two tribes, that did not always live in harmony and never, never tell a Franke that he is a Bavarian!
But as sausages alone are not enough to nourish real men (and women) you find on both sides of the Bavarian Equator a lot of inns and monasteries with an own brewery and to be honest: One weekend is really too short to explore this equator with all its "worthwhile" places.
24-MAR-2001: It is raining cats and dogs, the fields look like lakes, but nevertheless we decide to start our project and the weather forecast promises some dry spots along the equator. 49°N 11°E is the first confluence we visit. From there we want to go to the east. We come along through a beautiful landscape where hop is cultivated, where the famous quarries for the Sollnhofer Platten (Bavarian Marble) are situated and we end up in the nature park "Altmuehltal" near the mediaval city Weissenburg and near the big European watershed.
We come to a forest that looks really haunted, everywhere moss-covered trees on the ground forming mysterious signs and the snapping of twigs in the silence makes us watchful. If you have ever seen the (ridiculous) film "The Blair Witch Project" you will be convinced that they have made it in the wrong area - the true location is around this confluence.
Caught in this magic atmosphere and thinking about Roman borders, watersheds, sausage borders etc. we discuss about the possible influences, when people visit 3 confluences within a short time. Will we get ernormous power? Will we get a special sensitiveness for psi phenomenoms? Will this weaken us? There must be some magic at this confluence, because no rain drop bothers us while we take the point and the pictures, just a few steps beside a forestry road.
And off we go to the next confluence on the equator: 49°N 12°E