HET WAPEN | Willemstad

Remembering how charmed and impressed I was when I first visited years ago, I’d been wanting to go back to Willemstad since. This was during my early years in The Netherlands when I was just lapping everything up, loving and appreciating the differences with my past lives in Manila and in DC. With this week’s scheduled visit to Rotterdam to see our friend, Pieterjan, the chance finally came and it couldn’t have been more fitting as Pieterjan lived and grew up there. Going back with a local, it was bound to be a promising reintroduction. It’s day two of our forecast weeklong heatwave and unfortunately there was no getting around it – it was just too hot to do anything other than enjoy lunch, as suggested by our guide, at Het Wapen. We get there, sit down and despite the heat and average staff, the place gave off a decent first impression.

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Under their dark, canopied terrace, we were steaming, trying to keep cool with iced drinks and apart from the conversation, as little physical activity as possible. After lunch I had illusions of wandering the the harbor close by, but once we hit the streets and I felt the sun again on my face, reality set in. As for the town itself, the few pictures I took didn’t do it any justice. We’ll have to plan another visit to appreciate the sites and like a treasure hunt, really walk around and find the local character that makes Willemstad. Minus the heatwave and another busy drawbridge please.

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