Luxe Shopping, Aruba

Relatives of mine love cruising and go on at least one cruise a year. One of the things they like to do is shop for jewelry and local items, as well as high end goods that may be better priced than they would find in the United States. Well, in Aruba, you have plenty of options just beyond the port where your ship docks. You’ll pass through the gate and walk down this street, headed roughly south, southeast.

Seems rather nondescript, but as you move along you’ll pass a number of jewelry stores, the Mont Blanc store, and a well-stocked cigar shop (yes, with Cubans). Then you’ll come to this area.

Here are several high-end watch sellers, including Gandelman and Little Switzerland. There’s also a few options for food and drinks upstairs including the Mambo Jambo Club. Here’s another view from the opposite side.

Tommy Hilfiger has a place on the corner there. Just down another half block you’ll come to the Seaport Casino and Mall. This is all luxury goods. Here are just a few photos for those who want proof.

It goes on to include Cartier, Bulgari, Ferragamo and so on.

There’s also the BCBG store for the ladies and a few decent shops for men’s clothes.

So, if you like to spend your money on this type of shopping, you came to the right place. Just in case you have some room on the credit card limit, you’ll pass this store on the way back to the ship or your car.

Just don’t let the tax man know what you’ve been up to.

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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One Happy Port, Aruba

A few days ago, the cruise ship, Adventure of the Seas, called at Oranjestaad, Aruba. I took a few photos for the blog here, which may help answer some questions about cruise ship calls at the island. First, take a look at that magnificent ship which was just tied to the dock a few minutes before this pictures was taken.

Upon leaving the ship, you’ll pass through a reception building and then through a gate. Some tours may supply buses inside the port area; other tour leaders and sellers are waiting beyond the gate as you see here.

Veteran cruisers will know about booking your on-island excursions in advance. If not, however, there are people around who offer everything from a jeep safari, to kayaking, to a day at the beach. Here’s a look at a few of the colorful buses that will take you to your day of fun.

Not sure about this bus, but it has the right name.

And then there is this luxury coach operated by De Palm Tours. They transfer people from the terminal to their own island where all kinds of water activities are available.

Whatever your choice, you’re bound to have a great time here. It may be a visit to the ostrich farm, an island-wide tour, or a horseback trek. If shopping it what you enjoy, stay tuned. My next post will take a look at the shops available right in the downtown area, only a short walk from the ship.

Spanish Tile

The name of this post should really be Spanish Tile, Part 1. There are so many fantastic examples of Spanish tile both in Spain and around the world that someone could easily earn a doctorate in the subject. I pulled a few examples from my photos taken within the country, basically representative examples of a few of the most traditional forms. Let’s start with this one, the mural at a restaurant.

I like the picture of the travelers on the little coach with the two guys following. Just out of the frame is another explanation about the place, in case the image doesn’t do the job. Murals like this are all over Spain. They liven up the street without the garishness of neon signs. Let’s take a look at another one.

Here you have a much more impressionistic piece of tile work. The glamour lady invites you in from the street. Subtle. Nice. And not bad advertising either. A more traditional front might look like the following:

The place above is looking a little worse for the wear. A few tiles are missing but the name lives on above the door. The monochrome scheme works well, though, and I would venture to say the person who created those tiles did quite a bit of work back in the day.

To my surprise, I found numerous Irish Pubs in Spain. This place, La Fontanilla, may use the term “taberna” but they aren’t shy about announcing the fact that Guinness is served inside. The fountain mural on the left is quite clear as to meaning. The woman on the right, is a bit confusing to me. Are they suggesting there are rooms to rent for weary women travelers? I’m not sure. Sometimes, you’ll see famous works of art recreated in tiles like this. I’ve seen works by el Greco, Picasso, and others recreated in tile and mounted on the outside of buildings in various places around Spain.

This is one of the great things about visiting Spain. There are millions of little discoveries like this, things that make the country eternally interesting and beautiful.

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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