Our Airbnb host picked us up at the airport on Sunday afternoon and we set off for Willemstad. The place we stayed was in a perfect location on the Otrobanda side of the harbour and once we were settled in, we headed straight across the Queen Emma Pedestrian Bridge to Punda, the real downtown centre of the city. This pontoon bridge is hinged, swinging parallel to shore, and opens over 30 times per day to allow boats to pass!
On Monday morning, we woke up to find a cruise ship blocking our view of Punda. Leaving the apartment we experienced the real Curaçao heat for the first time, so we were happy to duck into the air-conditioning of the Kura Hulanda Museum, an anthropological museum focussed on slavery, for a couple of hours. Their collection is extensive and starts with the history of man, then takes you through the history of the slave trade, and finishes off with some impressive African artifacts. The stories of slavery are often horrific and unbelievable, and the curators covered a lot of ground throughout the exhibits.
We set off back to Otrobanda once our bellies were full, but stopped on the way to pick up some fruit from Punda's famous floating market. Here, vendors come straight from Venezuela to sell fresh food from their boats. The most shocking thing was the size of the avocados! Our minds are still blown.
Tuesday involved finding a furry "mouse rat" friend in our apartment, some maritime history, and an afternoon of luxurious relaxation. We started off at the Curaçao Maritime Museum. Piers loved the maps, and we all enjoyed learning about the extensive maritime history of the place. The museum does a tour of the harbour on Wednesdays and Saturdays which would have been great to check out, but unfortunately it didn't fit into our schedule.
We grabbed some baguettes for lunch and headed down the Pietermaai for a relaxing afternoon at the Saint Tropez. If it sounds classy, it's because it was. But don't be fooled, it only costs $6 to swim in their pool and lounge around all day, it's the cocktails and food that can make the experience extra pricey. And glamorous.
Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts, where we rent a car and head to an amazing bungalow overlooking the ocean, and take on the most vertical hike of our lives! Well, for Elizabeth and Rebecca at least.
To see the rest of our posts about this trip, check out:
4 Days in Westpunt, Curaçao (Part I)
4 Days in Westpunt, Curaçao (Part II)
And check out our awesome Curaçao travel video!
Here are some photos from our first few days in the magical land of Curaçao: