Willemstad; A UNESCO Site
During one of my most recent trips to Aruba I felt a bit adventuresome, so I made the day trip to the friendly nearby island country of Curacao. It is not easy getting up early when your on vacation, but I managed to wake up at 5;30 a.m. and took the 8 a.m flight from Aruba. This short 20 minute flight had me on Curacao in no time at all. At the suggestion of a friend I took a cab to Willemstad and arrived at about 9 a.m. at the Hotel Avila for their very fine breakfast buffet. From there I walked downtown into this seaport city to explore and enjoy the sites and sounds that have been common since the days of Christopher Columbus. Shopping in the local stores was interesting, merchants have their goods priced to sell and all found them to be super friendly,never pushy. I ended up buying 3 very nice men's short sleeve island style shirts for a total of $ 25. As far as day tripping-island hoping this was a very easy journey to make. I found the folks on Curacao to be very friendly, with a true Caribbean flair of its own. Lunch was at Bistro Le Clochard at Fort Rif, although good-it was too pricey, and there are so many other places to eat, The city itself is very interesting-in that is divided by the bay, and you can cross from side to side by the walking bridge or free boat ride. Although I did get to visit some beaches south of the city, I never went up the northern coast. A must see next time would be the seaquarium.
A friend had recommend a trip to the Maritime Museum in the historic Scharloo district, just a short walk from Willemstad so I was off to find it. Located at Van De Brandhof Straat 7, just a brief walk off the harbor at St. Anna Bay, this museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
From the outside the museum itself looks humble, however once inside you’ll see various information on 40 ships and their accessories from the 1500's on. Numerous displays and presentations abound, any true nautical buff will certainly enjoy their visit, as well as the welcome air conditioning. Interesting how what you see going on in the port on a daily basis has been happening here for over the last 400 years.
Some other highlights are information on the journeys Columbus made here, as well as the influence that the Dutch had on the island. I felt that everything here was present in an accurate-historical fashion that kept my interest. When I’m in the Caribean I’m not using looking to go on the museum tour, but I found this one enjoyable, and I’d allow 1 hour for a visit here.
On the plane ride back to Aruba I was congratulating myself for surely saving money on those shirts vs. what I’d have paid in Aruba-then I remembered-the plane ride round trip was $ 170 ! I was back & through Aruba customs by 5;30 p.m. Whew-what a great day !!
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Video From Start Of My Day Trip
lovedee on October 26, 2010:
I hope you have enjoy your trip @ curacao!