We were up early and had breakfast in our room this morning. We were out on the dock ready for our tour. We were taken by taxi to the downtown area of Willemstad, the capital of Curacao. There we transferred to a tourist train.
We were on a guided tour of Willemstad which took us round the town, showing us several parts of the town. The oldest part used to be residential housing for the wealthy, but as the government has designated them historic sites and limited their development while insisting they be maintained, man are now office buildings and the headquarters of many local businesses and government offices. They mainly seemed to be well maintained and .quite attractive, but this comes at a cost. Most were built using sea sand and the salt content causes the plaster and paint to deteriorate, requiring frequent replastering and repainting. This is another reason they are no longer used as private residences.
We saw several public buildings, including a relatively new library which overran its construction budget so badly they could not afford books for it. Schoolchildren filled the gap by donating books to it.
We worked our way back to the starting point. Though the taxi ride had taken us some distance to get to the pick up point, by foot it was not far from the ship. We elected to stay in the area and had a walk round the shopping district, stopping for a cold drink on the way. The way back to the ship was over a pedestrian pontoon bridge. As we approached it, it started to open to let a yacht through. One end of the bridge houses a motor and wheel house which, when set in motion, swings the floating bridge open to allow shipping through. We only saw it partly open to let the relatively small vessel through and it only took a few minutes, but for larger ships it takes much longer and there is a free ferry service to fill the gap when this happens.
We walked over the bridge and headed through Rif Fort, stopping ti explore the shops on the way, eventually getting back on board.
We went up to the Lido deck for lunch then returned to our room. Christine settled in to read and do puzzles. I set off to get change at the front desk and then ashore to find faster WiFi which I did at an ice cream shop. I acquired a sorbet cone and the instructions for the WiFi and succeeded in updating the last three days' data.
I returned to the ship and we got ready for dinner which we had at our usual place.
We headed back off the ship and met the guide for an evening tour. The ship did not sail till 11 pm tonight.. We were taken by bus to see some of the city lit up then to Fort Nassau which was once part of the city's defences, but is now a restaurant and look out point. We did not eat there, but saw the city lit up and had various places pointed out to us. The harbour is much larger than I imagined and houses part of the Dutch Navy.
We went from there to a beach club where we were treated to a dance performance by local dancers. It was quite entertaining and some of the audience got involved.
We returned to the ship and settled in for the night. Tomorrow is our last stop, Aruba when we will again have an early morning and a bus tour.
This was uploaded in Aruba. I may not be able to update the journal again until we are home on Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday are sea days and we fly back on Wednesday.