The World Wakes in Budapest

For the first time since the year began, I shrugged off my jacket and stood with shoulders bared beneath the strength of springtime sun. And how it glistened – off my fierce red hair, off the green and terracotta domes, off the glazed Turkish tiles, off the spotlessly clean streets, off the churning gray Danube – a myriad of colours bound by new-found saturation.

Every corner turned, another fairy tale: Sleeping Beauty resting in the Gothic parliament, a hooded eagle perching in the square, a Little Princess lost to endless games. We wandered along the balustrades of white-marble sandcastles, a mer-queen’s stately home, and looked down on the rooftops: the Gothic, the Baroque, the rounded, colored shingles like other-worldly scales. Later, in the bath house, we reclined like Emporers and drifted in a Roman fountain, drinking in the warmth.

The Celts, the Romans, the Mongols, the sons of Attila the Hun, French kings, Turkish Sultans, Habsburgs, Hungarians. A lazy Easter afternoon beer crawl along the promenade becomes a trip around the world. Or a world. Or a story-book about one.

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