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  • Day1087

    Geographical Centre of Europe, Girija

    June 18, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We're parked up side by side with a few other motorhomes off a quiet road running through a golf course. Through the windscreen we can see a small lake between a smattering of Alder saplings. The clouds of the last few days have cleared, the sun is once again baking hot. Oh, yes, and we're just a few hundred yards away from the Geographical Centre of Europe!

    In 2016 we stayed a few days at the most northerly point you can drive to on the continental mainland; Nordkapp, Norway. In 2018 we visited Tarifa, the most southerly point. Now, in 2019 we are at the very centre, near the village of Girija, Lithuania. In the future we plan to travel to the most westerly point, Cabo de Roca, Portugal, but not the most easterly, a peak in the Ural mountains, Russia!

    There are several places claiming to be the centre, some with rather dubious or unknown methods of calculation. When looking at the geometrical figure of europe, Girija is at its gravitational core and is recognised by Guinness World Records.

    It was a pleasant walk through the golf course and over a pond in a small woodland to the monument marking the spot at 54°54' 25°19'. The tapering white granite pillar, created by Lithuanian artist Gediminas Jokūbonis hosts an impressive crown of golden stars. A giant compass made of paving stones sits at its base and a wavering line of european flags fluttering on tall white poles lead towards it. The arrangement is eye catching but each element is humble enough not to dominate the woodland clearing. Typically Lithuanian! We took some photos, did some filming then made it back to the van for lunch.

    Click here to watch a 2 minute video of our drone footage! https://youtu.be/hPc8dO6QLOc

    It was a hot afternoon so we stayed inside and relaxed, watching small groups of golfers wheeling their trolleys past the windows (the really posh ones drove theirs with remote controls!). Being at this central point prompted us to ponder our travels so far and what awaits us in the coming years. We've been on the road a long time now and for various reasons have only really focussed on western europe. The more we see, the more we realise there is to see. We are definitely looking forward to forging new paths eastwards in the future!
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