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Day 18 - Willemstad, Curaçao

When & Where

overcast 79 °F

One of the most vibrant and adored cruise ports, a city that is outlined by a pastel skyline created by the painted Dutch architecture that lines the waterfront. Locals say that it was the 19th-century Governor-General Albert Kikkert who is responsible for this colorful architecture. Legend has it that he suffered from migraine headaches that he attributed to the harsh reflection of the sun on the white buildings of Willemstad. Thus a decree was issued to paint the structures any color other the white.

You will see buildings with Caribbean hues of blues, greens, yellows and reds. The result is a vibrant introduction to the city as the ship navigates the slim passage of the Sint Annabaii Channel. The city itself is a blend of cultures, from the languages spoken to the cuisine that can be found in this bustling port. Outside of the city, Curaçao boasts 38 beaches with reef systems that beckon diving enthusiasts from all over the world. The "C" in the Dutch ABC islands, Curaçao is the largest, most populous and most cosmopolitan of the former Lesser Antilles.

Aptly named for the Portuguese word "heart" upon discovery in 1499, this island, rich with culture rooted in history and hospitality, has a good chance of stealing yours during a visit.

Our boat docked on the "Otrabanda", which means "The Other Side" of the bay. This is the residential side, with twisting streets and brightly colored homes. On the opposite side of the bay is "The Punda", a grid of narrow streets chock full of museums, art galleries, cafés, boutiques, and restaurants, teeming with photo ops!

Willemstad's incredible architecture has earned the city its designation as a UNESCO Heritage Site. The most notable site is The Queen Emma Bridge, the only wooden pontoon bridge in the world, and it is free to cross. 16 pontoons float as the bridge swings open to welcome container ships, cruise chips, and sail boats into the harbor.

I had booked a swim with a Dolphin while we spent the day in Curaçao. The excursion was going to give us an introduction to the dolphin and it's habitat, a chance to swim and play with them too. However, shortly before we arrived to Curaçao, I received noticed that despite Holland Americas best efforts to leave this tour available, they were unable to reach the minimum number of guests set by the tour operator, so they actually requested to cancel the tour.

At first I was a bit disappointed about the cancellation, however...looking back on it now, it's best for the Dolphins to not be trapped and made to do things.

Instead, I did a self walking tour around the island, visited a Maritime museum which explores the history of the Curaçao shipping industry, pirates and maritime history of navigation.

Great little village to walk around, as well as plenty of shops and restaurants to try.

Until Next Time,

Posted by Sluggoaafa 11:37 Archived in Curaçao Tagged vacation america holland curacao rotterdam carribean willemstad hal Comments (0)

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