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Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai

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An 18th-century plantation house on the western side of Willemstad, the Landhuis Habaai is home to Curaçao’s oldest private art gallery. On the second Saturday of every month, they host a crafts market, where the island’s amateur artisans can sell their masterpieces.

Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai

We pulled up to the Landhuis Habaai at around 11am, when the place was already buzzing with activity. There were people admiring the art in the permanent gallery, others listening to an artist present her latest creations, and yet more crowding the garden, where an array of stands were selling crafts and artisan products.

Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai

Much of the art inside the gallery is excellent, with themes and colors inspired by the Caribbean. And it’s all for sale, although one look at the prices confirmed what we already suspected: those of us whose monthly “art budget” is jingling around inside our pants pockets are not going to be making any purchases at the Gallery Alma Blou.

We spent more time outside in the garden, among the more affordable artistic offerings of the monthly crafts fair. If you’re in the market for a unique souvenir from Curçaco and happen to be here during the second Saturday of the month, you might want to stop by. Even if the market isn’t on, it’s worth checking out the Gallery Alma Blou, as much for the art as for the lovely old mansion in which its housed.

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Gallery Alma Blou – Website

Framed Curacao Photos

Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai
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February 27, 2016 at 7:19 pm Comments (0)

The Sunday Market at Barber

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Every Sunday morning in the northern town of Barber, the market hall is converted into a food court where you can find every type of Curaçaoan specialty imaginable, from fish soup to stewed papaya, along with a wide variety of baked sweets and homemade drinks. Show up hungry, because you’ll likely want to sample a little of everything.

Barber Market

This weekly market is a popular local event, with a number of stands dishing out home-cooked meals to hungry patrons. The Marshe di Barber is right across from the town church, and I would wager that since the market is held on Sunday morning, a lot of people come here either after or before services. Probably during, too.

With so much to choose from, I had a difficult time deciding what to order. Looking at the menu of one place, I almost settled on Sopa di Mandongo. No idea what “mandongo” is, but it sounds exotic. Just to be safe, I looked it up and discovered that it’s tripe. Nothing against tripe; I’ve eaten it before, and probably will again. But not sober, and definitely not for breakfast!

We stuck to more identifiable foods, like goat stew and fried pastries filled with cheese called pastechis, and ordered tamarind juice. It was all delicious, and even better was the lively atmosphere inside the market, with old friends sitting around tables, drinking and laughing, while their kids ran around outside. These families probably meet here every week, and won’t mind if you join them. So if you wake up hungry for a hearty breakfast on Sunday morning, head to Barber.

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Hotels On Curacao

Barber Market
Barber Market
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February 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm Comments (0)

The Curaçao Aloe Vera Plantation

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Curaçao has a long history of cultivating aloe vera, since it’s one of the few plants able to thrive in the island’s dry and windy climate. We visited the Curaloe Plantation and Factory, near the Ostrich Farm and St. Joris Bay, to see how the plants are grown, harvested and processed. Or at least, that’s what we were hoping to see.

Aloe Vera Farm Curacao

The Curaloe Plantation is free to visit, and that’s absolutely appropriate, considering that it offers almost nothing to the visitor. After parking and looking at the wide fields of aloe vera, we went inside the reception building. The woman working informed us that they don’t do tours of the factory, nor are there tours of the fields. “So what can we do?”

We could stand on the wooden platform next to the parking lot and look at the fields. We could read a few information signs about the history of aloe. We could buy expensive products in the shop. We could watch short videos about the production of aloe vera on a TV in the shop. And that was it.

Aloe Vera Farm Curacao

It was impossible to hide our disappointment, so she hastened to inform us that watching the videos was “just as good” as touring the plantation. We scoffed, but she doubled down, becoming almost irritated. “Yes, it is. The videos have all the same information. There’s no reason for anyone to see inside the factory, or visit the fields.” At this point, we gave up. Good to know that short YouTube videos are a superior substitute for actual experiences! Now I don’t ever have to actually make it to Machu Pichu; I can just watch some online drone footage.

Of course, factories are under no obligation to open their doors to tourists. But then, they shouldn’t promote themselves as a tourist experience. All Curaloe really wants is to get you inside their store.

This was, hands down, the lamest experience we had on Curaçao, and especially disappointing since we generally love visiting factories like this. If you’re dying to see a field full of the plants, by all means, make a quick stop. It’s free. But don’t go hoping for an interesting look into the production of aloe vera.

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A List Of Curacao Hotels

Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
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Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
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Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
Aloe Vera Farm Curacao
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February 6, 2016 at 4:29 pm Comments (0)

The Floating Market

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Along the banks of the Waaigat, a fleet of small, wooden ships is stationed, each carrying a load of fruits and vegetables from nearby Venezuela. This is Willemstad’s Floating Market, where Curaçaoans have been purchasing their produce for a hundred years.

Floating Market Willemstad

Curaçao is a beautiful island, but its arid climate isn’t conducive to fruit orchards or fields of vegetables. Luckily, the harvests of the mainland are not far-off. Sailors from Venezuela’s coastal towns long ago recognized the potential of their neighbor to the north, and have set up an enduring, mutually-beneficial trade; Venezuelans provide the produce, Curaçaoans provide the cash.

We noticed right away that the market itself doesn’t actually float. The stands are set up on solid ground in front of each ship. At the end of each day, everything is packed back onto the boats, and the vendors sleep on-board as well. When they make the trip to Curaçao, they tend to stay for a long time. One guy told us about his shifts; he spends two months in Curaçao and two back home in Venezuela. His merchandise is replenished every day with fresh goods from the mainland.

Floating Market Willemstad

Times have changed and, today, most Curaçaoans shop in regular supermarkets, but the Floating Market still does a brisk business. Both locals buying their weekly produce, and tourists looking for a healthy snack will stop by. And we occasionally saw shoppers drive slowly down Caprileskade and pause to yell out their order, which the sellers would rush over in a hurry.

The prices don’t seem to be any cheaper than at a supermarket, and if you look like a sucker, the Floating Market might be more expensive. Our first time there, we were easy marks; Jürgen was taking pictures and I was sporting the oafish grin that emerges whenever I’m encountering something new. The guy charged way more than what we would have paid in a supermarket, and the avocado had a rotten side which he had cleverly concealed until it was in the bag.

But it was hard to begrudge him. It’s not an easy job these guys have. The villages they come from are poor, and this lifestyle barely allows them to support their families, whom they don’t see for months. If you want a glimpse into their situation, check out the 2003 documentary called Floating Market, directed by by Joan Kaufman. After having watched this, I wanted to return to the market with an even goofier grin, and allow myself to be scammed even more blatantly.

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Check Prices For Flights To Curacao

Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
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Floating Market Willemstad
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Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
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Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
Floating Market Willemstad
December 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm Comments (0)
Gallery Alma Blou at Landhuis Habaai An 18th-century plantation house on the western side of Willemstad, the Landhuis Habaai is home to Curaçao's oldest private art gallery. On the second Saturday of every month, they host a crafts market, where the island's amateur artisans can sell their masterpieces.
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