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The Ghostly Remains of the Aruba Air Wreck

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Laying along the side of the Koraalspechtweg road, near the Jan Thiel Salt Flats, is the rotting carcass of an abandoned airplane. We had driven by it a number of times, always imagining how much fun it would be to explore the wreckage. And then we realized, there was nothing preventing us from doing exactly that.

Abandoned Aruba Airlines

I’m not sure how the body of this plane ended up along the side of a busy road, although there are some hints to be discovered. It’s fairly clear that this wasn’t a crash site; the plane looks as though it had its wings removed, and that it was placed here on purpose. And painted on the hull is the word “restaurant,” providing a pretty good hint about why the plane was relocated here.

Abandoned Aruba Airlines

Sadly, the proprietor’s visionary entrepreneurial plans never saw the light of day. He seems to have stopped after having stripped the plane almost completely, leaving only some gear in the cockpit. There are no longer any seats, oxygen masks, nor in-flight entertainment consoles.

Exploring this plane requires careful attention to both the ground, where the floors have rotted away, and the ceiling, where there are several small bee hives. After a few minutes, I was eager to get out. Still, it’s a fun little curiosity, as creepy as it is photogenic. And if you like bizarre ruins, you might want to make a short stop and check it out.

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Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
Abandoned Aruba Airlines
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February 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm Comment (1)

Beth Haim Cemetery

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While we were at the Mikvé Israel-Emmanuel Synagogue in Punda, we read about Curaçao’s oldest Jewish cemetery, the Beth Haim. It sounds macabre, but we always enjoy visiting cemeteries, and what really caught our eye about the Beth Haim was its location: right on top of the island’s oil refinery. Only employees are allowed onto the grounds of the refinery, so for the rest of us, the Beth Haim is as close it gets.

Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao

We appreciate sandy beaches with crystal blue water as much as anyone, but places like the Beth Haim Cemetery really capture our fascination. Hundreds of indistinguishable concrete graves against the background of a noisy oil factory’s complicated, poison-spewing machinery spewing. The contrast is startling and, to some eyes at least, weirdly captivating.

Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao

The Beth Haim is Curaçao’s original Jewish cemetery, and one of the first of any denomination on the island. The oldest identifiable tombstone is dated to the year 5428. It took me a few confused seconds to realize that many of the inscriptions use the Hebrew calendar; converted to Gregorian, 5428 is the year 1668.

Most of the tombstones are so old and weathered that it’s nearly impossible to read the names or dates. There aren’t any newer graves, because Beth Haim hasn’t been in use for a long time. It would be difficult to have a proper ceremony with the constant noise and pollution of the oil refinery fouling everything up.

Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao

Guided tours of the Beth Haim Cemetery can be organized; inquire at the gift shop in the Punda Synagogue. Or you can visit on your own, like we did. If you enjoy sightseeing with a heavy dose of the surreal, you’ll have a good time. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve never seen a place quite like the Beth Haim.

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Framed Photos Curacao

Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
Beth Haim Cemetery Curacao
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January 31, 2016 at 3:41 pm Comments (0)
The Ghostly Remains of the Aruba Air Wreck Laying along the side of the Koraalspechtweg road, near the Jan Thiel Salt Flats, is the rotting carcass of an abandoned airplane. We had driven by it a number of times, always imagining how much fun it would be to explore the wreckage. And then we realized, there was nothing preventing us from doing exactly that.
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