Kralendijk Walking Tour
|Pronounced "crawl-in-dike," Kralendijk means "coral dike."
Kralendijk, Bonaire's main city, is situated on a natural harbor on the lee side with the additional protection of neighboring Klein Bonaire, Kralendijk is a relatively new city, begun about 1810.
Fort Oranje, designed to stave off any invaders, was built just shortly before at the end of the 18th century.
With about 1,700 residents, Kralendijk is still quite small, though it's been undergoing a massive facelift since the end of the 1980s in order to compete for more cruise ship business.
The main street, Kaya Grandi, parallels the coastline and runs north-south. It takes only about ten minutes to walk through the island's main business district.
Mirroring the yellow and orange structures of Aruba and Curacao, Kralendijk offers a pleasant, safe walk, day or night.
The more interesting stops are:
1) The Governor's House, built in 1837 and restored in 1973.
2) The waterfront Roman-style fish market, usually selling vegetables rather than seafood, dates from 1935.
3) The center of town is picturesque Wilhelmina Square. The small Protestant church in the middle of the square is from 1857.
The prettiest time to walk Kralendijk is in the afternoon. As the sun sets in the west the colorful buildings lining the harborfront reflect the beautiful yellow glow as the sun dips toward the horizon.
As you watch the sun set over the water, look for the rare and famous green flash, which--if it is going to appear--will happen immediately after sunset.
I saw the green flash my first evening in Bonaire back in 1975. I wasn't surprised to see it since the event was so heavily advertised.
The next time I saw the green flash was on St. Lucia, about 23 years later.
I'm still waiting for the third time.