Banners flap and billow like lines of giant’s laundry in the dry summer breeze. Sunlight flashes off helmets and breastplates. Trumpets blare, muscular horses strut and stamp on the cobblestones, sending up sparks in the dry heat.
The people gawp at the soldiers, chests out, banging swords on shields. There are monsters, exotically costumed devils dancing around the squares. Fire breathers, jugglers, flag throwers, tumblers all vie to out-do each other, throwing their batons higher, belching out flames, spinning dizzy somersaults. Colour is splashed across every street, bunting hanging from balconies and high windows.