February 26, 2014

1015 NETHERLANDS (Netherlands / Bonaire) - The main street of Kralendijk

Located in Carribean Sea, at only 80km north of Venezuelan coast, and 48km est of  Curaçao, Bonaire is a island that, together with the uninhabited islet of Klein Bonaire, forms a special municipality of the Netherlands, as also Sint Eustatius and Saba. Actually the three form the Caribbean Netherlands, known also as the BES islands. As an aside, in the Carribean Sea are located other three islands under Dutch sovereignty, but which are constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (namely are equal in status with The Netherlands, as partners within the kingdom): Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. All six islands are named Dutch Caribbean, and formed the Netherlands Antilles until the country's dissolution on 10 October 2010.

Bonaire is ringed by a coral reef, and the entire coastline has been declared a marine sanctuary, preserving local fish life. On the other hand, is famed for its flamingo populations and its donkey sanctuary, and is home to the ecologically vulnerable Yellow-shouldered Amazon. Bonaire's economy is today mainly based on tourism. It has a reputation as one of the finest snorkeling and scuba diving locations in the world, as well as world class windsurfing destination, mainly that it is placed outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt.

Bonaire's capital is Kralendijk (pronounced 'Crawl-en-dike'), named so by the Dutch colonial rulers in about 1840, and developed around the Fort Oranje, built in 1639 to defend Bonaire's main harbor. Its Dutch colonial houses, the Museo Boneriano and Fort Oranje give a glimpse into the island's past, while the town's oceanfront promenade offers stunning sunset vistas and a fine prospect of Klein Bonaire. The main street, Kaya Grandi (in the postcard), is a browser's collection of dive shops, boutiques, arts and crafts galleries, restaurants and bars. It has various architecture in many styles from the late 1800s and 1900s. The shopkeepers lived upstairs and the businesses were on the ground floor.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a series of four about Sailing Ships, issued on February 1st, 2012:
• Catamaran (0.66 ANG)
• Optimist (0.99 ANG) - it's on the postcard
• Sunfish (1.01 ANG)
• Laser (1.68 ANG)

Bonaire - Wikipedia
Bonaire - Tourism Bonaire
Bonaire - World Atlas
Bonaire: The Natural Choice - Geographia

sender: Mike Noordam (direct swap)
sent from Kralendijk (Dutch Caribbean / Netherlands), on 02.01.2014
photo: Bertie Winkel

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