Subject: Phenomenal Travel

Some of you may remember that I recently asked for some information on travel to Libya.

I have absolutely no idea how many members of this Zine are interested in astronomy or travel for the purposes of witnessing natural phenomena.

In my opinion, travelling to witness natural phenomena such as an eclipse is a rewarding experience and an excellent excuse to visit a place you've never been before.

Whilst I have been interested in astronomy as a science for many years and had witnessed partial solar eclipses before, it was a trip to Australia in 2002 with some friends from the UK with the express purpose of seeing the eclipse at Ceduna (South Australia) that really sold me on the idea of travel to view natual phenomena.

And, in all honesty, I would never have visited the Parkes Observatory or Ceduna if we had not arranged the trip around the eclipse. So we got to see somewhere new.

On 29 March 2006, a Total Solar Eclipse will occur.

This time, however, those of us who went to the Eclipse in the Outback are going our seperate ways. The centre line will pass through Libya and Turkey, amongst many other nations. One of my friends will be in Turkey, whilst I will be visiting Libya to view the Eclipse.

The Eclipse will cross the Libyan border into Egypt. During our time in Libya, we will have drivne from Tripoli to Tobruk via Leptus Magna and Benghazi. From Tobruk we will drive into the desert to a point close to the Egyptian border from where will view the eclipse.

The day after the eclipse, we will be crossing the border into Egypt.

Within northern Libya, especially along the coastal route we will be following, there are many well preserved Roman ruins, which our trip will allow us to visit. It is reported that the ruins are extremly well preserved owing to the dry desert conditions. Personally, I am looking forward to visit a place which, thus far, is not highly touristed.

While Egypt has been very open to tourism and travel for many years, Libya has remained isolated from the international community for many many years. The exciting natural phenomena that is an eclipse has provided the impetus for exploring a country with an extensive unexplored history dating back to antiquity an beyond.

I wonder if any other Ziners are similarly inspired to travel in order to witness the wonders of nature in action? And have they found themselves heading to places or areas of the world that they wouldn't have previously thought they would find themselves?

For those who might be interested in Eclipses or Eclipse Travel, I have attached some websites for your examination: - A page about the Eclipse in the Outback 2002 which was put together by a gentlman from The Astronomical Association of Queensland (In the group picture, I am the guy in the yellow T-Shirt standing on the end!). - The Astronomical Association of Queensland - A travelogue regarding our trip trough the Eclipse in the Outback, including various pictures, which was put together by a friend of mine.

If other Ziners are planning on going to the March 2006 any where in the world I would love to hear from you. I can also provide other (more technical/commercial/not relevant to this group) websites off list should you request them.

Any way, my question. Are there any other Ziners planning to travel to see some natural phenomena or have already done so?

Mark Sukhija, in Zuerich