Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Curacao


 
Curacao is prosperous and beautiful, but different from the other islands I have visited.  It is more arid than tropical, and the Dutch influence is everywhere.


 In 1634, the Dutch West India Company claimed Curacao and began to settle it, although the island had been inhabited by many different people long before then.  The island is larger than some we visited with 171 square miles. We docked in Willemstad.


 
 The citizens come from diverse backgrounds and religions.  By fourth grade, children can speak Dutch, Spanish,  English, and the local dialect, Papiamentu.


 
 I'm always trying to get bird pictures for my friends, but I have never been very successful at it.  Steph, these are for you--it was the best I could do.




 
 There is an open air market along the wharf where merchants sell vegetables and fruits from Venezuela, which is 177 miles south of the island. Their boats are directly behind the tables shown here. 






We took an island tour where we saw the rich, the poor, a desert landscape, and beautiful beaches.  There were many different churches, and according to our guide, all of them have a restaurant and bar along with the sanctuary.



We spent the last hour of our tour on a beautiful beach. I spent most of it chasing this bird around.  I made about twenty shots; this was the best one.