Wednesday Wanderlust

Shades of Blue

Chefchaouen, Morocco

The Blue Pearl of Morocco, nestled in the Rif Mountains is this serene and picturesque town painted in various shades of periwinkle and sky blue. I can’t imagine a more calming cityscape to stroll through. The blue theme comes from the 15th century following the Spanish Inquisition, when many Jews sought refuge in this town. This community started the painting of walls blue, and the town has remained the same ever since.

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Júzcar, Spain

In the region of Andalucía, this Spanish town boasts bright turquoise facades that have become iconic due to its “pop culture whimsy” combined with unique and authentic culture. This story doesn’t trace back as far as the 15th century, however. It was actually a promotion for the Smurfs 3D back in 2011, and tourism skyrocketed in this area as a result.

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Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Here, the blue comes from the building accompaniments (windows, doors, shutters) and the turquoise blue Bay of Tunis below. It’s a relaxkng, quiet atmosphere that provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Tunis. The blue derived from a painter who lived here from 1909 to 1932 by the name of Ennejma Ezzahra (referred to as Sidi Bou Said).

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Jodhpur, India

The second largest city in the state of Rajasthan, Jodhpur has been dubbed the “blue city,” among other nicknames. The indigo shades were once used to identify the homes of Brahmins, India’s highest caste, and it evolved to signify high social class, because blue was believed to have “cooling abilities.”

Oia, Greece

This hotspot on the island of Santorini can’t be missed on a list of blue getaways. Blue and white are the trademark of Oia, and they’re also the colors of the Greek flag. But in reality, the history of these colors derives from the fact that volcanic stone on the terrain led to buildings being unbearably hot, so whitewashing was used to reflect the sun’s heat. The bright blue domes were a result of a chemical mixture of lime plaster and loulaki, a cleaning agent.

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