Straddling the Greenwich Meridian….

Just like straddling the equator, straddling the Greenwich Meridian should be just as momentous, but I wonder how many thousands of people going in and out of Cambridge on a daily basis from/to the west realise (or simply remember) that, geographically, they are moving from one time zone to another?

Let’s face it, even though this line of longitude became the official worldwide 0 degree point as far back as 1884, so that all time zones around the globe could be determined, there are many countries in the world that have ignored it, and have simply opted into the ‘time-zone next door’ for their own convenience.

This came to my attention many years ago after visiting Galicia (NW Spain) and Sicily in the month of February. Although officially in the same time zone (central European time), they were so far apart (east to west) that there was a clear 100 minutes of difference between their respective sunrises and sunsets, and if you look at the map of time zones, you will see that Spain should, geographically speaking, be in the Greenwich meantime zone.

However, you can imagine my disappointment at discovering that the actual line, verified thousands of times by modern GPS systems, is actually 334 feet to the east (c102 metres) which, at the speed of a Usain Bolt, is all of 10 seconds away.

Disappointingly, we have been living a lie all this time…….

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 13, 2018, in Cycling UK and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Wow, what a great video of your ride! I feel like I went to the Meridian line with you :-)I’ll have to play around with that app when I get some time

  2. Did Spain choose to ignore the Greenwich standard because their neighbour Portugal did adopt it?

  3. you do come up with some interesting stuff Frank

  4. cliveandnora

    Frank Interesting point you make about the Meridian v. The Equator. We have been spending every other February+ about 30 miles North of Benedorm, The next village has a Meridian bridge and we have passed a couple of Meridian obelisk like markers beside road in the area. We haven’t seen any such markers in the UK. Cheers Clive

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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