Day Two In Aruba, Almost Everything Open!

For my first full day in a fully open Oranjestad, I decided to get my chore (it’s not really a chore) out-of-the-way first and go to the post office. I like to send postcards to family and friends back home. I had yet to find any postcards, but I was sure I would so getting the stamps first thing would have me prepared.

It wasn’t too far a walk from the main bus station to the main post office. You get to walk through the non-tourist part of Oranjestad. I saw this great street art and I really dig the message.Bar7lU+mQgOtvVNgNoEskgOn the way I also found the Archeological Museum of Aruba, which is just my type of joint. It was closed. I’m not sure if it was just closed on Mondays, or closed for forever. I got my stamps and then decided to head towards Fort Zoutman Historical Museum.

It was open and I paid my $5 US admission and checked it out. As a museum of Aruba it was kind of sad. Very nicely kept up, but not much inside aside from a section on weaving in Aruba told much of a story. It was mostly an accumulation of unrelated old things. I say this with the utmost respect. They may not have had much to work with. Colonization is known for taking things instead of leaving things.

The best part of the tour is that you get to climb to the top of the tower.


Which has a working clock and a bell which you can get up close to.


It also gives you some great views of the city and surrounding areas.


Also, if it were still a fort, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be hard for you and a few pals to take it. If you see it you will understand what I mean. I’d say don’t try, jail in Aruba is probably nice enough, but it is still jail.

I spent the afternoon walking around the downtown and looking for a few souvenirs to take back. I also did a bit of Xmas shopping. Gift shopping while abroad is a great, it will always be unique to the person that gets the gift, especially if they have not been there.



Day Een (Un) in Aruba

My first full day in Aruba was on a Sunday. I grabbed breakfast at the hotel and sought out the concierge to see if she had any tips for getting the local bus into the capital Oranjestad. She told me two things:

  1. “It’s Sunday downtown is closed”
  2. The bus only runs once an hour on Sundays

Despite her dour opinions of my prospects for the day, I figured I could at least get the buses sorted out and have a quiet downtown to myself to get some good photos taken. If it was shut down as she said, I’m sure the passengers of the one cruise ship in port would be off somewhere that wasn’t closed.

The concierge was only half right. The buses come by my stop near Eagle Beach much more frequently than once an hour, but upon arrival downtown about 20 minutes later I saw she was correct that it was shut down. Well, there was some activity around this old church:


But the quiet allowed me to take lots of cool photos without too much of a fear of getting hit by cars or other pedestrians.


So I wanted about and took my photos and made note of what I might like to see the next day when everything was open. As I walked near the main drag along by the cruise terminal I spotted a bar that was open that catered to the cruise passengers. It was not what I had cone to Aruba for, but it was open, and for most of the day I had it all to myself. The service was very friendly and I was able to try most of the local beers. They key one being Balashi.


Since there was nothing else going on, I ate lunch and drank somewhere between 2 and 137 of these. They are small, and being mostly alone at the bar, I got a lot of attention by the staff. I read online you can tour the brewery which is south of Oranjestad but before San Nicolas, but this was a quick trip so I decided to file that info for the next trip to Aruba. If you’ve seen one fermentation tank, you’ve kind of seen them all, right?

So I “walked” from the bar to the main bus station and caught the bus back to my hotel. I arrived right as the sun was going down, so I took a left and headed to the beach to check out that scene.


It was exactly as you would expect a tropical island sunset to be which was beautiful. I went back to the hotel to plot my first day in Aruba where things would actually be open.

Of course they were showing Star Wars again.