Another beautiful day in paradise as we all woke up between 6-7am, had a nice breakfast and coffee on the veranda and fantasized about life on the freighters we watched crawl along the horizon. Today we play tourist and visit some of the sights on the southern end of the island.
First stop was an abandoned salt flat that after producing salt, now was just the home to large groups of flamingos . . . and a memorial to the Freedom Fighters (got to do a little more researcher on that).
The cameras on the Google Pixel phones emJay and I have were rated the best in the field (at least when we bought them) and I decided to use mine, exclusively, on my recent Florida biking trip. No regular camera along. It worked GREAT, synching the photos in the cloud with Google Photos so they were immediately available on line for computer editing. The only downside discovered so far is the zoom option. Unlike most point and shoot cameras that have an actual optical zoom, the phones ‘zooming’ is done by just enlarging the digital image, usually resulting in rather poor results as pictured above. I zoomed in, in order to compress the church in the background with the flamingoes in the foreground. Turn out to be too ‘grainy’ with too many ‘artifacts’ for my satisfaction.
There were some cool looking little anemone type critters in the salt ponds that were opening and closing their gills to pass water and nutrients through. Chow time!!!
Oh boy. . .
Next stop was the Curacao distillery. A nice self guided tour gave us the history of the liquor and some facts about early life on the island . . .
. . . ends up when the Spanish settled the island they brought Valencia orange trees along, but the harsh arid climate produced oranges that were too sour and tart to eat. Somehow they developed the process of cutting off the rinds, drying them, then soaking them in a special spice mixture, combining the result with alcohol distilled from sugar cane, adding coloring and more flavorings and . . .
. . . in 17 days you have the final product, in a variety of forms . . .
. . . just waiting for those with inquiring minds, and palates, to give the result a taste. We all agreed that of the three flavors available today for tasting, the tamarind flavor was the tastiest!!!
We toured around the city of Willemstad and discovered some interesting graphics and artwork .. .
. . . as well as the ‘floating market’ that consisted of a flotilla of veggie hauling boats arriving daily to sell their produce on the docks. Fun!!!
Great local art . . .
Soon it was time for lunch and we ‘set up camp’ at a nice outdoor restaurant right next to the canal serving the island main shipping port. Bicky ordered a daiquiri and the liquor for it came in a little test tube. FUN!!!! Chemistry at work. You can see the 185 foot off-the water bridge over the entrance to the harbor in the background.
. . . ‘island time’, a phrase one often hears, came into play today as our lunch turned into about a 3 hours event. VERY slooooooow service. But . . . one needs to just slowdown, take in the surroundings and have a few more drinks. Don’t fight it!!!
Across the floating pontoon Queen Emma Bridge was the Otrobanda neighborhood who has tried to imitate it’s older sister, the Punda areas waterfront color scheme.
. . . the pontoon walking bridge swings open from a hinge on the north side of the canal, quite often, allowing ships travel in and out of the harbor. Many times the operator only opens it 50-60 feet to allow passage of smaller ships . . .
. . . to wide open for the large ocean going freighters we have seen on the ocean from our balcony, to military ships like this French cruiser that was making a port call. Either military ships do not let the usual Port Pilot on their bridge to ‘bring the ship into harbor’ or they ran out of fuel because it was towed into the harbor by two tugs . . .
We finally finished lunch and walked a cross the pontoon bridge to the Otrobanda side of the canal. The women hit the bazaar while Charlie and I studied the workings of the swivel side of the bridge. Quite ingenious!!! And here is my rendition of one of the most poplar photos in the Caribbean, the Willemstad waterfront. The white canopies are the location of our lunch restaurant.
Soon it was time to head for home, with a stop Centrum Supermarket for some more vittles including milk from Organic Valley Farms located in LaFarge, WI!!!!
Blue Lagoon cocktails on the veranda, followed by iced Roses, followed by spaghetti carbonara, a big salad, roasted Brussels sprouts, garlic bread and a dessert course of dark and milk chocolate rounded off ANOTHER PERFECT EVENING!!!