Cute Curacao

Can a place be “cute?” Yes. If it’s Curacao. According to Wikipedia, one of the explanations for the name of Curacao, is that it was an “island of healing” and cute. Okay, it only says stuff about healing. The photo shows some cute cucumbers with a less cute sized cousin.

Curacao is part of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) right off the coast of Venezuela. Willemstad, the capital, is like a Caribbean Amsterdam (this was a Dutch colony and one of the official languages is Dutch), pretty buildings, and walking streets. The outer part, the Otrabanda, is a two minute walk across the pedestrian bridge from the downtown, Punda. But, just to show how small this place is, when I asked a shopkeeper in Punda (downtown) about something in the Otrabanda area, he looked at me wide-eyed and said that he didn’t know what it was like over there. Two minutes away…

When I tried to find a local snack place, I kept walking past the street I was looking for, because the blocks are so small. Of course, I did find the snack place. The photo is from my breakfast at the Royal Dutch Cheesery. Please note that the Dutch like to eat sprinkles (two boxes upper left in photo) for breakfast.

Curacao is less cute once you leave downtown, but that’s a different topic. It’s also kind of pricey, being an island and all… but as you can pay in dollars and credit card, you will probably be able to afford the cheese. Oh, and the blue liquor as you leave through your special cruise ship terminal at the airport… I didn’t, so I can’t tell you about that.

A Canal and a Container – Panama

IMG_2553When I arrived in Panama City airport, I saw lots of people but no signs for an immigration or arrivals. Almost like an afterthought. IMG_2560

Of course, I visited the canal. It’s a fairly easy 20 minute ride from Panama City. Some folks told me that it wasn’t worth it. I found it more entertaining than I expected. It took three hours to watch the film (an interesting version of history) which was fortunately short, and then to watch the huge container ship pass through the canal at some infinitesimally slow rate. I kept looking at the containers and imagined my worldly possessions passing through the canal while I watched from the side. For an hour.

During the passage, there were informational announcements including the nugget that it costs $350,000 (or more) in CASH per ship to pass through the canal!