The women go topside where they are joined by a couple from
Holland, Pieter and Mari.
Pieter: Willemstad reminds me a lot of Holland.
Mari: Except for the pastel colored buildings,
Donita: Are the houses anything like this in
Mari: The architecture is very similar, but
most people don’t have porches, shutters or the
Pieter: The weather is not this warm so most
people don’t sit around too much. They like to
be outside hiking or riding bikes.
Sandra: Look, they’re throwing the lines toward
the dock... that man is tying the ropes to the
back of the trucks... now the trucks are driving
across the pier. So that’s how they tie up the
Pieter: Mari and I were here three years ago and
really enjoyed seeing the floating market, and
the museums. You might want to go just west of
the floating bridge to the Ortabanda district.
Mari: In the 17th century it was a place of
quarantine for lepers. In the center of the
square, is a statue of Pedro Luis Brion, one of
Curacao’s most beloved historical figures.
Donita: What did he do?
Pieter: He lead the islanders in a fight against
the British in the 19th century. Then he went to
join the Venezuelan freedom fighters.
Mari: It’s very easy to get lost in the area,
but the maze-like design was done on purpose. It
was thought to be an easy way to stop invaders
who would find it easier to pillage along neatly
Sandra: A very smart plan!
Mari: Some people say Curacao is a “cross”
between South America and the Caribbean Sea.
Donita: Why is that?
Mari: There seems to be more than 40 different
cultures that are represented here.
Sandra: What languages are spoken?
Pieter: Dutch, English and French.
Donita: Are we ready to go ashore?
All: Yes, let’s go!
They all say goodbye after agreeing to get together later on
the ship. Donita and Sandra cross the floating bridge, then
pay for a guided tour of the area. They visit the oldest
Jewish Temple in the America, see the floating market lines
de Ruyterkade, where small boats arrive daily laden with
fresh produce and fish. The driver takes them through the
Scharloo and Pietermaai Districts where mansions which date
from the 1700’s have been restored. Then they go to the Kura
Hulanda Hotel and Museum. They soberly look at the exhibits
of African slave trade. A guide gives them a leaflet to
read. Then they go back to the ship.
While waiting for Pieter and Mari, Sandra and Donita read
the information from the museum:
C1000 BC Caiquetios communities on Cauracao
1AD Arawak tribes reach Curacao. Caiquetios people
1514 Spaniards name the Lesser Antiles Islas
Inutiles useless islands
1515 European colonists kidnap indigenous Americans
1516 Colonization begins on Curacao
1634 Aruba and Curacao are Dutch possessions
1636 Dutch forces expelled from St. Maarten, move to
Aruba and claim land.
1648 ABC islands unite as Curacao
1805 British control ABC islands during Napoleonic
1815 Dutch regain control
1824 Gold is discovered on Aruba
1828 Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius,
St. Maarten, and Dutch Guiana unite as Dutch
1863 Slaaves emancipated
1922 Islands become overseas region of Netherlands
1924 Oil is discovered
1948 Dutch islands are renamed Netherlands Antilles,
Guiana becomes Suriname
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