Panama/Curacao Trip Day 3

We were going to do a walking tour in the morning, but the tour guide had a family issue, so we changed our schedule around a little bit and instead gave ourselves a self guided walking tour of pietermaai. The area we were staying at is a UNESCO site, so it is slowly being gentrified. One of the things I noticed about the area is that there are a lot of one way streets, with sidewalks that sometimes get really skinny.

If you walk around the area, you can see a lot of fences with barbs, like when we walk down the alleyway from our hotel room, there is a law firm next door to us. It has some sharp barbs that look really painful.

We walked over to the Klooster Hotel to try to take some pictures of the former monastary.

The monastery’s breakfast area was a very relaxing area to sit in. You could hear the birds, and see them fly around the plants. There was also a light breeze, giving us a feeling we were on the beach.

After breakfast we started walking down Pietermaai Street. As you can see from my pictures, there is a lot of french quarters style and a lot of bright colors for buildings. The one thing I noticed is that because all these houses are near the water, it seems there is always someone repainting the buildings.

I really like the fencing for this coffee house, it also had a really beautiful roofline.

The interesting thing that I learned about all these Pietermaai houses is that they are made of coral. Since the place is a UNESCO, they are only allowed to rebuild the buildings if they remake it with coral. If you use other material they will fine you. However, the country of Curacao is trying to preserve coral, so they fine you for using coral. So the only way to really rebuild a house is to buy two houses so you used the material from one house to fix the other.

Since it is a desert island, the buildings seem to get rusty and faded fairly quickly. I always noticed people painting their building all the time.

This is a most popular word in curacao. It is a word in papiamento that means cute,wonderful,sexy, beautiful depending on how you use it. So I noticed a lot of people using this term when describing different things like babies, love, or anything fun and exciting.

There is a very cute little downtown area that makes me think of amsterdam. The weather does get a little bit unbearable once it is around noon time, however on this day there was a random spinkle for 15 minutes which gave us some reprieve from the sun.

The was one thing interesting about the colors of buildings in curacao. They said houses were colored based on the income of the family. So you could tell each building away so easily. They don’t do it anymore, the only thing they seem to keep right now is that all government buildings are yellow.

Out here in there is a giant walking bridge for you to get from one side to the other. The floating bridge has a tugboat building on one side of the bridge that can be turned on to move the bridge to the side so that a boat could move into the area. They put up a black or red flag to help people know the size of the boat that twill be crossing. A red flag means the bridge will move just a little bit for a small boat, and a black flag means it is a huge cruise ship and the bridge will move all the way over to the side. (The bridge seems to be closed for 30minutes – 1 hour) when it is open.

When that happens, everyone goes to the boats that take everyone across to the other side. Sherri and I were amazed at how quick the boat ride was. It felt like we got onto the boat and then in 3 minutes, we were on the other side of the water.

Walking the Bridge

After walking around to both sides we came back and ate at plasa bleu. It is the local food stand that the locals eat at, and it has really short hours. Usually 10:30-2pm, and because we came on sunday there were only 2 stands open. It looked like the stands were run by the same people because there was a guy that was going over to both sides helping them serve all their food. The most popular local item was iguana stew, and I would have got it. However, I could hear from the chefs that they had to make more of it, and it would take 30 minutes. So instead I ended up getting the local ox tail stew. The guy just told me to sit down and he would bring the food over to me when it was ready in 5 minutes.

The one thing that we were having trouble with on our trip was getting Naomi to eat. She had a hard time dealing with the time shift, and could not really eat when we wanted her to eat. Sherri was able to finish her food, however, we had to take the rest of the food back home. Mostly because Naomi didn’t want to eat food and kept on hitting my hand as I was trying to eat.

For this day, we spent the rest of the day in our hotel room. It was to give ourselves some extra time to rest, and use the rest of the day to figure out if our plan for rest of our trip in curacao worked. I had bought some food from the supermarket to cook and grill in the communal grill.

There was a nice area on the 2nd floor to just sit coffee and enjoy the evening. Sherri and I really enjoyed all the buildings today on our self walking tour. I love the rustic looks of the buildings, especially all the craftmanship. Each building had a different roofline, and the gingerbreading on the window and rooflines made me so happy to see. And I also appreciated all the different colors on the building, because I know how long and hard it is to paint with so many different colors and features.

The newest thing we found out was that our baby loves to move things around. We had to turn on the youtube to Mother Goose Music to distract her , or else she was rearrange the whole entire hotel room.

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