GoNOMAD Writer Profiles
Cindy-Lou Dale: Speaking to the Very Soul of Travel
Cindy-Lou Dale is an award-winning writer and photo journalist with bases in Brussels and London. Visit her website, cindyloudale.com. She also writes a blog called The Travel Diva. Here are selections from her GoNOMAD stories:
Berlin's Wild Nightlife: The Other Side of Midnight
What I love about Berlin is its unique and irrepressible ambience which exudes from each building and every citizen; one of acceptance and freedom, tolerance even; embracing all things decadent. There is an air of unpretentiousness amongst Berliners who are open-minded and non-judgmental. As such the city is a magnet for non-conformists and creative minds drawn by the bizarre nightlife.
Europeans have a healthy outlook on one of life’s remaining pleasures - Berliners especially so; and flirting with a little irregularity myself I succumbed to the promise of bearing witness to the city’s uninhibited erotica scene.
To gain access to the KitKat Club, of Lisa Minnelli and Cabaret fame, patrons need to theme dress, and that evening’s focus was the twenties – the 1920’s – and the more outlandish the dress, the better...
I celebrated my safe arrival back at the hotel by making a full circuit in the revolving door so that I materialized into the open once again, before plunging back in and being tossed with startling suddenness into the luxurious and towering lobby. The night staff were silently watching me.
“Oh, I say,” I announced to the pretty young receptionist. “I’m going to need a hand getting out of this rubber dress; don’t suppose you could…”
She smiled knowingly. “I’ll get the talcum powder and the shoe horn...” Read More
Marlice Van Vuuren with a vervet monkey
Namibia's Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary: Noah's Ark in the Desert
After encountering several access-controlled gates, I eventually arrived at the Harnas homestead, where I was greeted by an expanse of manicured lawns and the sight of Jack Russell terriers wrestling with a lion cub. Marlice Van Vuuren and her husband, Rudie, an international rugby and cricket player, were there to meet me.
Marlice's family have farmed in Namibia's Gobabis district for three generations and initially owned several farms. But all that changed back in 1978 when her parents saved a maltreated vervet monkey from its owner. This was the beginning of a long line of animals that found refuge on the farm.
To cover the ever-increasing cost of food, new enclosures and medical treatment, which had previously been financed through profits from their cattle and the sale of all but one of their farms, Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary and Guest Farm opened its doors, successfully establishing a haven for orphaned wild animals... Read More
Hungarian Wine: Back in the International Spotlight
Winemaker Jόzsef Simon began the ceremonial opening of the first bottle. I refused politely saying I was only here to interview him and that I would not take up much of his time.
“Nonsense,” he growled. “We cannot speak with the dry mouth.” We all nodded in agreement. A small cry of pleasure escaped me when the bottle finally released the cork.
The first taster was Pinot Gris – a crisp white, with an extremely fruity nose and a body revealing a fresh palette.
“Hungary's wine growing traditions date back centuries”, Jόzsef claimed. “But the long period of Soviet domination took a serious toll.” He nodded gravely then took a sip of wine and grew momentarily thoughtful.
“New investment and renewed enthusiasm for quality is now bringing the Hungarian wine industry slowly back into the international spotlight,” Hildi translated.
A further traditional uncorking revealed a new Chardonnay, light gold in colour and fragrant in layers of vanilla, melon, and citrus, yet slightly acidic.
Jόzsef educated me in Eger’s winemaking history and explained that Viticulture began in the region as early as the 11th century, when monks in the bishopric of Eger brought grapes indigenous to their own country with them into Hungary... Read More
Read More Stories by Cindy-Lou Dale:
The Isle of Man's Best Friend: The Manx Cat
Rafting in Bosnia: A Landscape of Incomparable Splendor
Namibia: Land of Neverending Color
Namibia Photo Gallery
Gorillas and Guerillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo