Monday, April 02, 2007

The Curacao Cure - Part 4

The next day, the four of us, Sean, Woody, Katy and I decided to drive into Willemstad and look around. So we piled into the car and drove east towards Otrabanda. In the map (above, click to enlarge) you can see that Willemstad consists of the districts of Otrabanda and Punda separated by Sint Annabaai. This bay is crossed by two bridges, the Queen Julianna and the Queen Emma. But more on these bridges later.

On the way there we passed the oil refinery and could also smell it. We sure were glad our hotel was not near it and I had read how some unsuspecting tourists made hotel reservations that ended up near oil refineries. This oil was from nearby Venezuela and is plentiful. They will never run out of gas in Curacao.

On our way into the town, we stopped at the Riffort. This fort was built in 1828 between the harbor entrance, sea coast and the former Rifwater. The Riffort was meant to defend the outer section of Willemstad’s Otrobanda district from pirates. When we visited there were a restaurant and a terrace overlooking the water of St. Annabaai in the fort. I was distressed to see garbage floating in the water. We had been snorkeling and diving in the clear aquamarine waters and admiring the coral and fish and here people were showing disrespect by throwing garbage into the water. Shame, shame.

This cannon points towards the bay, beyond which you can see Punda and the Queen Emma Bridge.

We got back into the car and continued driving up to the
Kura Hulanda Museum. What a surprise was in store for us when we got there. We were not expecting a store of world-class collections spanning rise of man, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade plus Pre-Columbian gold, Mesopotamian relics and Antillean art. We wandered silently with our jaws agape through rooms filled with antiquities and cruel tools of the slave trade, followed by respites in the shade of the tropical courtyard outside. I could not believe that human beings were subjected to some of the torture devices that I saw on display. Some were tough to view. What a broad collection to have squirreled away on this small tropical island.

Nearby, there was the Anne Frank House, but we didn't have time to stop there because there was a shore dive scheduled in the afternoon that Sean and Woody wanted to go on. The whole day was like choose your atrocity. The choice was Slavery or Holocaust. We chose Slavery and saved Holocaust for another day. Oh wait. I thought this was supposed to be the Curacao Cure. At least we were in paradise and the water was still aquamarine blue and waiting for us to plunge our bodies into it.


Ryan said...

i would love 2 travel with u sometime!

SYNRGY said...

Don't Tease Me With A Good Time Sue... In Reference To Your Comment... ;)

Sue said...

Hmm. So that is your idea of a good time. Shucks! We are just going to have to find someone to make us both happy!