Today we went diving! Aruba isn't necessarily known as a heavy hitting dive spot--but of course it is a draw for many divers still. Like us, diving is important, but perfect temps and a relaxing environment are up there too. In fact-- thinking back on our recent tropical vacations, this trip has been one, if not the nicest as far as weather goes. Aruba, in just 2 days, has become a place that we will be recommending to everyone--and we can see ourselves coming back here again for sure.
The 1st dive today was great. We headed out on the boat this morning with about 16 other people and 2 dive masters. We rented our gear vs bringing our own since our only diving was to be today. It was a pretty shallow dive at about 50 feet, but so amazing. We saw fish and eels and a pretty big turtle, all who made their home in the sunken ship that was the dive destination. The Antilla was a German freighter during World War II that found itself parked in Arubaian waters at the same time that Germany invaded Holland. Holland instructed Aruba to take command of any vessels in "their" water. Instead of handing over the ship--- the German captain asked for 24 hours to remove personal effects from the boat before giving it up. The Aruba authorities obliged. But what the captain did was cleared the boat of the crew and set the engine room on fire that caused a massive explosion sinking the ship. That was the ship (in large chunks) that we explored today. We penetrated the remains a bit, but not too much... in a way it was a little creepy. I kept waiitng to see dishes and forks like from the Titanic movie.
The second dive was at a plane crash site--2 planes actally. Much of the shells of these old Cesnas had drifted into deeper waters, but the engines, props and some doors etc remained. It wasn't super exciting, not much fish on this dive and I got cold... but it was neat to see.
After diving and lunch, we headed into the city and walked some back roads. Aruba is amazing to us---its so organized, safe, friendly---the Dutch know how to rule! We got some souvineers and postcards and looked at some of the jewelry stores. No cruise ships in town today so that was very nice.
We had a fab dinner at a very popular place here--Madame Jeanette's-- and enjoyed sitting outside at 9pm (it was 90 today)!
We are really loving it here-- the license plate says it all. What a great island motto.
The other pics are of the downtown area.