That is what everyone has said when asking where we went on our vacation. Curacao (pronounced like “Cure –A – Sow”) is part of the ABC islands, which includes Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, or otherwise known as the Netherlands Antilles. The island is about 20 miles away from the coast of Venezuela and was previously occupied by the Dutch. There is a large variety of people on Curacao, I think I was told from over 160 countries. We did meet people from all over who make the island their home, from Aruba, multiple countries in Africa, Jamaica, Venezuela, Netherlands, etc. There is also a strong Jewish heritage and history of African slaves brought to the island to work on the plantations. Most of the locals speak four languages: Dutch, English, Spanish, and the island’s language, Papamiento. For the most part, this was very true and we had no trouble getting around the island despite our lack of Dutch skills.
The main city on the island is called Willemstad, a cute colorful city with a Dutch flavor. (image is from www.tripadvisor.com)
It is divided into two areas called Punda and Otrabanda (the Point, and the Other Side) by two bridges. One is a very tall bridge for cars. It is difficult to appreciate from pictures but was very steep and offered amazing views of the city.
The other is a historic bridge built on pontoon boats from the 1800s. An interesting story was that when the bridge was built, it was free to pass if you were barefoot and cost 2 cents if you wore shoes.
Can you see the pontoon boats that hold the floating bridge up?
Here is the view from the floating bridge. The bridge periodically opens to let boats pass through. We got stuck on the bridge as it swung open like a door 90 degrees until it was parallel to shore, as you can see below.
Here we are trying to wait out our time on the bridge…
…until this big boy finally passed through.
I got asked/tricked/suckered into dancing with this islander at the historic fort to this old organ/puppet show thing.
We didn’t do a very good job at getting pictures of the cute colorful buildings during the day time, but we got a great view from dinner one night.