Sunday, May 6, 2012

Colorful Curacao

The island of Curacao is one of the most vibrant and colorful in the Caribbean.  From the moment that you walk across that world famous "moving pedestrian bridge" and view the exotic colors of the buildings along the front  street - you know that you are someplace special. 


Reminiscent of it's European Danish heritage- the city of Willemstad looks like very much like the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.  We LOVE visiting this beautiful island.  Let me show you some of my favorite places here~~


 Visiting Curacao by cruise ship is one of the best ways 
to see this wonderful island.

  Exiting the cruise ship, you will walk into the historic Rif Fort area. You will find several interesting shops and lots of vendors selling souvenirs.  Climbing the steps to the top area of the fort will allow you some scenic views of the harbor.

 If you are lucky, this vintage puppeteer wagon will be on display.  I love the colorful paintings and the puppets.(sometimes this wagon is covered when we visit - hopefully you will get to see it when you are there.)  It sits just inside the Rif Fort area.  


 You will walk past some stone walls that have
 been colorfully painted with
beautiful murals.


As soon as you cross the moving bridge - turn left and walk towards the end of the street.  The famous floating market is set up there every morning. THIS  is one of my favorite places to visit in the city!  Let me show you why!  (yep - that's the Gardener~~)
 
Local fishermen come here early every morning to see their fresh catches.  This is the first place that you want to visit as soon as you get to the island.  Don't sleep late on your day in Curacao or you will miss it ALL!  


You will see and SMELL the early morning catch!


The market is a hub of activity in the early mornings! 
 Have your cameras ready!





The local people come here to buy their fish and vegetables.

 

 If you are lucky - (and quick with your camera!) you can photograph the local fishermen 
bringing in their catch. 


















Of course - you can purchase some souvenirs here as well.
(I love the colorful paintings!)


If you walk past the market and take a left across the bridge - you will be able to see "behind" the market.  These "behind the scenes" photos are some of my favorites~~






 
If you want to see the vendors and fishermen in their market activity - you need to exit the ship as early as you can.  Most of this behind the scenes activity will be long gone by 9 am!


 When we are finished at the market - we can turn and walk back down the street to one of my favorite stores on front street.

  
This fabric store has beautiful cotton prints and the upstairs of the store has a wonderful selection of locally made laces and trims.  (you have to climb a set of narrow wooden steps to get to the upstairs section.)  I always buy some beautiful lace notions when we visit here! 


 Right across the street from the shops - is a long row of sidewalk cafe style restaurants.  This is a wonderful place to sit and watch the boat traffic go up and down the canal. 


 You will have a front row seat to watching the pedestrian bridge open for the boats as they pass through on their way to the open sea.
 (If you want - you can even stand on the bridge as it opens and closes for the passing ships.  "Riding the bridge" is a memorable experience.  When we were there the Gardener and I waited on the bridge waited on the bridge so that we could be sure not to miss this opportunity!  Mark that off our bucket list!! )   

 If you are spending some time at the waterfront restaurants - you might want to have one of these local passion fruit drinks. Pretty tasty - I'm just sayin!   (The service at these restaurants is SLOW - you are definitely on island time here!  And the food --- not so good.  I would suggest this as a place to rest a bit, watch the boats, and have a drink.  There are lots of other local restaurants a few blocks back inside the city where the food is fabulous and much less expensive. )




This sailing ship has been docked along the front street canal every time that we have visited the island.  I am totally captivated by it's beauty~~







There is lots more to see in this beautiful city. If you wanted to spend the day here in the city -- you would have a fabulous experience.  The city is very walkable and in addition to wonderful opportunities for shopping and restaurants, you would want to be SURE to visit the Jewish Synagogue and also the Jewish Museum - they are both beautiful and well worth your time.  The synagogue is absolutely stunning in its simplicity - one of my favorite places to visit when here.


   
We've visited Curacao on many occasions, and even though we love walking around Willemstad, - on our most recent visit there - we wanted to spend our afternoon at the beach~~

  So - after our quick visit to the floating market (I can't NOT go to the market!!) - we grabbed a taxi and went here~


Cabana beach is about a 20 minute taxi ride from the cruise ship pier.  The ride will cost you about $15 (for 2 persons).  Entrance to the beach is $5 US per person and the chairs will cost about $10 pp.  


You can choose chairs under these open cabana tents or pull your chair under one of the available thatched umbrella trees.  


This place was Paradise!

A beautiful, quiet, protected bay~

There are 2 nice restaurants on this beach.  But - honestly -- the food was very (very!) expensive.  Good --- but expensive!





Would you like to spend the day here?


The beach is very long - perfect for beach walks.  This is one of the other areas on the far end of the beach. 




This photo was taken from the restaurant on the far end of the beach.  We did not eat here -- maybe next time!




And - of course -- the traditional 
"Vicki knitting on the beach"
 photo!



The days pass all too quickly when you are on vacation~~ especially when you are doing nothing but relaxing on a beautiful beach!  So - around 4 pm we packed it up and headed back to the ship.  (there will be lots of taxis waiting at the parking lot for your return.)



So that's it!  I've shared with you all of our most favorite places and things to do on our recent two week cruise to the Caribbean.  If these places are on one of your future itineraries and you have questions or want more info - feel free to email me- I'd love to share my experiences and gained insights with you.  

~~~~~

Up next - the Gardener's stunning photos of sea turtles in Barbados.  (that's my hand on the turtle!)


And to finish out our Caribbean cruise experience -- a tropical inspired Vera Bradley giveaway. (My Spring NEST give away is still going on - you can access it from my side bar if you wish to enter. You have until May 27 to enter.) 

I hope that you are all enjoying these longer days - it's warm here-- HOT actually!  Our pool is open, my flowers are planted and growing on the back deck, we have bluebird eggs in nests out in our front yard, and my Mother's peony is in full bloom.  Our yard is beautiful!  Pictures to come soon on my sidebar!

xoxo,
Vicki
  

31 comments:

Shell said...

I SO love all these photos and living vicariously through you two! I'm certainly going to put this stop on my Bucket list!


Love and hugs!
Shell

Bead and Needle said...

Boy, what a bright, cheerful and HAPPY looking spot - your pictures are incredible! SO jealous - what a grand trip! Happy Monday from hot and sandy Las Vegas! :-)

Lois Evensen said...

What a wonderful series! Beautiful! We always enjoyed Curacao, too. So much color jumps into our cameras there! The people are so very lovely, too.

Createology said...

Colorful and ever so gorgeous. Your photography is fabulous. That fabric and lace shop would be my favorite spot. Thank you for sharing your amazing travels and tips for the best vacations ever. Blissful dear...

Joyful said...

Beautiful photos, Vicky. Such bright, happy colours!

Mila said...

Ciao Vicky :)! Love all your photos and those local colors!
Hugs,
Mila :)

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Wow, Vicki! What we missed by not going along. Enno just looked at your fotos and it has revved him up to take a cruise next year. Being Dutch he really wants to see Curacao. What a beautiful post. xo Jenny

Joluise said...

I love all the colours, these are wonderful photos and Thankyou so much for sharing. It looks like you had a great time:)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I wanna go! I wanna go!! Such beautiful photos, Vicki! I had to laugh as I was scrolling down I thought how wonderful it would be to paint that scene of the boats and houses... obviously, it was not a novel idea. LOL! I'd love to be piled up with my knitting there, too! blessings ~ Tanna

Mereknits said...

Vicki, My next door neighbor is from Curacao, she visits for several weeks each year and I get totally jealous. Beautiful pictures.
Meredith

SuZeQ said...

My heart actually skipped a beat when I read "lace notions" ... I'm not gonna lie to you - it really did.

As always, your photographs and words are delicious. Thank you for sharing, my friend.

kosec@sbcglobal.net

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

The market is really cool. I would get up early for that! Love the beach where you can rent chairs too.

Maggie said...

Dear Vicki,
I've finally found some time to visit my favourite blogs and so enjoyed my cruise with you today.
What memories it brought back!
For our 10th wedding anniversary (33 years ago) we cruised in this area visiting St Maarten & St Thomas but not Curacao, what bliss!
hugs
Maggie

DaCraftyLady Debb said...

Wow those are some of the most beautiful places it made me want to to go there. :) Now where is Curacao? I have been to Barbados but not here? I love the floating market and all that fabric, WOW...liked your photo knitting, that is what I always do too...just looks like you're having a wonderful time. Enjoy...I wish I was there too...
http://pbdesigns.blogspot.com

~~Debb

yaya said...

Ahhh..I feel like I just took a quick vacation right here at the computer! The colors are just amazing. It's been a long time since I've been to Curacao...I need to return! Thanks for sharing!

Patty C. said...

Beautiful photos ;)

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

Vicki, I could spend the afternoon losing myself in these photos. I love the pictures of the local fishermen and produce.
It all looks so relaxing, don't you ever feel like letting the boat go without you?
Paul

Dorthe said...

Vicky dear, another so beautiful place you have visited, what gorgeous colours and nature, and funny to see the "danish houses" they might look a lot like houses in Copenhagen from long ago, but one will never see those bright colours on houses here in Denmark- that would be only if a privat house owner paints his house pink or... but never inside the cities :-)
Love to you and hugs,Dorthe

sjmcdowell said...

Dearest Vicki,

I thoroughly enjoyed touring through all your beautiful photos of Curacao.
The vibrant colors are breathtakingly beautiful.
I just returned from AZ and posted some pictures on my blog and also of one of the Antique mall there in Phoenix AZ.
My oldest son and new DIL were married in Las Vegas on May 5th. So happy that I have a new daughter she is a beautiful girl inside and
out.
I am now just getting back into blogging after coming back, so had to say hello to you and see what you have been up to! Of course you have been up to all sorts of wonderful adventures!!


Blessings and Smiles,

susan

nancarts said...

These are such beautiful photos! The colors are amazing. I know you had a wonderful time...the beach looks so inviting and the color of the water is unbelievable..would love to take that cruise!
Peace and Blessings,
Nancy

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dearest Vicki
this is such a magical colourful post - I feel as though I've been to Curacao with you!
(Hey, I could have sat on the beach with you, doing my embroidery while you knitted)!

Thank you for sharing your AMAZING photos with us, they have given us a snapshot of this wonderful Caribbean island. The people and their life is so beautifully portrayed by your images.

Thankyou for sharing your trip with us!

hugs & love
Shane oxo

Esme said...

Those colors are just stunning. One year I am going to have to go there instead of always returning to France. I am back and will shoot your off and email. I also have a package for you.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

So much color and beauty! What a fabulous trip. I sure wish I didn't have an allergy to the sun. I can't do the beach at all anymore. Makes me very sad. Have a wonderful weekend. Tammy

sophie...^5 said...

I feel like I've come along on the cruise with you and the Gardener...what a blast that would be! The colours and sheer beauty of the Caribbean makes you feel like there can't be any other place on the planet that is so relaxing. This has been a wonderful story you have taken the time to tell us. Thanks so much...sounds like your temps are getting up there..we are coolish as usual..really no complaints..what's the point of that...I'll just go out in the garden and take pics! Cheers! Ron

Cathy said...

That you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures!!! Wow...the colors actually made me smile! I love the very first picture the best! We have been on 4 cruises, and I think the colors of the Islands is what inspires me the most! ♥♥♥

Lisa said...

Vicki,
Wow Curacao looks like such a bright & beautiful place to spend some time. I loved reading your travel guide to this port. well I always love your writing, I just went back & re-read 'the sacred yarn room' which I think I've read 3 or 4 times. Any book deals yet?
Lisa

Susan said...

Thanks once again for taking us on this trip...oh that fabric store! Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day. Susan

A garden just outside Venice said...

Oh my, this is heaven!!!
It could be twin town with Burano, the island of lace in the Venitian lagoon, where the houses are so colourful!
Vicky,thank you very much for your comment on my post about Carnival, sorry for getting back to you so late.
Michela x

Bead and Needle said...

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, VICKI! Tanya

Maria at inredningsvis.se said...

MMM LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and Im now following..I hope you will follow me also:)

If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
Have a great week.

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
(Sweden)

Julie Marie said...

That truly does look like Paradise... I want to visit the floating market, I would never leave!... and I would probably be the first one there since I always get up early early... love the photo of you knitting on the beach... sending much love to you, xoxo Julie Marie