Path of Totality
The event that brought me to this town will likely not happen again in our lifetimes to the extent it did when I visited, but during an solar eclipse in the summer of '99, I drove to this small city in order to experience the "Path of Totality"...the few minutes of a total (100%) eclipse. It was amazing! Growing up, I had seen an eclipse or two, but had never experienced it completely. As it began, there wasn't much to see...only a small "chunk" missing from the sun. As it progressed, there wasn't much change, but surprisingly quickly, everything went dark. At first, the light faded as if a haze moved in, but later it suddenly became dark. It seemed like dusk set in a matter or seconds. It was an eerie feeling, but incredible. A breeze picked up suddenly, and everything seemed to stop (actually, it probably did, as I am sure every being in the area was focused on what was happening). If you have never experienced this, the next time you have the opportunity, take advantage. It is an experience not exclusive to astronomers, and scientists...something everyone can enjoy. So, back to the town...I didn't really spend any time experiencing the town, due to the elipse, but it seemed like a nice small city just inside France. I may have to pay another visit once I move back to Western Europe. If I do, I will let you know more!