Just the next day when I had arrived in Aruba there was a special day in Oranjestad: Many of the historical buildings were open for the public. One of my dear friends met me there for a while and explained many things about the Aruban people, the traditions and the meaning of the buildings.
Some of the historical buildings I saw were the Archaeological Museum (still at the beginning, a more modern addition was finished in 2010), Ft. Zoutman/Willem II Tower where the Historical Museum is located and where the Bon Bini Festival took place. A highlight was the Numismatic Museum, a true treasure with a huge collection of coins and paper money from all over the world and some centuries old. The Parliament and City Hall were also open for the public. And many more historical building I cannot recall.
The next day, I was exploring the island, starting with the California Lighthouse, the sand dunes, Arashi beach, Alto Vista.... (this Flickr messed up a bit the order the photos were downloaded)... instead of the Ostrich Farm and Natural Bridge... photos of "Carlos & Charlie's Bar" are shown, followed by Excelsior Casino and Holiday Inn.
Back then, I was still using an old-fashioned camera, used three rolls of films and had paper photos printed later on! I wished I would have had a digital camera already and wished I would have taken much more photos! Oh, well...
More Holiday Inn and Palm Beach pics, a trip to Baby Beach, I got lost a bit and came across the Marine training camp, the refinery. Then back to Oranjestad and the beautiful marina and the Seaport Marketplace Mall which colors I absolutely loved. Then the "pink cake" building and inside the Renaissance Mall where the boats go out to the private island when it still had this gorgeous jungle decoration. And, of course, sunsets!
On my way to discover the Ayo Rock Formations, I got lost again and ended up at someone's garage as I had followed a car, I thought was a tourist on his way to the rocks! LOL He gave me directions and I found them. To find the Casibari Rock Formation, I asked again for directions and a very nice taxi driver showed me the way and gave me a tour, explaining the Indian paintings etc. When I wanted to give him a generous tip, he refused to take the money! Instead, he wished me a nice vacation and off he went!
And the Ostrich Farm which I really LOVE, it reminds me so much of Africa! The, pictures of my way to the Natural Bridge with the mighty ocean I can never get enough looking at and being in awe! Despite the Natural Bridge being collapsed, I still find it very impressive. I climbed down to the sandy area and up on the other side to get a different perspective. It's just very impressive to look at those strong waves!
I also stopped at the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, impressive as well.
Back to Oranjestad, meeting with some friends (who wanted to keep their privacy). Giant cruise ship. And some pics from the airport.