While we were in Palmyra, a Roman-era city with extensive ruins on which I hope to blog later, we experienced a first (for us), a sandstorm. Below are pictures showing what it looked like from our hotel window. We could first see the storm approaching from a distance, as the quality of the light changed. Oddly enough, in the beginning, despite the surreal orange light, it wasn’t so bad to be walking around, although we could tell that we were breathing some dust; things got worse later as accumulated sand started blowing around. The whole storm passed by in about 12 hours. We were told that the storm came from Iraq and was worse than usual (speculation: social disruptions in that country resulted in greater erosion?).

View from our window, on a normal clear day.

At the height of the sandstorm. Note that this is happening mid-day–none of these photos have been retouched and the color is purely from the dust/sand, which around Palmyra is a pinkish orange.

A bit later, it turned white. The sandstorm also seemed to have an “eye,” when things were briefly quite calm.

Didn’t get in the way of his nap! Hanging on the left are dates, much sold in Palmyra.

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