June 15 began in no manner that would suggest how it would end. Specifically, besides a few errands, most of the day was spent at a tea house with a shisha and a conversation counterpart. But then it turned out that June 15th was also the day of both the full moon (which explained why I couldn’t fall asleep the two nights before) and, coincidentally, the day of the full lunar eclipse.
The conversation counterpart had a plan to observe this relatively rare event together with a couple of friends and invited me to tag along. The observation point was to be located in the proximity of the city of Prague – a location named “Zavist”, which literally means ‘envy’… Specific location was to be the ancient Viking castle ruins.
Having picked up the flashlight on the way from the tea house to the envious settlement, we’ve set into the night. The two friends followed from a certain point on their car and we began searching for the right path among the several possible ones to get to the ruins. Next time someone tells me women cannot navigate, I’ll wash their mouth with soap, because where I was pointing to (deriving the way from a single close examination of the map earlier on) was the right way to go, but of course the men had to hit all possible dead-ends first.
Finally we have parked the cars and set off on foot to the ruins. The ruins turned out to have been re-buried again under earth for preservation purposes, so in practice it just looked like a large flat hill-top.
And then, of course, there were clouds… Which made it tricky to figure out where in the sky the moon was supposed to be located to begin with :). Even stars wouldn’t help, since we couldn’t see them. Even if we could though, no one knew astronomy well enough to derive position of the moon from them! One of the friends even said that he specifically refused to learn the constellations when he found out these are just projections of people’s images and in reality stars are millions of light years away. That stirred a bit of a discussion because we have ganged up with the other guy to claim that so is language – a projection of meaning onto random images of the written word or random collection of sounds that make up spoken ones… That occupied us while we waited for the clouds to clear, but it happened to have taken so long that when the moon finally emerged, the eclipse was almost over and a faint shadow of the Earth was only cast upon a small portion of its surface… Nevertheless, we still took a bunch of pictures and looked through the telescope all we could.
Since we spent so much time there, I was getting hungry (the usual deal), but thankfully I came prepared. Thus, this unexpected astronomical observation session had been crowned by devouring the cheeseburger I happened to have had from earlier on. I thought this was a nice finishing touch, in a symbolic way, to ravish upon a piece of 20th century junk food atop the ancient Viking ruins while observing a cosmic event…