The second stop of our cruise on the ms Zuiderdam from the Holland America fleet was Oranjestad, Aruba, part of the Dutch Antilles, March 21. This small island is only 14 miles off the coast of Venezuela. I thought it was going to be a lush, tropical paradise, but instead if was a desert island.
This lone tree greeted us in port.
Aruba is very dry. It gets less than 10" of rain each year and last year, it got less than 6" so they're very dry.
Casibari Rock Formations
The view of Aruba from the top of the Casibari Rock Formations.
Interesting rock formation.
The north shore of the island is much rockier and windier than the opposite where the beaches are. You see only the beautiful, white sand beaches in travel brochures, but they don't show you the desert and cacti there.
Waves crash onto the Lava Rocks.
Waves crash over the remains of the natural bridge which collapsed in 2005.
The baby bridge still stands though.
The California Lighthouse: Built from 1914-1916 - It is named after a vessel that shipwrecked on Aruba's north shore. When the ship hit the coast, the passengers were partying on board and not paying attention.