We cross from Tahitótfalu to Vác on the ferry in the late afternoon. We have made this journey many times, in winter and in summer, in autumn and in spring. Here it is summer, the long, hot Hungarian summer where the sun is always warm , the beer cold and nothing much happens except the cucumbers grow. Someone wise once said to me about Hungary: it is the most beautiful place on earth, but don’t forget the shadows. I know what he means, there is magic in this land, blessed with grace and bounty, but tragedy and sorrow are never far away. The Danube is central to this drama and here, towards the end of a hot summer’s day, we make the journey across this wise river, at the spot where the Roman Empire, two thousand years ago, reached its eastern limit in Hungary. Our shadows reach across the Danube, in the late afternoon sun, as we cross this mighty river, west to east, closer to home.
The Danube, which is past, present and future
entwines its waves in tender friendly clasps.
A Dunánál, mely múlt, jelen, s jövendő,
Egymást ölelik lágy hullámai.
By The Danube, Attila Jozséf.
A Dunánál, Jozséf Attila.