Best of Aruba

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 08, 2009

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear Blog,

ARUBA, here I am.  Today is day 3 of my cruise and our first stop on dry land.  The ship made its way into the port of Aruba at 8:00am this morning.  By that time, we were up, had breakfast and on the top deck to view the wonderful landscape of the island.  The water was calm as the ship's captain proceeded in maneuvering this gigantic monster of a ship to the pier.  The sun was starting to shine through the clouds.  Today will be a fantastic day!

Aruba is located 20 miles off the coast of Venezuela and belongs to the Netherlands.  It is quite small in size being 19.6 miles long and 6 miles wide.  Approximately 30,600 people live in Oranjestad, being the capital, and 105,600 live on the island of Aruba.  Dutch is the official language but English is quite spoken as well.

My shore excursion was booked through Princess Cruise a while back.  I had chosen 'BEST OF ARUBA' which provided me with an overview of Aruba's natural wonders, a chance to visit an aloe factory and then spend some time at one of Aruba's most famous beaches.  Coooool!

We proceeded to the 4th floor being the ship disembarkation deck.  A line was already starting to form with anxious and excited people like us.  We were instructed to always bring our identification documents with us as we left the ship such as passport and our boarding pass in order to be able to re-board the ship.  Off we went.

Once on land, we quickly located our tour number.  We were first in line for the tour.....good.  We then proceeded entering the air-conditioned mini bus for a drive through Oranjestad, Aruba's capital, with its colorful markets and Dutch Colonial buildings.  We could easily see why so many people would want to come here for holidays.  The place is simply wonderful and alive. 

We then passed through a scenic Frenchman's Pass on the way to Casibari Rock formations, where the landscape is shaped by huge boulders the size of small houses.  Once there, we stepped out of the mini van and proceeded down the walking path along the huge boulders.  Nature is so beautiful.  From the top of one of a huge boulder, we could see far away the surroundings.   The island itself is mostly flat but has one mountain sticking out like a volcano.  Funny.  The island has lots of different kind of cactus-es.  It blended quite well with the boulders. 

Afterwards, it was off to the north coast to see the collapsed Natural and the Baby Natural Bridge.  As we drove along the road, we could see the ocean breaking its waves along the shore.  The water was a pure deep turquoise colour.  Lovely sight.  We finally arrived at the Natural Collapsed Bridge and once again, got out of the mini van. 

We were told by our guide that Aruba's famous natural bridge collapsed on September 2005.  Nobody was present to witness its collapsed which was in the early morning.  It was a shock to the people but the island has at least 7 other natural bridges around the north eastern shore.  We saw the Baby Natural bridge which was close by.  It has this name because of its natural form that looks like a bridge.  Makes sense!  

There is a legend that says if you build a little statue made out of rocks one of top of the other one, make a wish, and if the wind blows it down, your wish will come true.  Off I went building my dream as well as Mi.  I wonder if it is still standing at the moment!  

Next stop was the Aruba's Aloe Factory.  No photos were allowed inside.  As we followed the guide inside the building, she explained to us how the plant was processed and its magical benefices as a remedy cream.  It was quite interesting.  Once the tour was finished, we all exited through a door that brought us to a shop where you could buy some products made from the plant.  I bought some face cream.

The last stop was a beautiful beach where we had approximately one hour to simply relax or stroll along the beach admiring the view and many fine shops.  There were several divi-divi trees, which in my mind are Aruba's famous trees.  We walked along the turquoise blue ocean which blended quite well with the blue sky.  The sand was pure white and soft under our feet.  I could see why Aruba is famous for its beaches.  We simply relaxed, enjoyed ourselves and had a bite to eat. 

The entire tour took about 4 hours.  In summary, I really loved the island, its scenic landscapes and the people.  I could see why so many people would want to move here. This is a place that I would definitely come back in the future!

In the evening, we dined at The Palm Dining Room at the second seating being 8:30pm.  It was casual night.  Mi wore his white tie and me, my white dress.  Again, I took the vegetarian dish which was excellent.  At the table, we exchanged stories with the other guests and had a blast.  I am learning some British expressions!  Lovely!

Thankful for divi-divi trees.

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Fayron on

Yes i moved from chicago ta aruba and its never cold ...always nice

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