Saturday 11 April – Curaçao
A day in Curaçao with a very windy and exposed berth right on the sea front. Curaçao is a Dutch island administered in many ways like the British Crown Dependencies like the Isle of Man and Jersey but it is the colours of the buildings in the capital, Willemstad that set it apart from many other Caribbean islands.
An early goveneror of the island said he was blinded by the whiteness of the buildings so he ordered every household to paint their houses a different colour. Everyone obeyed and it worked well although when he died it was discovered he was the owner of the local paint factory!
Full town wide free Internet access so no hurry to get logged on so we walk through Rif Fort to the swing bridge, Queen Emma Bridge (Kon. Emmabrug), a delightfully strange but useful floating bridge which is swung around on the water when needed and, if for a long time, replaced by a free ferry.
Ironically, the bridge is partially funded by the European Union based upon Curacao’s political status.
A walk to a local church and government buildings still guarded by it’s guns and around the lovely old and colourful buildings finding a sign just to remind the locals of where they are! (Maybe it is a Dutch thing as I have seen a couple of others on blogs about places in Holland)
Visit the floating market, the circular indoor market ( a weird collection of items on sale from tools to fruit and fish ) as well as looking at the very colourful buildings, including a church and the Prosecutor’s office.
An unusual art type feature are the busty female models made out of clay which can be found all over town in various sizes and colours.
We found the painter was in town with a little shop selling much smaller versions.
After an ice cream and a stop for souvenirs, Sal and I return to the ship for a rest but not before my expensive Australian hat had blown off on the bridge and was fortunately rescued by a fellow passenger.
I venture out again for more photos and internet time and this time manage to complete a round of Lexulous whilst getting internet access, stand on the swing bridge whilst it was being moved and then lose my Queenstown hat ( took it off because of the wind only for it to fall off my belt in town ).
Willemstad is a colourful, vibrant town – we were the only cruise ship in – where locals were in abundance but it seems other areas were not as picturesque. There is a question mark hanging over the oil industry which does bring in a substantial amount of revenue.
A couple of e-mails and text messages required attention, one of Sal’s colleagues died a few days ago, Joyce Faragher, and Phillip’s knee replacement operation had some serious complications although he is getting better.
Evening concert by Richard & Adam Johnson, two very good singers.