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Bubblegum lake city: Touring Torrevieja and taking it with a pinch of salt
Tuesday, August 9, 2022 @ 6:58 PM

SEEING the world through the proverbial rose-tinted spectacles is fairly typical when you're on holiday, and for newly-settled expats once they get the practical hurdles of a move abroad out of the way. Of course, it never lasts forever, but here in Spain, once the pink glasses come off, the full spectrum of colours awaits you at every turn.

You'll still see this beautiful range of colours even once you take off the rose-tinted specs. Torrevieja's visitor attractions are fairly atypical, if not actually unique - like its ‘bubblegum lake’ (photo: Servigroup Hotels)

Literally, as well as metaphorically: Multiple shades of green, a different one dominating depending upon where you are in the country or, even, in the same province; desert-yellow through to off-white in drier zones and on beaches; flame-red in some mountainous areas or red-gold in the central plains; pale purple in the province of Guadalajara during lavender season; a full set of traffic lights covering every micrometre of the pH scale in autumn.

Rivers and seas, too, that range from fluorescent turquoise on bright days, navy-blue where clear waters coincide with very white sand on the bed, gunmetal grey when storms gather (and the odd one of these in high summer is always welcome, refreshing the humid, sizzling atmosphere).

Part of Torrevieja's Paseo Vistalegre, the lively port-side promenade. Photo by Enrique Íñiguez Rodríguez (Qoan) on Wikimedia Commons

Obviously, water on its own doesn't have a colour. It reflects the sky, what's around it, the colour of its base, or what's in it. Which is why the iron-oxide content of the famous Río Tinto in the province of Huelva makes the river turn a permanent shade of fiery orangey-red.

That's without even mentioning the rainbow of pastel colours and primary colours the buildings, including private homes, are habitually painted in. Why be grey when you can be psychedelic blue?

Monument in tribute to Torrevieja's habaneras, or Cuban-style sailors' songs, on the Paseo Vistalegre (photo: Zarateman/Wikimedia Commons)

And back to those rosy specs, you may well have seen or heard of the bright chewing-gum-pink lakes found in far-flung tropical countries – La Laguna Colorada in Bolivia's breathtaking Uyuni salt flats, the Las Coloradas nature reserve in México's Yucatán peninsula, Lake Hillier on Australia's Middle Island and Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia, and Lake Retba near the coast of Sénégal, about 35 kilometres from the capital, Dakar.



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