If you are a day or two in Curaçao you might want to do these things to get a feeling of the Capital of Curaçao, Willemstad. Willemstad is divided by the Anna Bay in two halves, Punda and Otrobanda.
The two halves are connected by the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, the swinging old Lady.
Crossing the bridge from Otrobanda (“the other side”) towards Punda (from the word “punt” or point) you see to your left our iconic Handelskade and to your right the Governor’s Palace.
1. Our first stop is at the Palace of the Governor, where you can enter the courtyard of Fort Amsterdam and visit the Fortkerk, a protestant church established in 1769. The Fortkerk has a museum you can visit.
In the Fortkerk there are regularly concerts, check local listings for that.
Coming back out of the courtyard you turn right and walk towards the Penha building, another icon of Punda.
You can stroll through the streets of Punda or head straight to our second stop. With the Penha building in front of you, go to your right towards the first square, da Costa Gomez square and turn onto the square to your left. At the end of the square turn right and you have the big yellow synagogue at the end of the street at your left.
2. The Mikvé Israel-Emanuel synagogue in Hanchi Snoa. Here you can visit the museum and admire the beautiful interior of the synagogue in a cool and serene environment.
Yes, that is sand on the floor.
3. Out the door to your left and immediately left again walk two blocks up to the water of Waaigat, where you have to your left the Floating Market and to your right the New Market, a round building, and more to the right, about 100 yards/90 meters, the Old Market. The Old Market is our stop # 3.
I want to suggest you have your lunch right here at the Old Market and to stay ahead of the crowds be there at 11.45. Great photo op!
Order your lunch or let the girls advice you. A safe and delicious bet is fish…if you’re courageous you can try one of my favorites, Giambo, an okra soup filled with fish, shellfish and pig’s tale…and super slimy. Totally Fear Factor-like but than delicious at least. I like to eat at Zus, at the far end of the Old Market.
Share a Pumpkin Pancake as dessert. Angelica’s Kitchen’s version of the pancakes you can find here.
4. When you’re done at the Old Market head straight back towards the Anna Bay and walk past the Floating Market, our colourful version of fresh fruits and vegetables and spices, brought in from Venezuela. Great photo op.
5. At the end of the Floating Market, with the Anna Bay in front of you, turn to the right and cross the water towards the Maritime Museum..
If you are staying on the island, you can take a harbor tour on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s. Check with the Museum for more details.
6. To finish your tour of Punda you can relax at one of the cafe’s on the Handelskade and be in awe when the ships go in or out of the harbor. The pontoon bridge opens and closes so often, you are bound to witness a ship, small or tall, go in or out.
I hope you enjoyed your tour of Punda.
And remember to relax and don’t worry, be happy, you’re in Curaçao.
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