What am I talking about, Solar Eclipes. Yes I actually have seen two. One was on holiday with my parents in 1999 the other again in Turkey but on an organised trip in 2006.
In 1999 I was in a Turkish resort on the Mediterranean called Alanya. I was on the magnificent beach there early afternoon when I noticed something odd. I was hiding out under a parasol (I burn) when I noticed people gathering into groups. When I investigated they were using makeshift sun goggles to look at the sky, we were having a solar eclipse. It was quite dramatic as well as being fun, everyone spoke to one and other whatever the nationalities and during the week I was there we chatted again many a time. I found out later we were not in the best place to see it but it was certainly start of a lifelong interest for me. I found a video of the 1999 eclipse shot in Germany.
The second Solar Eclipse was a planned trip just for that. I went on a 4 day trip to Side, Turkey, by lunchtime on the 29th March 2006, I and a group of other like minded friends where ensconced on a beach. Around us was every nationality you care to name, at first it was just chattering and folk moving around. Then it all went quiet as the eclipse started. the first thing we noticed was the birds stopped singing and then the temperature dropped. It is so hard to put into words what the “blackout” felt like. Awe inspiring yes but also like an instinctive sense of fear mixed in with awe, no one was speaking you could just hear breathing. Then a resounding cheer went up as the sun started to appear, relief? I don’t know I just know it was thrilling. Behind me a Frenchman popped open champagne and shared it and everyone was talking to their neighbours, similar terms being tossed about in many languages, magnificent, magnifique, harika,prächtig, to name but a few. An experience I will never forgot but one I certainly want to experience again.