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Curacao: Caribbean for beginners

Willemstad on Curaçao is reminiscent of Dutch Amsterdam.
Photo: © adrian beesley - iStockphoto.com

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Once dreaming on powdered sugar sand. In turquoise green water splashing ... Laura author Bernhard Hobelsberger fulfilled the dream. He discovered something exotic in Curaçao - and a little piece of Holland.

Funny, somehow. As you jetted ten hours in the Caribbean, climbs out of the plane in the bright tropical sun - and wonders if the pilot has not accidentally headed for the Netherlands. For the old Dutch merchant houses, with their baroque gables and gabled roofs on the harbor front of Willemstad, could as well stand on the canals of Amsterdam. In vanilla, raspberry, banana and other cute ice cream colors, this colonial heritage shines above the deep blue waters of Sint Annabaai. A perfect place to immerse yourself in the life of this Antilles island without culture shock! The next day we push through Otrobanda, the western part of the old town: a Caribbean holiday sweets from winding streets, populated by lush islanders who do their shopping in a gentle weighing step. At the floating market, men shed snook-fish, traders hand out fruits and vegetables from their boats. The fact that the island of Antilles is not always so cheerful and peaceful reveals the cannonball that we discover in the walls of Fort Amsterdam. A remnant of the British siege of 1804.

In Marsche Bieuw, a former market hall, we satisfy our hunger. At simple wooden tables, taxi drivers, fishermen, business people and a handful of tourists sit together and enjoy hearty Creole specialties. They are prepared by well-dressed cooks for a few guilders on wood fire. Luckily, my bank neighbor proves to be helpful and translates the day pass, which is written in the local language Papiamento. "Kadushi means cactus soup, and Kabritu Stoba stands for stewed goat meat - both very delicious! Just like the Creole cuisine, the local dialect reflects the island's influence, which was originally inhabited by an Indian tribe, the Arawaks, in 1499 discovered by a lieutenant of Christopher Columbus, later the Dutch took possession of the island and used it as a base for their slave trade, followed by Sephardic Jews fleeing the Inquisition, merchants from nearby Venezuela, and more recently from India and China Most of the newcomers settled in Willemstad, where the majority of the 150, 000 islanders still live today, which also makes a detour to the island so appealing, as soon as the old colonial city disappears into the rearview mirror of our rental car, it spreads left and right of the country roads an almost deserted expanse. Only gradually does the landscape rise to a surprising height, shimmering green and interspersed with cacti and aloe plants. Isolated from the green, stately old plantation houses tower like castles on hills. Some, such as the Landhuis Knip in the west of the island, are home to lovingly designed colonial museums; in other mansions small hotels or chic restaurants have lodged.

Most spectacular are the splashes of color in blue and turquoise, which shine next to the road: all hidden bays with magical beaches - more than 40 tropical dream copies, so-called Bocas nestle, especially on the south and west coast of the island. We share the Boca Kenapa in the northwest the next day with a group of Dutch tourists, next to whom we spread our towel. The sand is so fine that it squeaks under our feet, and so bright that you need sunglasses when you look down. Enthusiastically we plunge into the crystal-clear water and let ourselves drifting snorkelling. Swarms of blue-yellow surgeon fish and orange-colored clown fish pass by. Curacao is a paradise even under water!

Travel information Curacao

Flight: Air Berlin is the only airline flying once a week nonstop from Germany (Dusseldorf) to Curacao . Tickets are available from about 530 euros on the Internet (airberlin.com), via the hotline (Tel: 018 05/73 78 00, 0.14 euros / min from the fixed network, mobile phone price: 42 cents / min.) Or about the travel agency.

Package: L'TUR offers for December 2012 flight plus 7 days B & B in double room of a four star hotel on Curaçao (Cabana Beach) from 1469 Euro per person. Bookable at www.ltur.de or at the travel agency.

Information: Tourist Office Curaçao, c / o Inter-Connect Marketing, Arnulfstraße 31, 80636 Munich, Tel .: 089/517 03-0, E-Mail:, Internet www.curacao.de

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