We sailed into Oranjestad, Aruba, as the sky was beginning to lighten.
Oranjestad, is the capital of this small country. Aruba is on about 74 square miles.
It originally belonged to Spain. But, in 1634, it was taken over by the Dutch. It is now part of the
In 1929, the Lago refinery was built on the island. It became the largest in the world, assuring Aruba's place as one of the most prosperous islands in the Caribbean. The refinery now belongs to Valero Energy Corp.
Aruba is a dry island. It's well below the Atlantic hurrican belt, and there's no 'rainy season'. Lots of cacti grow on this island. The largest agricultural product, is Aloe. Aruba is the world's leading producer.
The Pilot boat showed up, and they tied us up to the docks.
Since we were here such a short time, we didn't take an excursion. We had time for breakfast on the balcony.
It didn't take long for the sun to get high in the sky.
You can see the large resorts in the distance. They're the sign of the number one product here....tourism.
Off the ship, and you feel like you've walked into a Disney park. The streets are lined with colorful buildings.
Tropical colors and white, with the backdrop of that blue sky.
And, one big thing to do here, is shop.
A bell tower chimed the time for us.
I climbed up some stairs to get a better view. Yes, that's our ship in the background.
Figures on the clock tower.
Our ship, through the palms.
Some of us needed more coffee...so, yes, after sailing for two days to get here...we stopped at Starbucks.
I have to say....I liked their mailboxes.
There were open air markets, as well.
And, since shopping is such hard work...we stopped for some cool beverages.
Open air seating is just what they do, in the islands.
Not much time here...so, back to the ship.
We weren't the only boats in town.
Before long, the Pilot boat was back....
....and, they got us untied.
The engines roared, and churned up some sand.
And, we sailed away.
Past beautiful resorts.
And, outter islands.
In the background, you can see the refinery.
And, in the foreground, another resort.
Aruba is one of the 'ABC Islands'....Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao....
I think Aruba deserves being an 'A'.
Their happy little license plates, on One Happy Little Island.