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Exactly 20 years from the total solar eclipse

A super-event, super-promoted in the mass-media 20 years ago: the total solar eclipse. Plunged into darkness for a little more than two minutes…

To be in the very center of the event, you had to go to Ramnicu Valcea. Said and done!

There, we went to the central square of the city. Plenty of people around. Many local people and a lot of tourists, just like me.

A very nice, friendly atmosphere… Lots of bustle…

A few banners underline the importance of the phenomenon. “Eclipse ’99 – An Adventure for a lifetime” or “Ramnicu Valcea – the town of the eclipse”. Yes, we are very cool to be there, but what about the fear to look at the Sun and go blind? J Each had his own solutions: some have foil cut from God knows what, others have dark glass, others, special paper glasses, just like the ones that I have. Bought from somewhere in the town.

We test looking at the Sun as we have nothing else better to do. We are all waiting for the darkness in the middle of the day.

The local people, find a perfect place to see the eclipse, on the roofs of the buildings. A bit closer to the Sun. J


Waiting for the eclipse, I look at the banknote I took as a souvenir. I was wondering at the time if, over the years, its value will increase. Does it still have a value today, I wonder 20 years later, as I still have it…

Brenciu signs some autographs. Yes, Horia Brenciu. He is a star. After “Robingo”, on the public TV channel, he’s now the host of “Sarabanda”.

As there were no smartphones and not even any phones with a camera at the time, we are all amateur photographers and take pictures with the photo-cameras of the time. What the hell can you photograph with them ?… Anyway, we take pictures left and right. Not to say we haven’t…

The principle is “Watch the Sun, not the Mc!”, yet we are starving. J But we don’t dare move, not to lose the great moment.

And the moment comes!…


It lasted 2 minutes and 23 seconds, a period during which we were all wearing the glasses and looking up and around.

We took pictures too. I have no idea why. We knew nothing will come out of it. However, I have kept the “nothing”:

I could really scare some kids with this photo haha. But I ignore myself in the photo and look above, at the Sun… The one that can be hardly seen because of a small black flea – The Moon…

And it’s over. The daylight comes back. We all speak about this. Some rub their eyes, others twist their necks…

I buy cards with the eclipse. Let me have all the souvenirs!


I still have the cards 20 years after I bought them. And the banknote. And the glasses I used then. And, the strangest of all, a collectible Coke bottle I bought then, that marked the event and that I never opened.

If the Coca-Cola Company has a museum, please tell me, to donate the bottle. I think I’d rather not drink it, right ? J


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