July 27, 2014

1163-1166 NETHERLANDS (Aruba) - California Lighthouse

Located near Arashi Beach on the northwest tip of Aruba, in the area known as Hudishibana, California Lighthouse was named for the British wooden steamship California, which wrecked nearby on September 23, 1891, after sailing from Liverpool toward Central America. On board, passengers were partying hard when the wreck occurred. Meanwhile, the crew was more practical, tossing cargo overboard as the sinking vessel hit the coast so the merchandise could be sold in Oranjestad - or so the story goes.

Two decades later, a French architect designed the striking edifice that came to be known as the California Lighthouse. Construction on the lighthouse began in 1914 and took two years to complete. The tower was built using stone blocks quarried in the area. Meanwhile, the top - which stands at 30m high - was made of metal to house the mood-altering light that shines onto the landscape today. It is conical, but has an octagonal base and it is unpainted (sand coloured). Around the lighthouse are acres of stoned-filled flat land, and a area called California White Sand Dunes.

It was formerly open to the public until a suicide occurred, which prompted authorities to restrict public access to the lighthouse. Now it is a major tourist attraction, because any time of day or night is a great time to visit the lighthouse for a 360 degree view, but the sunset is hands down the right time of day to be there as the big orange ball of fire gently dips into the Caribbean Sea. Right next to the California Lighthouse is a very good Italian restaurant named La Trattoria El Faro Blanco (The White Lighthouse Restaurant).

About the stamps
All the stamps are part of a definitive series depicting Alto Vista Chapel, about which I wrote here.

sender 1, 2, 3, 4: Denise
1: sent from Oranjestad (Aruba), on 09.07.2014
2: sent from Oranjestad (Aruba), on 05.07.2014
3: sent from Oranjestad (Aruba), on 04.07.2014
4: sent from Oranjestad (Aruba), on 07.07.2014 

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