Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oranjestad, Aruba {Historic City Center + Harbor}

Aruba is a hard place to describe.  I didn't know what to expect when we arrived because we didn't really do  any research about Aruba.  That made it even more fun to discover.  As you will see, it is an intriguing place, full of bright colors and beautiful, unassuming architecture.  For the most part.  Aruba is unique because it's not in the hurricane belt, and due to its location and the fact that it's essentially a desert, the weather is amazing year-round.  There's virtually no off-season, and it's only a 3.5 hour flight from NYC.  Perfect.   

Perhaps one might say that Aruba has a bit of an identity crisis.  You would have one too if you were a country located in the Carribean islands, but part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in close proximity to South America, and with two official languages: Dutch and Papiamento (which is a creole language that combines Portuguese, West African languages, Dutch, and Spanish- wikipedia taught me that). Most natives speak at least three languages, and many speak up to five fluently. Signs are in Dutch, Spanish, Papiamento, and English.

Oranjestad is charming indeed. The people are warm and welcoming, and seem to be perpetually happy in spite of the perpetual traffic.  I still don't understand quite why there's traffic, but again, it adds to the charm of island hopping from Manhattan to Aruba. What a contrast. 

We breezed through this part of town on our way to the Marriott Resort (on a cab ride where the driver suddenly realized he was nearly out of gas. So we stopped to fill up.  Such is the pace of island life), and with all that we saw in a few eye blinks, we just had to go back and explore. And explore we did.

Kyle aptly said that it reminded him of places we'd traveled, but it was unlike anywhere we'd ever been. 










Next up?  Palm Beach, Aruba.  You're going to love it. 

p.s.  This was one of the most difficult blog posts I've ever made because of all the contrasting, clashing color.  You wouldn't believe how long it took me to put this together.  It's kind of embarrassing, actually.  For those of you who blog with a lot of pictures, like I do, you'll know how much time blog posts take anyway, but when nearly every image clashes with the next... sheesh!


Kendra said...

Wow! You make even the brick on the street look AMAZING! You are so talented... the pictures are breathtaking and it makes me want to go there!

e. said...

Beautiful colors!

Steve and Nicole said...

AMAZING! {your blog I swear is the only one I use capitals one. My husband I always joke about how weird it is when people use capitals because it sounds like they are yelling...but I use them for emphasis on your blog :) Seriously though...not even people pictured and your images are still captivating. I love the one of the boats and the ones of the water hitting the rock.

And I'm so glad I'm not the only one that worries so much about pictures clashing! {not even comparing my blog to yours..} but I spend so much time worrying about that and I know I'm the only one who even notices :)
But this post is amazing and I never thought for one second about them clashing :)

Brooke said...

That's funny because I was just thinking how beautiful it looked, and I was sure that for you it was just so effortless! I love all the bright colors, in this bleak January month it made me happy!