Around here in Michigan, things get pretty gray and dreary in January. While anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and a little bit of sunshine, we’ve let our minds virtually escape to some more colorful places that we’d love to share. If you’re color deprived too and need a little boost- or if you’re not, and simply want a break, take a little mental get-away with us and travel to some vibrant spots across the Atlantic. It’s free!
1. Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain- When you’ve had your fill of basking in the sun on the sands of some of the world’s best beaches (according to National Geographic) take a break for a walk in one of the most colorful parks of Barcelona, Park Guell. The park, officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, was designed by renowned Catalonian architect Antonin Guadi in the early 1900s. Inspired by shapes and colors occurring in nature, the park’s architecture boasts brightly colored tile mosaic walls, and soft, curved lines.
2. Holika Color Festival, India- This traditional Hindu spring festival of love and color couldn’t possibly do anything but brighten your spirits. As one Hindu legend has it, Krishna, an Indian diety, remarking that Goddess Radha had a fairer complexion than he, playfully smeared her cheeks with colored powders. The act resulted in a friendly battle of color throwing and has become a trademark of the Holi Festival. This fun-filled, colorful tradition has caught on in many parts of the world, including the United States. Color Run, anyone?
3. Burano, Italy- As if we need one more reason to love Italy. Here’s one anyway: Burano. It’s a small, but oh so cheery island in the Venetian Lagoon that will lift your spirits so high you’ll never want to leave. The colors of the houses are not at all haphazard, but carefully follow a pattern that dates back to the beginning of the island’s development. In fact homeowners need approval from the government before changing the paint color of their home! Color coordination is a serious business.
4. Agitagueda Art Festival, Agueda, Portugal – Usually the word umbrella connotes rain and gray skies, but the floating umbrella installation at the Agitagueda Art Festival in Portugal just might give you a new perspective. The installation, known as the Umbrella Sky Project, was introduced to the festival in 2012 as part of a low-cost urban art initiative, and was so well received that it was repeated in the two following years. What a great way to attend an art festival- outside and under the shade of a brightly covered canopy of art itself.
5. Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Kitakyushu, Japan- A walk through this whimsical garden will not only engulf you in the soft colors of spring, but in sweet scents of wisteria. Walking under the famous wisteria tunnel will leave you feeling enchanted and refreshed, a perfect pick-me-up after a gloomy winter. The best time to see the flowers in full bloom (in person) is late April to mid May, but that’s a long way away. No need to wait, take a visit below without paying for airfare.
6. Kuchlbauer Tower, Abensberg, Germany- Arriving at the Kuchlbauer Brewery in Abensberg, in Bavaria will have you feeling like you stepped into a Dr. Seuss book, except there’s beer involved, which is probably the only way a Dr. Seuss book could get better. After touring the brewery and learning about the brewing process, you can climb up the tower, designed by renowned Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, to appreciate his colorful, nature-inspired art and a view of the town from high. When you’re done, you can taste the beer for yourself! It pairs perfectly with a bretzel, otherwise known as a soft pretzel.
7. Wroclaw, Poland- As the largest city in western Poland, there’s no shortage of things to do. From visiting museums and gardens, to taking a river cruise on the Odra River, or hunting down the dwarf figurines strewn about the city, there are plenty of ways for you to appreciate the city. And of course there’s the beautiful Market Square, that is a tourist destination of its own, famous for it’s cheerful, brightly colored facades, cafés, restaurants, and specialty shops. A walk through this heart of the city sounds like the perfect recipe for a little pick-me-up.
We do hope you enjoyed your virtual escape. Thanks for traveling with us!