Friday, 10 July 2009

Firsts and seconds

There will be a couple firsts in my eclipse trip, like flying and being in Asia ... and a couple nice repeat like seeing a full eclipse and being on a cruise.

Obviously being lazy and not really a travel fan (inside or outside my own country) i've never flew before. I'm not scared... yet. :-) I know the statistics and such but noting that i'm often worried while on a car if i'm not the driver (and i'm not even a good driver myself) and that i feel pain at the dentist regardless of the anesthesia as i know it IS painful, i fear i will have some fear. :-)

Going to Asia (especially visiting Japan)
Well, i will only say that Japan is one of the very, very few places in the world i'd like to visit. I'm almost sad i will not be able to see more of it... maybe another time.

Seeing a full eclipse
I've already saw a full eclipse, it was the 2006 full eclipse and i saw it in the Mediterranean sea while on a cruise (do you see a pattern here ?). It was one of the strongest experience i ever had in my life... even better than programming ;-). Many says i'm a little cold and emotionless but i assure you that during those brief minutes i had very weak knees. Even if you know what is happening the experience is soo big. Living it made me really understand why ancient peoples feared it so much. And like the ancient peoples we are powerless against the meteo condition that there will be.
I've even saw an almost full eclipse in 1999 but i didn't really saw it as i was occupied hand washing a big pile of plates (but this is another story).

Being on a cruise
I want yo say three words to those who think that cruises are an all relax thing and those words are: they are not. We always had something to do and somewhere to be different from the thing we were doing and the place we were at the moment. This is said in a good way, obviously; i thought i could get bored between the stops to visit places and the eclipse itself but i had no time for boredom. Maybe cruises on longer routes (the Mediterranean isn't a big sea after all) are more relaxed. In the 2006 one i really had to fight to find, in a one week cruise, half an hour to just sit on the deck and rest, just as the cruise stereotype prescribe :-).
We had several speeches from professional astronomers and photographer about the incoming eclipse or astronomy matters (and this surely helped in not having time to get bored).
That bring us to a quick consideration about the cabin to book... you will only sleep there, so the cheapest one may be enough. A friend of mine booked a upper class cabin (with more space and windows but as it was near to the engines his sleep suffered from the vibrations, check the ship map if you can.
I always thought cruise would be mostly attended by middle age (and older) rich people (and their beautiful secretaries ;-)) but the one i did was full of younger couples with several babies too, it seemed as it was the first trip those couples got after the birth of the baby (there was a babysitting service from about 9am to 18pm so the parents could enjoy the activities... or rest for the first time in months/years. ;-) There was even a bunch of students of a school that chose that cruise as their yearly school trip... lucky them!

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