Every year on Fat Tuesday, dozens of people line up in Praça de Espanha on the periphery of central Lisbon, waiting for one of the infrequent buses heading to Sesimbra.

On that day, the small coastal town comes alive with a Carnaval parade complete with floats, drummers, exotic dancers in…

‘For the traveller who comes in from the sea, Lisbon, even from afar, rises like a fair vision in a dream, clear-cut against a bright blue sky, which the sun gladdens with its gold’ — Fernando Pessoa.

Lisbon ‘rises like a fair vision in a dream’. Photo: Nick Leonard.

The first person to emerge from Lisbon’s coronavirus lockdown was Fernando Pessoa, who…

Marrakesh, Morocco 🇲🇦

The Djemaa el-Fna, the enchanting square at the heart of Marrakesh, assaults the senses at all hours: by day, the sight of snake charmers and their hypnotised serpents and the fragrant smells of the spice stalls; by night, the sounds of traditional storytellers and beating drums under a blanket of…

‘You’re not going to Colombia, are you?’

Perhaps this phone call home from Panama City in mid-2005 had not been the best idea. My mother was concerned, and I could hardly blame her. Colombia was embroiled in a four-decade civil war and was the epicentre of the world’s cocaine industry.

Nick Leonard

Compulsive traveller, Camino de Santiago pilgrim, Olympic journalist and light-chasing photographer.

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