Balaton lies wholly within the path of totality,
where the central duration lasts for 2 minutes 22 seconds -- 1 second shy of the maximum
in neighbouring Romania.
The sun seemed to be eclipsed much of the week before scheduled totality, although mostly
in the afternoons. This daily cloud build-up culminated in a massive thunderstorm on
The storm certainly cleared the air although
Sunday remained somewhat hazy. Monday had excellent conditions around the lake, and
Tuesday started hazy with temperatures rising above 30 C in the afternoon.
There were heavy traffic jams out of Budapest
on Tuesday night heading for the Balaton and Puszta regions, although Szombathely seemed
Shortly after five o'clock in the morning, we awoke to the sound of rain. A miserable
The constant drizzle was still present at six
thirty, and seemed set for the day.
Our contacts in Stuttgart reported little
better in southern Germany.
A slow glass of fresh juice later, and the sky
started to brighten in the west. The cock crows and the birds start to sing, it's 7:20am.
The birds seem happy, they're chattering on the telephone line and the roads are drying
up. There's now plenty of blue in the sky, but the clouds are close at hand. With more
than four hours to contact, anything could happen.
Word from Stuttgart is that it's still damp.
It's getting crowded around the lake: we definitely have bikini weather, and telescopes
are set up alongside fishing rods.
The sky is not completely cloudless, but
umbrellas are only being used to shade the patient souls in the fields from the sun. There
is a slight breeze, and back at base the birds are still singing.
We're coming up to touchdown in the UK.
Images over the Met. Office's Camborne weather
station in Cornwall (50 13 N, 05 19 W) show a damp and cloudy scene.
The suncream is coming out around the Balaton, people are trying on their eclipse glasses,
but we're still an hour away from totality.
The cloud cover has thickened at Balaton, but they're relatively thin and look as though
they'll move. Nobody's coming out of the water just yet.
The sun is burning up the cloud blanket, and when this passes it looks clear to the west.
Meteorologists are as excited as we are, and they can predict nothing for 40 minutes from
now from Szombathely to Szeged.
Fingers crossed folks.
On the Balaton, the sun looks like a half moon through the eclipse glasses at present,
superb -- you really need these glasses to see the moon move across the sun; it's highly
dangerous without them, you'll not see the effect and maybe never see again (to put it
The birds are still singing.
We've just heard that Stuttgart is in darkness.
It's dark in Koln, but raining.
It's getting darker here in Hungary and there's still thin cloud over the sun.
The birds are getting tired, the cock has crowed and the chickens have gathered together.
The butterflies have settled down in the grass.
We still have slight cloud but watching the natural world wind down and two young puppies
totally confused at the feeling around them makes your skin tingle.
Totatality was way too short for us, the total silence. The birds were asleep on the
telephone wire, and now the cockeral sounds his wake up call again.
Magnificent. And the clouds broke for a shimmering corona
and night star to its left -- a planet to astronomers.
Somehow I expected it to be darker. Stunning midday silence
all the same.
The birds are flying again.
No clouds at all, to the naked eye (don't stare at the sun please) you wouldn't know that
the moon was still covering the sun apart from the slight cooling of temperature.
The birds are now behaving like they did when we started this report at 8:30 this morning.
The butterflies are fluttering again.
The rock concerts are starting up where all the people are gathered, but I prefer the
sound of nature's symphony.
The chickens are moving around again and the puppies have come out to explore once more,
with the growing warmth of the sun on their young backs. The moon is not quite away from
We hope that those of you who didn't get the chance to be
in the path of totality during this eclipse, managed to get some sort of feeling from our
Thanks for letting us share this with you.
For more about the eclipse, follow the links in our left
hand sidebar. And please come back to Travel Notes from time to time to see what else
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