With Libya in the news, I thought again about my trip there and how my experience was uzmatsneny kindness of ordinary people in 2006. Maybe I got a special treat – a friend of mine on a journey has been my grandson 9 years old, and I will go on record to say that he could not be a better duo! Grandma and cute baby open doors around the world.
I'm a solar observer and the golden grail – a total solar eclipse. Eclipse of March 29, 2006 the way safely swept North Africa and Libya had to pass four minutes of totality. Hog heaven.
I signed up for a tour of the eclipse, with the support of the magazine Sky and Telescope Magazine, but when I saw that the cost of single stands, I thought about something else; Every day after dinner, talked with his daughter and son in law, I have expanded the possibility of taking Ben. Their resonance was a sense of "we trust you and what a strange experience for him." It was awesome for both of us.
Ben and I took off from Tucson to Heathrow-based BA (direct night flight), and despite plenty of time to make our connecting flight to Milan, terrible security lines at the terminal 4 meant that we missed the connection and arrived in Milan to 10 pm. Six weeks ago Another negative experience in cunning confirmed my determination to avoid Heathrow if possible. A taxi ride to our hotel – our driver seemed to be going to overtake everything that moved. Always ask for an Italian taxi driver before the & # 39; will reveal to you the tariff map before getting into the cab and avoid surprises at the end of the trip. Specified routes, such as airports to hotels, are approved by the government and forced the tariff.
I promised Ben that his first night in Italy he will be able to & # 39; eat pasta and milk! He held me so that so midnight found us sitting at a sidewalk cafe, the Duomo in a clear form, and a child appeared on a massive plate of pasta and sausage. He took his gelato, and we walked around the Piazza del Duomo as experienced Italians. What fun.
We had to get to Genoa 16:00. where we were to meet with our group and the Italian cruise ship. A quick search on the internet in the hotel lobby, and I found that the train was at 2:00 would be ideal. Italian trains can be a great deal. Think of all the possible discounts (group, a trip in the middle of the day) and ask! For us, it was with Ben fare for seniors and children. In the ticket was offered, but as soon as I said, no problem, and the discount was about 35% at normal rates. We spent the morning in Milan, visiting the Ferrari store – hello to the children and the boy, who had heard about the Ferrari. Seller carried away by enthusiasm, and Ben gave him a baseball cap with the Ferrari logo – I do not even sell sales pitch. We raised the lift to the roof of the Duomo – he loved it, I hate heights! View from the roof at the Milan should conquer my fear. And of course, the young milk sample was when we went down.
The train station was rich in their own traps. Beware of strangers who approach you, ask if you need help. Tell this seemingly good stranger, which train you are looking for, and he grab your suitcase, I urge you to run, because the train leaves, and then lift the luggage to ransom, if you train in Seda. Later, I described the experience of others and found that not one. I stood on one of these unauthorized porters and refused the 10 euros he demanded. The man became more aggressive, overlaps my way and refused to give me the suitcase. My Italian is limited, but a few words that I used, appealing for help attracted the attention of a policeman, and when he approached, "a good man" took off. As Ben said, "wrong grandma to join the fray." I'm not so sure, I think that without the intervention of the police, I completely lost the bag. On the Italian railway stations there are no such things as trolleybuses and under & # 39; lift and steps are always there. Travel light – agenda.
Our first port was Naples and we visited Pompeii – which is fun for the child. Hit the stray cats and littered with ash. It was a bit of a zoo – Chamber tour groups that peratasavali guides. We broke ranks and used our own book guides to visit areas that, it seemed to me more interest to Ben, and that brought us out of the line to overcome. Naturally, the tour ended with gelato for him courtesy of magic, older men, who praised me for my "miracle child". A bit of flattery warms my grandmother's heart, but I refused his offer tours of Naples!
The next stop was Sicily, and we took a bus to Taormina, to visit the Roman amphitheater. Spectacular. And then the excitement built two days at sea. Our ship was one of the first excursion ships that landed at Tobruk, and we watched with great enthusiasm for the exchange of bouquets between our Moscow captain and welcoming dignitaries. Before the trip were clear shortcomings regarding visas and costs, but on the day when we had to go to the place of the eclipse, the Libyan authorities have refused surcharges and without exception treated us like treasured guests. We traveled by bus for about two hours into the desert to a place of the eclipse and found a tent city on the site. Vendors of food and beverages, groups, youth scout groups that perform traditional dances, drummers, and, of course, camels. It was a joyful and colorful scene.
Silence and stillness of air wrapped up camp when approaching the first contact with the sun, and then the noise of joy when the cloudless sky gave perfect look zatsyanyayuchay umbra, and then everyone sighs, accompanied by a lull, when the integrity of down. It was a horrible, pulsatsyynae light engulfed us; lowering the temperature when the aggregate was significant; Strip shadows were long and obvious on the flat sand. I heard Ben's voice shouting "diamond ring, diamond ring, see." If the shadow is gone and the sun uzbudilasya again, the excitement took over and "strange", "weird" was heard in many languages. It was my first total eclipse, which has not yet been darkened cloud. I turned around to see an interview with & # 39; nd Ben with the staff of the Libyan television team. He told them that the grandmother did all telescopes gold. They turned and looked at me in a wrinkled linen and obviously thought that the child is nonsense, because they have not tried to interview me! I once again played second fiddle to his grandson. I said, admitting, without seeing it, that the majority of Libyans in the camp looked away and knelt in prayer, when we approached the whole, that the Muslim faith prayer during the eclipse there.