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Curaçao, February 2016

An island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, approximately 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of the Venezuelan coast. Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but has some political autonomy. A small island with friendly people and warm weather. The national languages are Dutch, Papiamentu (Portuguese Creole with Dutch, English and Spanish influences), English and Spanish. The currency is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder.

Wednesday, 24th February 2016

Willemstad

The capital and largest town, established in 1634. The historic centre of the town consists of four quarters: The Punda and Otrobanda, which are separated by St Anna Bay, an inlet that leads into the large natural harbour called the Schottegat. The Scharloo and Pietermaai Smal quarters are across from each other on the smaller Waaigat harbour.

Roadside view from next to St Anna Bay in Otrobanda. In front is Queen Juliana Bridge (Koningin Julianabrug). This large four lane road bridge spans St Anna Bay and arches to a height of 56.4 metres (185 feet), allowing ships to pass underneath.Roadside view from next to St Anna Bay in Otrobanda. In front is Queen Juliana Bridge (Koningin Julianabrug). This large four lane road bridge spans St Anna Bay and arches to a height of 56.4 metres (185 feet), allowing ships to pass underneath. It is the highest bridge in the Caribbean and one of the highest in the world. It opened in 1974.

Looking across St Anna Bay to attractive waterfront buildings in Punda quarter painted in pastel colours.Looking across St Anna Bay to attractive waterfront buildings in Punda quarter painted in pastel colours.

Inside the famous Museum Kura Hulanda. An anthropological museum which documents the history of slavery in the Caribbean. A row of metal slave traps hanging from a wall.Inside the famous Museum Kura Hulanda. An anthropological museum which documents the history of slavery in the Caribbean. A row of metal slave traps hanging from a wall.

Tony holding a pair of shackles attached to a chain.Tony holding a pair of shackles attached to a chain.

Tony wearing a pair of shackles.Tony wearing a pair of shackles.

Tony alongside a wooden statue of an African slave woman.Tony alongside a wooden statue of an African slave woman.

Model of a Spanish galleon warship, beautifully carved in intricate detail.Model of a Spanish galleon warship, beautifully carved in intricate detail.

Traditional stylised wood carving of a woman holding a child.Traditional stylised wood carving of a woman holding a child.

Tony next to lion-skin clothes of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.Tony next to lion-skin clothes of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

Tony holding a decorative ceremonial sword with a curved end.Tony holding a decorative ceremonial sword with a curved end.

Outside the Museum Kura Hulanda. Tony alongside a carving of a big cat, perhaps a cheetah.Outside the Museum Kura Hulanda. Tony alongside a carving of a big cat, perhaps a cheetah.

Tony touching a wooden chair designed in the form of an African elephant.Tony touching a wooden chair designed in the form of an African elephant.

Tony with a local guy at Rif Fort, Otrobanda.Tony with a local guy at Rif Fort, Otrobanda.

Café tables at Rif Fort. This 19th century fort is located at the entrance to St Anna Bay. Today it contains a shopping mall.Café tables at Rif Fort. This 19th century fort is located at the entrance to St Anna Bay. Today it contains a shopping mall.

Tony at Rif Fort. A palm-tree-lined shopping street behind.Tony at Rif Fort. A palm-tree-lined shopping street behind.

Passageway through a thick stone wall at Rif Fort.Passageway through a thick stone wall at Rif Fort.

A shallow circular pool suitable for paddling at Rif Fort. Exterior stone walls in the background.A shallow circular pool suitable for paddling at Rif Fort. Exterior stone walls in the background.

View across St Anna Bay towards Punda. Fort Amsterdam is visible on the far side and pastel coloured colonial Dutch buildings can be seen further up the bay.View across St Anna Bay towards Punda. Fort Amsterdam is visible on the far side and pastel coloured colonial Dutch buildings can be seen further up the bay.

A market stall at the waterfront selling colourful bags amongst other items.A market stall at the waterfront selling colourful bags amongst other items.

Selfie shot of Tony in Plaza Brión (Brionplein), a waterside square, in Otrobanda.Selfie shot of Tony in Plaza Brión (Brionplein), a waterside square, in Otrobanda.

View across Plaza Brión with St Anna Bay on the right.View across Plaza Brión with St Anna Bay on the right.

Statue of Pedro Luis Brión (1782-1821). He was a military officer who fought in the Venezuelan War of Independence. He was born and died in Curaçao. The statue stands in the centre of Plaza Brión, which is named after him.Statue of Pedro Luis Brión (1782-1821). He was a military officer who fought in the Venezuelan War of Independence. He was born and died in Curaçao. The statue stands in the centre of Plaza Brión, which is named after him.

Tony on Queen Emma Bridge (also known as Tony on Queen Emma Bridge (also known as “The Swinging Old Lady”) in the evening. The bridge is lit up in multicolours. It is a floating pontoon bridge that links Punda and Otrobanda. It can open and close to allow marine traffic to pass into St Anna Bay.

Tony sitting in front of a bronze statue of Dr Moises Frumencio Da Costa Gomez (1907–1966), the first Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles. He established the National People’s Party, which negotiated self-government for Curaçao as part of the Netherlands Antilles in 1954.Tony sitting in front of a bronze statue of Dr Moises Frumencio Da Costa Gomez (1907–1966), the first Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles. He established the National People’s Party, which negotiated self-government for Curaçao as part of the Netherlands Antilles in 1954.

Huge free-standing blue and yellow letters spelling out the word Curaçao. People, including Tony, sitting inside the letters.Huge free-standing blue and yellow letters spelling out the word Curaçao. People, including Tony, sitting inside the letters.

Tony sitting in the first C of Curaçao.Tony sitting in the first C of Curaçao.

Tony standing in front of more giant letters. These ones spell out Dushi, which means love or sweetheart.Tony standing in front of more giant letters. These ones spell out Dushi, which means love or sweetheart. It’s pronounced ‘Dooshy’.

Tony touching one of a pair of historic canon on the Punda water front. A large cruise ship can be seen in St Anna Bay.Tony touching one of a pair of historic canon on the Punda water front. A large cruise ship can be seen in St Anna Bay.

Wednesday, 24th February 2016

Tony in Plaza Brión. In view the flag of Curaçao flying from a tall pole and colourfully painted buildings at the edge of the square.Tony in Plaza Brión. In view the flag of Curaçao flying from a tall pole and colourfully painted buildings at the edge of the square. The flag is blue with a horizontal yellow stripe slightly below the midline. There are two white five-pointed stars in the top left.

Tony by a large boat selling freshly caught fish and other goods. This is the floating market it arrives daily from Venezuela.Tony by a large boat selling freshly caught fish and other goods. This is the floating market it arrives daily from Venezuela.

Next to the boat, a man selling fish on a small wooden board.Next to the boat, a man selling fish on a small wooden board.

 A colourful range of fruit and vegetables for sale at the local market in Punda, Willemstad. A colourful range of fruit and vegetables for sale at the local market in Punda, Willemstad.

Tony with a sales woman at her market stall selling craft items. Punda, Willemstad.Tony with a sales woman at her market stall selling craft items.

Tony at the Dolphin Academy, Curaçao Sea Aquarium, Bapor Kibra, Willemstad. Tony in the water nose-to-nose with a dolphin. Other visitors and Sea Aquarium staff also in the water.Tony at the Dolphin Academy at the Sea Aquarium, Willemstad. Tony in the water nose-to-nose with a dolphin. Other visitors and Sea Aquarium staff also in the water.

Tony touching the dolphin's flippers.Tony touching the dolphin’s flippers.

Tony doing a V-sign at the dolphin to make it sing!Tony doing a V-sign at the dolphin to make it sing!

Tony with over visitors touching the dolphin's back.Tony with over visitors touching the dolphin’s back.

A dolphin diving down into the water.A dolphin diving down into the water.

Tony at Fort Amsterdam by a canon. The Dutch and Curaçao flags flying above an entrance. The fort was constructed in 1634 by the Dutch West India Company and served not only as a military fort but also as the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company.Tony at Fort Amsterdam by a canon. The Dutch and Curaçao flags flying above an entrance. The fort was constructed in 1634 by the Dutch West India Company and served not only as a military fort but also as the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company. This area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Closer view of Tony by the canon at Fort Amsterdam.Closer view of Tony by the canon at Fort Amsterdam.

Tony near the Temple Emanuel in Punda. This yellow painted former synagogue opened in 1864 when a group of Reform Jews broke away from the older Mikve Israel congregation. The congregations reunited in 1964 and the building was eventually sold to the Netherlands Antilles government in 1989.Tony near the Temple Emanuel in Punda. This yellow painted former synagogue opened in 1864 when a group of Reform Jews broke away from the older Mikve Israel congregation. The congregations reunited in 1964 and the building was eventually sold to the Netherlands Antilles government in 1989.

Tony at a restaurant sea terrace, Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad.Tony at a restaurant sea terrace, Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad.

Another view of Tony beneath the Pedro Luis Brión statue in Plaza Brión.Another view of Tony beneath the Pedro Luis Brión statue in Plaza Brión.

Good view of Queen Emma Bridge with Tony in the foreground.Good view of Queen Emma Bridge with Tony in the foreground.

A cruise ship anchored at Willemstad. Tony on the beach in front.A cruise ship anchored at Willemstad. Tony on the beach in front.

Tony sitting with a Rasta man at the souvenir market in Otrobanda, Willemstad.Tony sitting with a Rasta man at the souvenir market in Otrobanda, Willemstad.

Tony on the beach in the evening with a waitress from the beach café.Tony on the beach in the evening with a waitress from the beach café.