No, this is not an old sepia photograph that you’re looking at right now. This is how the world looked like here in Iraklio, Crete, yesterday in the afternoon.
“Bloody rain”, that’s how Homer called it in the Iliad. It’s tons of African dust carried over from the Sahara through strong South winds, the sirocco. It was quite a spectacle: the sky took a color ranging from yellow to orange, the sun was blocked by the fine dust and appeared as a silvery dish against the orange backdrop. Eery. As if in a science fiction movie. I expected a second sun to appear any minute. The temperature in the meantime was a pleasurable 27° Celsius (80.6°F).
You could actually taste the dust too when you lick your lips. Lots of people had respiratory problems. Visibility was so bad that several flights at Iraklio airport had to be cancelled or delayed.
It’s a phenomenon known as “Saharan through” that occurs often in spring, from March till May. For us it is the third time that we experience it. I blogged about it before. Sometimes this phenomenon is accompanied by rain, the so-called laspovrochí (λασποβροχή). When that happens everything turns into a yellow brownish color. Lot’s of water is the only cure.