Saturday, January 19, 2013

Caribbean Cruise - Aruba - Day 7 - 12/24/2012

It is Christmas Eve and we are on Aruba!

Aruba is the "A" island of the ABC Chain and is part of the larger group of islands known as the Dutch Antilles.  Aruba is only 17 miles off the northern coast of Venezuela.  The island is relatively dry with only 18 inches of rain per year and is outside of the hurricane belt.  The average high daily high temperature is 86 deg with an average humidity of 76%.  The all time low temperature is 68 degrees so it goes without saying that the 100,000+ people living on the island don't have to worry about shoveling snow.

Aruba has been in the news frequently over the past few years due to the disappearance of Natalle Holloway while on a school vacation here in 2005.   Joran van der Sloot, the son of a Dutch diplomat, is suspected of killing Natalle and somehow disposing of her body.  Joran is currently in jail for murdering another girl in Peru.....I hope he spends the rest of his life in the clinker.

We were docked in the city of Oranjestad which is the capital of Aruba and the second largest city.  Aruba is known for its resorts, shopping, great beaches and water sports.

As we left the ship for our explore the island tour, we passed by a table set up with cookies and milk for Santa when he arrives in a few hours.  I thought the carrots for Rudolph was a really nice touch.

This was a natural bridge until it collapsed a few years ago.

 They now refer to this as the "Baby Natural Bridge".


Sorry folks, this is not an ancient holy site.  Tourists have stacked the rocks.  Periodically, they knock down all the piles so the tourists can start over again.


The island is covered with cactus plants due to the dry climate.

I unofficially named this one the "Mickey Mouse" cactus.

These are flower bulbs on the side of the cactus as best as I can tell.  I think they bloom at sunset if I remember my National Geographic program correctly.

The Alto Vista Chapel was the first Catholic church built on the island in 1750 by the Spanish who preceded the Dutch.

 Just a nice house we drove by.  All houses and buildings use concrete block or poured concrete for walls.  Wood wouldn't hold up well in the heat and humidity.

The California Lighthouse.  You can admire the magnificent view of the crashing waves of the
windward coast and the tranquil waters of the Leeward shore from this location.

Sigrid and the bus driver/tour guide.  She loves light houses.

Wind surfing and para-sailing.

The resorts and nice and pricey.

Back in Oranjestad for lunch and shopping.

We ate at Iguana Joe's which is above Shiva's

We eat off the ship at every opportunity.

 We tried a local favorite.  The casserol dish had spiced shreadded chicken with vegetables layered with melted cheese....very nice.  My side a Cuban Black Beans.  They have different seasoning than Mexican style black beans.  I liked them.  You can see the remains of my Pink Iguana drink.  Sigrid had a fruity Sangria.

Sigrid didn't want to buy Hard Rock T-shirts.  That would be too easy.

 We did have some yummy Italian Gellato before walking back to the ship.

Tomorrow is Christmas and we are at sea.

No comments:

Post a Comment