A review of Praia da Luz (January 2023)

A brief recap: Since arriving at Ocean Villas Luz in August 2020, our resident writer David Lugg has been experiencing all aspects of Luz Life. This is his January 2023 review:

I have just returned from an action-packed week in north east Poland. If you have ever visited Poland in January then you will know that it could not be more different to Praia da Luz. That’s not to say that it wasn’t beautiful – the area is known as the ‘land of 1000 lakes’ – the nature is spectacular. But it was certainly a striking contrast to Luz – Poles apart you might say (bad pun intended).

Poland was blanketed with a crazy white substance that I understand is called snow. After a month of largely unbroken sunshine in Luz, life in this white, winter wonderland felt surprisingly alien. I watched skittish wild deer bound along the monochromatic countryside giving the world a fairy-tale feel. I half expected to stumble across a gingerbread house or a family of trolls playing merrily on a frozen lake. It had been a long time since I had felt sub-zero temperatures – and the first time my baby had ever truly experienced cold weather.

Fifty shades of blue

Moreover, I had no idea how long it would take just to leave the house – boots, trousers, jumpers, coat, scarves, hats, gloves – it was quite an adventure just to get to the front door. However, a lovely time was had by all and we returned with happy memories. The first thing I did upon landing in Portugal was change back into my shorts – isn’t it funny what you miss! Though, there was something else that I yearned for following my week away – something unexpected – nothing tangible like my flip flops or the sand. Bizarrely, I really missed the colour blue.

I genuinely hadn’t seen the colour blue since dipping down through the snow clouds high above Warsaw airport. It’s quite magical the effect that blue has on the soul and it gave me an immediate sense of relief and freedom. A quick scour of well-being/health websites advises you that blue instils peace and tranquillity to the psyche. Across a wide range of cultures, blue (especially lighter blues) can symbolise healing and hope – medical companies often use blue as the principal colour on their logos.

Beautiful, icy Poland

Similarly, darker blues suggest tones of security, trust and authority.  Many banks will use dark blue as part of their corporate identity. Logos for brands of toothpaste, car companies, computer software, credit cards – even the police are blue in many European countries. A study in 2003 found that shops with a blue interior were ‘significantly more likeable’, whilst blue street lights set up in Glasgow appeared to dramatically decrease crime figures.

That said, I don’t think the local authorities will be rushing to set up blue lights in Praia da Luz any time soon. The all-encompassing vastness of the sky and the sea envelops you from the moment you set eyes upon the town. There is no doubt that Luz has extraordinary pacifying features. The town is blue beyond blue. Fifty shades of blue you might say.

The January blues – Praia da Luz style

The Art historian, Denis Dutton, noted that ‘the world’s favourite colour is blue, perhaps because it reminds us of clear blue skies or peaceful landscapes with lakes and rivers that offer us a sense of comfort and peace’. I think there is a lot to be said for that. Blue brings people back to Luz time and time again. Especially when you take into account that Luz has 300 days of sunshine per year.

So, there you go, what you need in your life is a little more blue. The next time someone says they have the blues, maybe you should tell them how lucky they are – either that, or send them to Ocean Villas Luz. It’s as far away from snow as you can imagine – aside from the ice cubes in my gin and tonic.

More news next month.

David Lugg
#oceanvillasluz #davidluggwriter
(All photo images owned by David Lugg)

Previous blogs can be viewed HERE

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