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Oranjestad, Aruba

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We took a vacation over the winter to Aruba.

We chose Aruba because I am a big fan of Holland and hoped to find a little bit of that in the island of Aruba. I'll admit that I was a little disappointed, I think I wanted a more authentic cultural experience. It's a tourist island, but not without it's charm. If I were to make a suggestion, I would say go to Jamaica for a more traditional native experience. I wonder if there are any traditional island experiences out there that haven't been watered down by tourism.

This is the harbor in Oranjestad, notice the Celebrity X cruise ship docked and assume that this is the most touristy part of the city.


There aren't much for undisturbed beaches on the island, but if you point the camera just right, you might cut out the rest of the world.


I get excited by Euro-looking traffic signs, and pretty girls.


So this is the arcade (I think that's what it's called now). It's pretty much a tourist trap kind of outdoor mall, but the building is quite ornate and striking.


A view from the 3rd floor of the arcade looking out at the cruise ship peer.


This is the luxury mall right in the center of Oranjestad. All the highend shopping, duty free for the cruise shippers. It's built out just like a luxury American mall, but the corridors are open to the street (no doors). Better, but still I don't like malls at all.


This is a courtyard (in a rainstorm) in the center of the city. From what I can tell, before the luxury mall and the cruise ship district, the name brand stores and shops were here. Some still are, we went into a Nike Store. I know it's all the same product, but I would have been happier to see the stores lining down the narrow cobblestone streets, rather than in a marble floor luxury mall. This is the most authentic area I found in Oranjestad.






Here's a wall mural.


Balashi, the beer of Aruba, light - kind of like Stella Artior.


This small sidewalk bridge allowed a canal to flow under the street and inside the Reniassance Hotel (directly to our right). Guests at this luxury hotel could take a boat from INSIDE the hotel, under the street and to a private island.


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