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Published: August 6th 2007
As a matter of principle, we must feature Curacao. The trip started there, we will pass thru it at least three times before we say 'goodbye' and, not least of all, we lived there for a year or so. Plus, our friends and fans and history would not forgive us. The island is bright and cheerful in most parts. It is the kind of place where people are not afraid to paint their homes and businesses in the brightest combinations of colours.
Curacao is a small Dutch Caribbean island located 40 miles from the west coast of Venezuela. It is a part of the 5-island Netherlands Antilles with the others being St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire. It is 444 km, or just about 141 square miles. Willemstad, its capital, is split in two by the Santa Anna Baai - a deep narrow channel which creates a perfect natural harbour. The 'older' side is called Otrabanda (other side) and it is rife with history and culture. Punda (point) is the commercial, shopping section.
Curacao's natural harbour proved ideal for trading and commerce and soon it began to play a major role in the transshipment of slaves from Africa.
The Punda Skyline
This scene has become famous for its colours and architecture
In 1662, the Dutch West India Company opened a slave trade center in Curacao - a place called Asiento. And with the booming slave trade, the island flourished and impressive structures were constructed.
With a unique blend of Dutch and Spanish colonial styles, the narrow streets of Punda and Otrabanda present a fabulous and colorful lesson in history and architecture. Willemstad has rightly earned its place on the Unesco's World Heritage List.
This blog will be told mostly in pictures (we took during our time there) as we are certain that you will understand and appreciate the history and culture without a need for further narration.
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