The grand opening after-party: Sights and scenes of old Willemstad, Curacao
The Juliana bridge linking Otrabanda and Punda in the capital city (Photos: Joseph Wellington)

WHEN the Sandals party train rolls into town it is big, it is bad, it is loud, it is colourful, it is pulsating, it is jaw-dropping, and it is hard not to dance. Last Friday’s grand opening party at Sandals Royal Curacao was no less. After the excitement, Executive Editor, Special Assignment Desmond Allen and Photo Editor Joseph Wellington — on assignment in Dutch-speaking Curacao — cooled down by taking in the sights and scenes of 388-year-old Willemstad, the beguiling capital city known for its charming town centre, pastel-coloured colonial architecture, murals and other forms of street art. It was a calm Sunday evening and Willemstad had not yet gone to sleep. Here are some of the scenes they savoured:

Joseph Wellington
Curacao’s parliament building stands imposingly in the old town square of Willemstad.
A popular hang-out spot on Handelskade near the ferry station
Taxi-driver Synaida Maria shares the history of Willemstad from the Juliana bridge above Otrabanda
An Irie Tour bus dressed in colours familiar to Jamaicans moves through the streets of Willemstad.
Punda Love Hearts made of locks, meant to “lock in your love”, are popular with visitors.
The justice building in the heart of Willemstad
Murals and other forms of street art, like this one depicting the three mermaids, are common in the streets of Willemstad

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