Ancient Greeks called it Eryx. St. Julian mountain, with a small town at around 750 meters above sea level. Its name comes from the mythology – it was a name of demigod, son of Venus and Bute. Historically, Erice wasn’t a Greek colony, but a Phoenicians city, it was largely Hellenized, however. Destroyed in the Punic War by the Carthaginians, it was later conquered by Arabs in 831,and renamed. Arabs ruled there until the Norman conquest in 1167.
There is a cable car that leads to the top of the mountain, and I’m hiding to the lower station with a heavy backpack on my back. The station looks exactly the same way as the Alpine stations for skiers. There is a strange guy on the bench to the right of the ticket box. He looks exactly like that one in my dreamy hallucinations last night. The same straight posture and the same half-closed penetrating eyes. He is looking to the blue sky and suddenly starts talking to me:
– It is going to rain…
There isn’t any cloud in the sky. And the heat falls from it and there is nowhere to run from it. Like in Africa. I cannot imagine how it could be raining right now. I’ve an umbrella in my backpack, but I don’t believe it would be of any use. I’m pulling it out.
– Please, take it. If it would rain you will be protected. I don’t need it. It will serve you better than me.
I’m starting to move to the top inside a gondola and this strange figure with open umbrella in the sunny day is becoming smaller and smaller.