A look behind Aruba‘s scenes

Date: 28.12.2023
Position: Aruba, Oranjestad
Etmal: 0 nm
Total: 5495 nm
Ship: Regina Maris

First Impression

When we arrived at Aruba, we saw a nice coast line with palm trees, several mangroves, tropical beach bars and pretty, colourful houses. It seemed like a tropical paradise.
Our fist steps on land matched this image perfectly. A beach afternoon with clear, blue water, little shells, rests of corals laying in the yellow sand and nice music from the bars. Literally, the paradise.

First free shore leave

The first free shore leave changed this image already a little bit. On the one hand we saw the central streets with beautiful colourful houses and hotels. The streets were full of nice, mostly expensive, known brands as Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Tommy Hillfiger. On the other hand we walked through non-touristic streets, the houses were less colourful and there were nearly no shops or anything, it looked like a parallel existence. The touristic part, full of bars, parties and nightlife and the „real live part“ with normal houses, students and an everyday street life.

The bus tour

Today we did a bus tour, with the most colourful bus of Aruba! It was a great and funny experience to drive over the island to Baby Beach with no glas in the windows, an open bus door and loud Spanish music. We saw wide countrysides with many huge cacti and lovely beaches.

Our bus driver showed us several important parts of Aruba like the „water fabric“ where the sea water becomes fresh water. He told as very proud that they have 24/7 fresh water and electricity on Aruba.

This was a fact reminding me that we are in a complete different country.

Impression of the drive

I really enjoyed to drive with this bus but every now and than I realised the big differences.
Because when we were finally out of this „main touristic part“ we got to the „real Aruba“. Meaning smaller villages, just small shops, donkeys next to the streets and houses in different conditions, from nice houses with colourful gardens to run-down nearly ruins.

Close to Baby Beach we saw a big poster promoting a new building project for a hotel which got „corrected“ by maybe locals. The most significant „correction“ were the words „Land back“ written over the location where the new hotel should be builded. And this was the reason for this text.

Aruba and the tourism

The promotion poster stayed in my mind from there on and I recognised more and more that Aruba has two faces. One for the tourists and one for the population. The tourists (preferably Americans) come to Aruba to celebrate parties and consume drugs (that’s why we found in nearly every souvenir shop funny articles with weed signs on it). And the population focuses their economy on tourism.

Like that it works, of course, but as Ray, a friend of our captain Martin, told me, tourism in combination with climate change also destroys parts of the islands. As examples he mentioned the sea turtles, which used to come to Aruba to lay eggs, the time when he was still a kid.

Nowadays, there are nearly no save spaces for the turtles to lay their eggs and because of the fact that turtles lay their eggs where they were born, their number is shrinking. Also with things like the poster, you could see that not everybody supports new hotels on the island.

My view on Aruba

The stay at Aruba was a very interesting stay. Once I realised these „two faces“ I couldn’t stop recognising them every where over the island, otherwise I really enjoyed to stay at this place because especially the beaches were super beautiful and we already saw colourful fish even at Baby Beach, which was full of tourists.

All in all I would say that this impression is different for everybody but in my eyes Aruba is a „zweischneidige Klinge“.

P.S.: Greetings home, have a good „Rutsch“ 🙂

Nach oben scrollen