The bridge at Oepallis is long and curls across the sea where the water is too shallow for ships to pass but too deep to fill.
From the bridge, the silhouettes of the city may be seen, the outlines of towers and domes and houses rising across the bay before the dunes fade and the land collapses into the ocean torrents. It is a thick sandstone edifice, tinted red or brown or yellow, depending on the daylight. A spattering of houses and trinket shops huddle along its midpoint, but the edges have been kept free of impediment- affording strollers a vista of the city and the sea.
Before the bridge was built, pilgrims used to wade through the marshes in long processions from the lands to the east to reach the sacred city- at the time only a sliver of land cut off from the mainland. When the waters began to rise as the dunes were compromised by the beachside villas, the processioners would still walk neck deep to reach the city- for they would neither take boats nor pay passage.
There is a bridge now- a strident gesture for the devout pilgrims and the pleasure seekers. Still, a few continue to walk deep into the water at low tide, where they may just be able to hold their heads afloat.