Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean, north of the coast of Venezuela. You can find it on Google maps and there is a lot of background information on Wikipedia. I knew very little about any of the islands we visited before we arrived, so it was all a new experience for me.
The first things I noticed were the gorgeous turquoise blue water, and the attractive buildings in many pastel colors. It was also much drier than I expected. I know they are in a drier part of the year right now, but throughout the year there is only about 20 inches of rain. Except where things were watered regularly, things looked pretty brown.
The island has a colorful history involving slave trade and piracy, as well as more conventional forms of commerce. It has been ruled by a number of countries, and is currently a Dutch territory. Most of the people speak multiple languages – Dutch, Papiamentu (the local language), English, and Spanish. The economy is mainly tourism, oil, financial services, international trade and shipping. Prostitution is legal and human trafficking is thought to be a possible problem.
Willemstad is the capital city, and where we walked around. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
OK, enough info – on with the photos!
The view from the ship.
That resort had an interesting swimming area.
It was very windy and the waves were crashing against this old wall.
The ball field and swimming pools on the left were always busy.
We walked a short ways and come to a waterway with this pretty sailboat making its way out to the open water.
There is a swinging bridge that was open to let this large tanker make its way up the waterway. It was moving along at a good clip, apparently being towed by the tug boat.
The bridge swings in an arc on these rollers.
The bridge in place, ready for people to cross.
The view from the bridge – very pretty!
I surprised at the info I found about that ship. I’ll write a bit below.
I took a close shot of the name of the ship so I could look it up later.
This beautiful sailboat was also docked along the waterway.
We start walking around town, and one of the first things we find are these boats selling fish.
You can buy fish directly from the boats.
Fish for sale.
Past the boats there is merchandise for sale.
Pretty things for sale.
Then, there were many produce vendors.
Just walking around…
The city is very pretty. I like the colors here.
Yes, there is a Subway here
And a KFC, and Pizza Hut
Some of the historical buildings in town.
This was an old fort, which now appears to be the police headquarters but we walked through without a problem.
A really old looking part of the fort on our way into the center.
We just walked into the fort and out the other side.
We walked farther on and found this really interesting area along the water with shops and restaurants.
A close look at the walls.
We wandered into this very interesting market, a big circular building with vendors all around.
More vendors outside.
I like their license plates
This looked like an area for local businesses and shops.
We head back towards the waterway to make our way back to the ship.
I love this sculpture!
We almost got on the bridge, but it opened again before we arrived.
From this side, we could see the motors that move the bridge.
The bridge closes into place.
Time to go back across the bridge.
We round a corner to find a pretty photo op of the ship.
As we were walking back to the ship, I couldn’t resist this pretty shot.
Another ship photo.
There always seems to be work going on in the ship.
Joel, back in the ship.
I expect this is part of the oil refining business.
Leaving the area, the island turning gray in the distance.
Another day, another beautiful sunset.
Oh, that ship that was docked in the waterway, the Freewinds of Panama, it’s owned by the Scientologists! Check out the Wikipedia article here.
About Kris Cunningham
We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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Wow I love the beautiful color of the buildings! What a fun and interesting trip!
It definitely is a pretty place with all that color
Just curious, and you may not know the answer, but do the cruise ships instead of a round trip, offer travel to a island, or city, let you stay a week or till the next time they make the “circuit”. While the time on shore would be at your own expense and agenda. Some of these stops look like a interesting place to explore for a week or two.
I don’t think they offer that. There are repositioning cruises that are one way trips and you have to find your own way back home, which might be an option if they go to a place you want to see. I agree that it would be great to have more time. It’s too bad they can’t stay at a port for a few days, but I’ve never seen that either. But, at least you get a taste of places and if you find something you love, then you can plan another trip to spend more time there.
I’ve been in Jamaica, and some Mexican ports, and when the cruise ships arrive, it gets very hectic for a few hours, prices rise at the gift shops, everything is bustling, then at night and when no ships are in port it is more normal.
That makes sense. If you’re trying to make a living, you take advantage of a ship full of possible customers.
This Island reminds me of ours, St Croix. Which was once ruled by the Danes, same architect. Sounds like you are having a good trip, how many Islands are you visiting?
We visited three islands, this, Bonaire, and Aruba.
I suspect that the tug boats were there to help guide and steer the ship through the waterway rather than towing it.
Someone said the one in front was actually towing it, but you know a lot more than I do about how these things are managed.