I wound around the room twice before reaching the next level of the castle. I was in a room similar to the one below but the ceiling wasn’t quite as tall and the fountain was replaced by a delicate round table with a blown glass sculpture of a deer. Again there were two arched openings at a ninety degree angle from each other.
The floor was carpeted with thick Persian style rugs and tall windows encircled the entire room giving me a perfect view of the courtyard in the center of the castle and the approaching sunset. I looked out at the courtyard and realized the castle was a square with long corridors making up the sides and the large round rooms at the corners.
The staircase continued up to the next level, but I felt drawn to the corridor on the right. I padded across the thick carpet to the hallway and made my way along it. This passage was much narrower than the one on the main level and instead of windows looking out at the water there were doors to rooms.
Several of the doors were opened and through them I glimpsed beautiful paintings and tall carved beds with heavy brocade spreads and ornate bureaus. I walked more slowly through this passage than the ones below, mesmerized by the scenes I beheld.
At the end of the passage I came to another round room just like the one I had come from. This time I took to the stairs again and climbed. One circumference of the room brought me to the next level, but I felt urged to continue up.
Up and up I climbed passing four or five levels. The only thing that changed in the rooms I passed were the carpets and glass statues on the tables and the placement of the sun as it began to sink into the vast body of water below.
When I reached the sixth level I entered a room just like the ones below, but there the stairs ended and only one corridor was available to traverse. I followed it in the dimming light. There were no doors or rooms here, just tall windows looking out into the space below.At the end of the corridor was a smaller door. Arched frame made of a deep cherry wood and inlaid with silver only. I reached out and touched the silver handle and the door swung open. I stepped inside and shut the door firmly behind me just as the sun set lighting the sky on fire with a brilliant display of reds and oranges and quickly fading to purples and blues.