I love looking out for colours when I travel. The brightly-coloured saris of women in Southern India, the pastel shades of the houses in London’s Notting Hill, the vivid orange of a Mediterranean sunset or the purple of the Jacaranda trees in Seville.
But most of all I look for the colour blue. It can be soothing, vibrant or just remarkably beautiful. Some places are more blue than others. I always associate the Greek islands with blue, from the vivid blue of the domed houses on the island of Santorini to the brightly painted boats in the little harbours and the extraordinary turquoise colour of the sea.
Jodhpur in India is sometimes called the Blue City because of all the buildings which have been painted blue. In Jodhpur, the Brahmins, India’s priestly caste, live in blue-painted houses.
In Spain, you can see brightly-coloured blue tiles in many of the cities, like the beautifully decorated tiles of the Plaza Espana in Seville or Gaudi’s wonderfully eccentric Casa Batlló in Barcelona. In Seville, you can even find women wearing blue flamenco dresses walking down the streets.
Then there’s the blue of the British seaside. The sun has turned the rock pools a beautiful blue in these shots of Polzeath and Constantine Bay on the North Cornwall coast. Even Brighton’s a lovely shade of blue in September.
Sometimes it’s just about catching a glimpse of the blue sea through the hedge as you’re walking the South West Coastal Path in south Cornwall, and then delighting in the blue on the window frames of the houses when you arrive in the pretty harbour town of Polperro.
And what about the blue of an English springtime? The gorgeous blue of the bluebells in the woods in Kent or the perfect shade of blue on Lake Windermere in the Lake District on a rare, sunny day in April.
Morocco is another country I associate with blue. In the city of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains, most of the doors and walls of the buildings are painted blue. Then there’s the intense blue of some of the tiles and buildings in the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, a shade of blue inspired by the artist’s trip to the Atlas Mountains. I love to catch the sight of a blue djellaba as I walk the streets or the blue of the boats in the harbour at Essaouira on the Atlantic coast.
But you can find blue wherever you travel if you’re looking for it, whether it’s the blue-painted window frames and shutters on a restaurant on Paris’s Left Bank, blue chairs in a taverna in Gumusluk on Turkey’s Bodrum Peninsula, the bright blue door of a house on the Greek island of Kefalonia or a vivid blue wall of a building in Kingsand, south Cornwall.