Friday, April 29, 2011

The Beautiful Island of Curacao

The beautiful island of Curacao is like no other that we have ever visited in the Caribbean~~

The Capital city of Willemstad, steeped in history and rich in a Dutch heritage is one of the most colorful and vibrant cities on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Once you have visited this city and walked the streets of the charming neighborhoods - you will understand why this island is loved above all others.

Behind me is the colorful neighborhood known as Punda. To me, it closely resembles the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. To get to this neighborhood - you must walk across the pedestrian bridge. This bridge - the Queen Emma pontoon bridge - is a floating bridge that rests on 16 floating pontoons. The bridge swings open to allow boats to pass into and out of the harbor.


This is the only floating pedestrian bridge of this type in the world and it is truly remarkable. If you are standing on the bridge when it swings open - you can "ride" the bridge while it opens and closes . The Gardener and I "rode" the bridge and it was a fabulous experience! (I will tell you lots more about this later~~)

Come with me for a little walk around the charming neighborhood of Punda~~Be sure to bring your cameras - the sights are amazing!

(Don't forget that you can click on any of the photos to get a zoomed in version!)

The Gardener and I practically wore the soles off our shoes because we walked so much around this beautiful city! We took a gazillion photos (don't worry you won't have to see them all!)

Our friends Bob and Jan did their touring the easy way - in this adorable little car! We snapped this photo as they drove by~~

Our ship is parked next to the Historic Rif Fort area. The fort was built in 1828 to defend the city of Willemstad. Today - the fort area is a restored shopping area and hotel complex. You must walk through the Fort area in order to get to the floating pedestrian bridge that leads to the colorful Punda neighborhood.


Here are a few photos of the Fort area and around the city ~~







I love this colorful street~~

The bells play every hour and they have the most wonderful sound. At the noon hour they play a beautiful song.


One of my favorite shops in the city is located right along the waterfront.

The entire downstairs is filled with beautiful fabrics - but if you climb the rickety wooden staircase to the upper level - you will find a fabulous assortment of handmade laces and trims. Most of them are made on the island or imported from the Netherlands. (the day we visited was a National Holiday and the shop was filled with people - I could not get a photo of the upstairs area because it was so crowded :(

If you walk along the harbor front - you will come to my most favorite place in the city - the vibrant and bustling floating market. For me this colorful mix of fresh fruits, vegetables, people, and handicrafts is a true photographers paradise. The Gardner and I were here forever just taking photos. If you go to Curacao - this is a not to be missed experience~~

The boaters arrive before dawn and set up at the market along the waterfront. Some vendors sell fish and vegetables from their boats. Others bring their goods to the covered stands and sell from that area. The market is busy and loud, there are children laughing and playing, the fish mongers are selling their fresh catch, - it is an atmosphere that is sensory on every level~~


















The real business of the market takes place "behind" the market~~







I will be back with a second post of photos in a few days. We will visit some more sights around the city including the beautiful Jewish Synagogue - the oldest Jewish synagogue in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere. I'll also take you to the Governer's Palace and the Fort Church - which still bears the scars of a battle with the British in 1804. You can see the cannon ball that is still lodged in the wall of the old church.

AND- I will show you a video of this floating bridge as it opens to allow a boat to pass into the harbor. The Gardener and I are riding the bridge as it opens~~

There is so much to see and do on this beautiful island - one cannot begin to do it all in one day as you visit from a cruise ship. I already have my plans made for when we visit again next year!


Some updates~~

Don't forget to enter my "nest" give away - you have until May 25. The link is on my sidebar. I am in the middle of working on my new line of Limited Edition nests - all I can say is that I am getting so excited about them. I will have a beautiful preview of the yarns and embellishments to show you soon~~


Thank you all for your wonderful and endearing comments about our precious little Keri Beth and her birthday celebration. We really did have a wonderful time with her. She is crawling everywhere now and starting to pull up to a standing position. We think she is the best thing since sliced bread!! (but then we feel that way about all our precious babes!!)



ps - An unbelievable thing happened over the past few days ~~ 500 happy little follower faces magically appeared on my blog! I still cannot believe that you all want to be here with me - I am amazed and more grateful than I can ever say !! Although I had not planned to have another give away so soon - you can bet that we are going to celebrate this in a BIG way!! So look for that in early June - I am thinking Vera Bradley and something WONDERFUL!!


Seawashed said...

Ohhh how I love the colors and you right along with them! YOu are so beautifully colorful along with the fresh market fruits. And so tan! wow! Looks like a most wonderful time with your beloved. ox Can't wait to see more.

Mosaic Magpie said...

What fabulous photos and all so full of color! Great job, not only are you a nifty nest knitter but a great photographer too!

Jacoba said...

You might not know it, but your skirt reflects the colours of Curacao: red and yellow.
I brought back a hammock in those colours to hold on to the island!
It is a wonderful place, and I can almost smell the floating market when I see your pictures!

PoetessWug said...

Oh! Such beautiful color on the buildings!! And I can't wait to see the video of the opening of the bridge. :-) By the way, Congratulations on all of the followers!! Woohoo!! :-]

gigi knits said...

Beautiful Island colors !!! LOoking forward to the new nests..And yes grandkids are the best..

yaya said...

I visited there many years ago..I'm happy to see it's still very beautiful! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I loved the cute pics of your Grandbaby's first birthday! How sweet!

Donna said...

What a. Magical place so full of color! You look like brown sugar! It's fun to see you and your Gardner having such a marvelous time!
I'll have to go check out your giveaway. My daughter is getting a new house and is would look so darling in it!

audrey said...

What an unbelievably beautiful beautiful place this is ~ SO colorful and the colors are all so vibrant! I look forward to more photos... and a new nest design!
Congratulations on all those wonderful followers!!
You look beautiful in all the photos, Vicki.
♥ audrey

Finding Joy said...

I just love the colours of the buildings, it adds so much character. I also like the clock on the wall with th bells below, what a clever idea. Looks like another relaxing holiday:).

And congratulations for reaching such a number of happy faces, well done.

Mila said...

What a bright colours and wonderful place to visit! I have no word....great, great photos !
Sending Smiles,
Mila :)

SuZeQ said...

I bet you thought you'd died and gone to heaven when you visited Punda! I know I sure felt that way. What a colorful and beautiful little town. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. I live through you, you know!

Doesn't surprise me a bit that you have that many followers. Just watch ... soon you'll double that!

Mereknits said...

Lovely pictures, thanks for taking us along to such a magical island.

Heather said...

Woweee what a wonderful place and your photos are fabulous. I feel like I went there with you.
I am in love with your knitted nests!! They are more than wonderful. If you ever get a hankering to make one more please let me know. AND thank you for following my blog- I am following you now too.

Jody Hammer said...

I love those pictures! The town is so pretty. I will now put that on my bucket list. ;-) Thank you for sharing!!!

Sandies' Patch said...

Another wonderful post!
So colourful and Sunny, as it is here, BUT 30 degrees cooler with a vicsious N/Easterly wind!

You were nearly a 'magic eye' pic by the stall with the orange and yelow fruit and veg!

I keep forgetting to enter your giveaway...must do it now!
Have a lovely weekend.

Sandie xx

fromsophiesview said...

Vicki, you and the Gardner sure know how to have a spectacular time at all your stops. This place is so colourful and just makes you want to smile. The vendors stands and the buildings are cheerful to the nth degree. Wonderful!
Congrats on your 500 dear little Sophie just passed her 200 mark, so there's hope for more I trust.
Waiting patiently~~~tap, tap, tap for more, more, more cheerfulness!

mary said...

Such a beautiful post! Those colors and beautiful sights! What wonderful post cards they would make. Can't wait to see "Day 2"!

Lois Evensen said...

Just LOVE your images. We were there many times aboard Splendour of the Seas and walked all over. Your images bring back fond memories. Thank you for sharing.

Lois (all tied up in Port Canaveral today)

A Scattering said...

Congratulations on 500+ followers, the secret is out!

Vicki, thanks for the tour of Curacao - I don't think I've ever seen photos of it before - yours are stunning.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I absolutely adore those colorful buildings. And that blue sky and sea -- beautiful! I so wish my body could tolerate the sun but it seems I've developed an allergy to all that sunlight which makes me break out in an itchy rash. Ugh! Congrats on 500. Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the photos- it looks like such a lovely island. Jane

Anonymous said...

Punda does indeed look like a fairytale town. Quite colorful and charming! Oh, all of the fresh produce! Also a vibrant rainbow of color! I could so use some of that sunshine ... it has been ever so cold and rainy here.

It has been fabulous partaking in your oversea adventures with you, even though they may be filled vicariously through internet photos. I almost feel the warmth of the rays warming me to the marrow and smell the salty sea ....

P.S. Happy 500!!!

myriamkreativ said...

Hi my dear friends,
it is really like a short holiday to visit you and see these wonderful colours. Must have been a very good time that you had there. Thought of you today while I was having a hazelnat latte in the city sitting in the sunshine. Hugs & kisses Myriam

Dorthe said...

Vicki,dearest friend-this is a wonderful place-how fantastic colorful- like jewels-the market is WOW ,WOW.WOW --and you looks,beautiful in your orange skirt-it must have been a gorgeus experience-and the most beautiful tour-sweetie.
I too congratulate you with your many followers- so great Vicki-and you so deserves it.
Warm hugs-from me.

Bumpkin Hill said...

SO vibrant, I could almost feel the sunshine through the screen :) Will have to put this on my list of places to visit one day! Catherine x

dulcy said...

Your photos are marvelous! Perusing this post has really given me the travel bug big time! The colors are so rich, and every scene seems better than the one before. Thanks for taking me away on this little mini vacation!

Lisa said...

Oh girl, how I love coming along with you on these amazing adventures. It's clear by the photos tht you & the gardener had the time of your lives. What a fab trip that was. I love the little car your friends had, the fabric store, of course that stopped me dead in my tracks. As if the place wasn't perfect enough with the fruit stands, boats bringing in fresh fish, etc. But then a cool fabric store!!! I wish I could shrink myself to fit in your pocket & go along next time.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Just checking in to make sure I had not missed anything!

Susan Elliott said...

What beautiful adventures, fabulous photos and the COLORS!!!! You look so happy and I can completely see why!!!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for visiting my blog and for your kind words.
Your photos of Curacao are wonderful,have a great day.xx

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Vicki,

Phew, I feel like this gardener wore the soles off of her shoes. WONDERFUL, wonderful, and I needed a vacation.

Sending love across the miles,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Silke Powers said...

Oh, wow, Vicki - we'll be there in November and now I cannot wait after seeing your colorful photos. That is an island I've always wanted to visit... Thanks for sharing!! Love, Silke

Lili said...

Oh you aren't kidding this place is so beautiful and full of the most vivid sights and stunning architecture. You and the Gardener are truly blessed to spend time together there. I love to walk too, but that cart your friends were in looked mighty appealing to me as well! Congrats on all your new followers, we will gladly follow you anywhere you go Vicki, you are just the most joyful and giving person. And of course I just love seeing pics of you and your gorgeous outfits with your beautiful tan and sweet smiling face! xoxo ~Lili

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Your beautiful photos make me long to visit Curacao; it's on "the list". You're beautiful as well and thanks for sharing your trip.

Esme said...

Vicki the colors are so vibrant and beautiful-it looks like you were having a very lovely time. The place looks just magical

Jeanie said...

Simply beautiful photos of a place I've never been. It's simply wonderful!

port canaveral transportation said...

Yeah this is amazing I love to know about it.thanks for the great post.