1999 - Shabla Beach, Bulgaria.
The little town of Shabla on the coast of the Black Sea did not know what hit it on 11th August 1999. A few hundred eclipse chasers from Ireland, Denmark and Bulgaria descended on it. These were the ecliptomaniacs which we met. I am sure there were other nationalities there as well.
We were based in the resort of Golden Sands, just outside Varna, which boasted one of the cleanest beaches we had ever seen.
August 11th, eclipse day, was a perfect day with a cloudless sky and although very warm the sea provided a convenient place to cool off while awaiting the great event. This was one of the reasons why Shabla was chosen apart from the fact that it was close to the centre line and had a few bars and shops. (Well one of each anyway!) Our hotel had kindly lent us 60 deck chairs which provided us with some comfort. One and a half minutes of totality was all we got as a taster but it was worth it especially as the eclipse track was clouded out over most of Europe.
Sounds of an eclipse - listen to our joy at seeing our first total solar eclipse in this recording made on the day in Bulgaria.
See some of our photos from the great occasion.
The highlights of this trip were
1. The eclipse.
2. The earthquake.
3. The Big Tree Bar opposite the Chuchuliga Hotel where all our "meetings" took place.
4. Cape Kaliakra and its beautiful views over the Black Sea.
5. Mikail the taxi driver for taking us on our scouting trips to look for a suitable site.
6. Tony Yankov for all his help and friendship.
7. Egypt. For those who went there in the second week this was a real treat. A chance to see the Pyramids, the Sphinx, The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, The Nile, but less food poisoning the next time please.
A personal view by Brian Seales