Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Friday, April 18, 2014


Our first port of call was Aruba. This Caribbean island first discovered by the Spanish in 1499 was controlled by Spain until the eighty year war with The Netherlands.  The Netherlands took control of the island in 1636 and with only a short interruption controlled it until 1985, when it became an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

With this history, Anneke wanted to explore the capital city- Oranjestad.  She wanted to see what remained of the Dutch influence.  We docked within walking distance of downtown and spent a few hours exploring. The island has a little over 88,000 residents and encompasses over 70 nationality.  There are several official languages, one of which was Dutch.  The main industry is tourism which became dominate when decades ago, the airlines started heavily advertising Aruba as a wonderful get away vacation spot. Today most of the shoreline of the island is lined with resorts and assorted attractions.  Then the cruise industry added their passenger volume to the mix and it is now basically one giant tourist attraction. 

We were touring on our own and tried using the city map as a guide, but it turned out the streets do not have their names posted but only the direction back to the cruise terminal.

Anneke was able to find photos of the new King and queen of the Netherlands and enjoyed a brief photo op.

The city area has a few upscale shops for the cruise passengers, but the rest is in need of some repair.  We searched for  the traditional Dutch businesses, but only found empty structures.  The people were friendly but the Dutch language was not dominate here. 

We did find one archeology museum open and took a brief tour of island history and culture.

The end.


John Hedges said...

Chuck, is your cruise ship the one in the foreground or the one in the background of your header picture? Caribbean Islands always look so colorful. Thanks for sharing.

where's weaver said...

Neither of us has been I Aruba. What a gorgeous island! I love all the colorful buildings.

Those street names are a mystery. They must think all the islanders know where they are so no need for street names. Crazy.

Sherry said...

Aruba, it sounds so exotic. Love the bright colors but I wonder where the real people and the real island are or went. The King and Queen look like a very handsome couple.

Wanderin' said...

We've been to Aruba a couple of times but not on a cruise ship. We loved it. Thanks for the memories.

Luci & Loree said...

Liked the bright colors of the buildings and architecture... even cacti!!

Erin Erkun said...

We've really enjoyed our visits to Aruba. So glad we toured the far side of the island the first time and visited Devil's Bridge as the rock arch broke apart a few years later. We love hopping on a local bus and going to one of the beaches for a relaxing day in port.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

I got the worst sunburn of my life in Aruba. I spent two days snorkeling and thought I was smart by wearing a white T shirt.

Forgot about my legs and man did they ever blister. The flight back to the states was quite interesting as I could barely bend my legs to sit down.

Just one of the many memories I have of Aruba. :c)

Jim and Sandie said...

The water is so beautiful. And those colorful buildings are wonderful. But it is somewhat like the Bahamas. Gorgeous and expensive around the resorts but lots of poverty and shuttered buildings just a few blocks away.

Rick Doyle said...

Thanks for the great tour of Aruba and all the fantastic photos. Feel's like I've been there!

Glad you found a good spot to dock your boat, Chuck!

Linda said...

How gorgeous, I love all the colours! Happy Easter!

Petra said...

Aruba has a lot of Dutch left. For one a gigantic Dutch supermarket Superfood, for another a Bruna store with only Dutch books and magazine, not to mention many, many excellent Dutch restaurants. We have been there ten times and are going again in August. Goes to show you don't see much of an island with a cruise, one of the reasons I'm not super fond of cruising the Caribbean. Too touristy around the cruise terminals :(. Not to say we won't again, hubby is chomping at the bit for a Western Caribbean cruise :)