No titleFebruary 1, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °F
Hato Caves had a utilitarian purpose during the early days of the slave trade in Curacao, escaped slaves used them as hiding places, and lived in them for months at a time. Even before the arrival of Europeans and slaves, the Amerindian Arawaks used them for shelter, and left behind cave drawings, or petroglyphs, estimated at 1,500 years old.
The caves consist of marine coral limestone, which accumulated over millions of years and after sea levels had dropped were exposed to atmospheric corrosion and karsticprocesses. They are approximately 240 m (790 ft) long and cover an area of 4,900 m2 (53,000 sq ft)Read more
We’ve met a couple from the Toronto with whom we just seemed to click, Carol Lavoie and Jonathan Hackett. They’re fun and laid back, and completely non-pretentious despite the fact that they’ve had successful careers in the TV and motion picture world. They joined us for my birthday dinner at Sol Food restaurant. It was a fun night with good food and wine, and plenty of interesting conversation and laughs.
It’s friends we meet along the way that makes us appreciate our journey.Read more
Curacao Liqueur started in the year of 1896 when the firm Senior & Co, founded by two Jewish founders, Haim Mendes Chumaceiro ( also known as Shon Inchi) and his business partner Edgar Senior, operated a drugstore on Curacao called ‘Botika Excelsior’. The walls of that botika witnessed the beginning of it all when Chumaceiro started producing an “aperitif” or “digestive”, using the recipe of his family and naming it Senior’s Curacao Tonic. They quickly changed the name to Senior’s Curacao Liqueur.Read more
Two years ago, we visited Curacao and I left my computer charger at home. As most know I can never stop working and needed my computer to do some work. We rushed over to Jimmie who miraculously rigged up a charger that would adopt to my computer. He spent hours with us and refused any money. I asked him how I can ever repay him and his response was to bring him a $2 bill when we returned to Curacao. Today we paid Jimmie a visit with a $2 bill and he was excited to see us. What a lovely interesting man.Read more
When the Spaniards came to Curacao they brought Valencia orange plants with them. Unfortunately, the soil and environment morphed the tree into something completely different. The peel is green and the fruit inside is inedible ... even by iguanas who love fruit! In the late 1800’s a pharmacist and a businessman experimented to try to make something useful from the fruit. They discovered that although the fruit was worthless, the peel held potential. Fast forward to the renown liqueur that they produced, and is still hand crafted and created in the same still that they developed. Peels are put in burlap sacks along with cloves, cardamom, sugar, and water, more or less. The recipe is still secret. The burlap bag acts like a giant teabag, which is brewed in the distiller then hand bottled, corked, and labeled. We had samples and it was a big surprise! I was expecting a bitter, potent alcohol flavor that would gag you on the way down. Wrong. It was silky smooth and sweet, but not sickening sweet. The first picture shows the buildings on the grounds and the second shows the ersatz Valencia tree, now known as Laraha.Read more
The oldest surviving synagogue is in Curacao, with a Jewish presence dating back to the mid 1600’s. This graveyard has tombs dating from those times. Unfortunately, pollution effects on the markers had made most unreadable, but I saw several with a hand holding an axe which had cut down a tree, which supposedly signifies an early or untimely death.,Read more
Mikve Israel-Emanuel is the oldest standing synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. It was built in 1732 and has impressive interior of azure stained windows, beautifully carved woodwork, large ornate menorahs and brass chandeliers and cross its unique sand covered floors that remind us of Moses in the desert, leading his people out of Egypt and pay homage to those earliest Jewish settlers, who had to muffle the sounds of their footsteps and prayers when meeting in secret during the Spanish Inquisition, before the fled to Curaçao.
Consecrated in 1732 and well over 280 years old, the Mikve synagogue was modeled after the Portoguese Synagogue of Amsterdam with its high vaulted ceilings, holy ark and pulpit, galleries and benches to serve a community of Spanish and Portuguese Jews from the Netherlands and Brazil. Still in active use by a small but vibrant Jewish community, it is a true testimony to the loving care of its guardians and extremely interesting to explore.Read more
Took a 2.7 mile round trip walk to Kalki Beach and back, in the heat of the day. What were we thinking? Obviously, we weren’t .... we’re in island mode now!