ORANJESTAD & STREET CARS
We headed to the car and decided to go down town to Oranjestad. We were having a lot of problems finding a place to park. Every “white” spot was filled and we circled and went down one way streets and just when I was about to give up, the hubby told me to park on this side street with meters and plenty of parking. I wasn’t sure that it was close enough to the area I wanted to check out, but he assured me it would be fine. I had just hurt my knee the day before and I was really limping at this point and in quite a bit of pain. We attempted to “pay the meter” but was having a lot of problems. There was a food stand right beside us and they came over to help. The meter was not working and someone had jammed a lot of coins in it…including a square coin. Pshhh, these tourist! Haha Right when we were getting in the car to leave, the people at the stand told us that we could pull into the dirt lot behind them, which had a flea market, and we could park for free. We pulled in and checked out what they had to offer at the flea market and spoke to some locals, who agreed that we could leave the car there for free and not worry about it.
We headed toward the mall and decided that we would just catch the street car (something I wanted to do this trip, but hadn’t got the chance yet). We were told to walk over to the cruise terminal and it would pick us up there (little did I know until we came back that we could have caught it about 20’ away from where we were standing at). Another lady asked us if we were heading to the street car and said she was trying to find it too and walked with us. It was pulling away right as we came around the little building and the lady yelled. They stopped. Whew. I was really hoping we wouldn’t have to wait in the hot blazing sun for another to arrive. It was VERY hot that day. We were able to get on and then they decided not to leave (even after another street car pulling up behind us). We sat for probably 20 minutes, but we were out of the sun and there was a nice breeze blowing. I really didn’t care if we were moving or not because my leg was hurting and sitting felt nice.
After we started moving, there was even a better breeze. I had no idea where it takes you to or how far, but it was a nice little trip. It basically just takes you around the shopping area and turns around and heads back in the same direction. I would guess it’s maybe 45 minute round trip depending on how many people are getting on an off (and according to the pictures I took when we started and ended). I had seen blue horses along area’s we had passed several times when driving down the street and wanted to take pictures of them. With a bum leg, I knew that was not going to be possible…but wait, the trolley took us right beside several of them and I was able to snap a few pictures. Go me!
Toward the very end of the trip, we decided to get off right at the mall.
When we came the other night, it was closed and the hubby still wanted to look for the skate shop that no longer existed. We spotted a surf shop upstairs and headed up there. He spoke to the (owner?) and they gave the history and location of the skate shop. They were actually former employees of the surf shop that decided to partner in together and start their own company. He pointed where the store was and that it was still up for rent. We talked for quite some time and it was pretty interesting to hear the details of owning a store like that in Aruba, importing prices and so on.
Then we headed across the street and over to the sidewalk vendors. (These are where I like to buy my “goods” from instead of the stores you can usually find at malls). We made several purchases and I bought some of my patients some goodies they would enjoy and I hobbled my way back to the car in a lot of pain. My knee was done for the day. It would not take any more walking and we headed back to the resort.
Oranjestad is a very neat place with plenty of shopping at the mall and at the local vendors across the street and the flea market beside the mall. The street car was really neat to ride and although it is meant to take you around the shopping area, we just enjoyed riding it around to check out the area as well. It is free to ride.
When we come back to Aruba, we will definitely go back to Oranjestad to shop for gifts for back home. The local vendors have some pretty neat stuff and good prices.
Here are some pictures from when we came the other night. It looked totally different with everything shut down and just security guards everywhere.
We had been told that there was a "skate/bike" park somewhere in the area as well. My husband is a skater and also owns a skate/bike/blade store and he just had to see this place.
We found it behind the mall and down a little. It was very very sad to see the condition the ramps were in and there wasn't much to it. There were a lot of dangerous items there. We did talk to some locals there and the communication was a little hard, but we managed.