If only buildings could talk

If only buildings could talk. Imagine what the Taj Mahal would say about love. Or Robben Island Prison about one man’s unbreakable spirit and limitless capacity for forgiveness. A discussion with the Binnenhof in the Hague, the world’s oldest parliament building still in use, would surely illuminate on the machinations of democracy through the ages. […]

Darting back and forth

It took the death of a ninety-nine year old prince to buck a trend here. For Dartmouth is one of those places that features in guidebooks but rarely in the national press, as picturesque and quaint as it is sleepy and remote. The wild beauty of the surrounding Devonshire countryside makes Dartmouth both alluring and […]

Ground to a halt

The tangled thickets of nettle, blackberry and trumpet-shaped flowers sprawling across the site only heightened a sense of absence. From this vegetal maze, I could discern but a few cryptic clues to what went before: two fluorescent kitesurfing sails billowing above a bank of shingle hinted at an ocean beyond; three arches and a sluice […]

Chobe chomper

Should I unpack my case or explore my surroundings first? The view from the chalet over the Chobe River provided a compelling answer to this common holiday dilemma. The cobalt-blue waters sparkled like gemstones in the sun as they continued their eternal struggle with expansionist grasses for dominion over the floodplains of Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, […]

Errant lawnmowers with fangs

The evening sounds of the Okavango Delta permeated the canvas of my luxury safari-style tent. Baboons barked in the trees above before thudding onto the tent struts, crickets chattered insistently, and go-away-birds called out true to their name. After a while, all creatures were drowned out by a rhythmic, ripping noise that demanded attention. Perhaps […]

VE Day: Victory and Virus in Europe

It is sad that we cannot publicly commemorate Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) this 8th of May yet it also feels apt and even more poignant that its 75th anniversary should fall as we battle our own invisible enemy. Today many of us continue to stay at home to save lives while 75 years […]

Dinner with elephants

An almighty splash and primordial trumpeting wrenched me from the velvet embrace of the canopied bed. I strained my senses beyond the ghostly mesh of the mosquito net, past the stylish teak furniture and below the veranda to find them, to fathom their purpose. Yet I need not leave my bed to see them as […]

The Lisbon Underworld

Originally posted on Nomad Scribe:
Below the picture-postcard Lisbon is another Lisbon. A Lisbon without trams, decorative tiles or salted cod, from where the cobbled streets and red roofs wrapped around the city’s seven hills cannot be glimpsed, a little-known underworld where only adventurous souls enter and only after donning hard hats. Their reward is…

Amazonian Rites of Passage

The jungle orchestra provided a rousing soundtrack as I steered my dugout canoe from the geographic certainty of Brazil’s Urubu River into the randomness of the flooded rainforest: the syncopated rhythm as each gasp for breath was louder than the paddle splash that preceded it; the atonal yet beguiling melodies of myriad creatures in a […]