I recently saw a dozen cats walking in the front yard of a house. Maybe there were more. As if these cats were all living in an abandoned house. Only the condition of the plants in the front yard looks like the house is still inhabited. The cats also have food and water.

Lots of cute cats!

Today I grabbed the GoPro and a can of cat food that has been traveling on Sissi since Portugal. I want to eat some cute cats while eating. Unfortunately, the cat owner is in the front yard. I don't dare to throw dry food at the cats. I prefer to wait until I can catch the cats on the street at dusk.

Divi Divi

On the way back to the city I pass one of the most beautiful trees in Oranjestad. A Divi divi tree, the Aruba coat of arms trees, so to speak. On the beach they are in crazy shapes, they are blown by the wind.

In the pedestrian zone I let my eyes wander all around. There are more and more people on the street. Life returns to the city center. Some stores are still closed, but most stores have now reopened.

Finally again!

The dirty corners are also cleaned up and cleaned. Aruba is dressing up again. The restaurants are still closed. I can see on almost every corner that they are preparing an opening soon.

Oranjestad is cleaned.

What really convinced me that the crisis mode will be buried here soon is the tram. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw a red vehicle driving on the track. Yesss! She is driving again.

She is driving again!

Every second row of seats is locked and there are adhesive markings on the outside of the seats. You can sit on these markings. There is hand disinfection before boarding.

It really drives. That is a current picture.

I sit on a bench in the shade and wait for the tram to go the other way again. I succeed in creating a beautiful picture of two women who have had a long chat on a bench. Officially, the distance rules still apply here, the tolerated distance here is 2 meters.


Not only the adults, but also the youngsters have fun. The past few weeks have been very boring here. The schools are still closed.

Young cyclists

Everyone is on the street today. It is not as crowded as with the usual crowds of tourists. It reminds me of a day without cruise ships when only the locals are in the pedestrian zone.

You can shop at any age

Finally I meet Jutta and Ute on the street. They also stroll from shop to shop and look here and there. You haven't seen any open stores except the supermarket since late February.

Yesss! Shopping is back.

I persuade them to take a tram round. You are surprised that the ride is free.

Ute in front of the tram

As soon as we sit in the ready-to-go tram, Jutta draws attention to the specialty beer shop. I noticed it weeks ago, but it was closed all the time. As if the beer supply was not part of the basic supply. Ghostly.

Beer World welcomes customers again.

Jutta obviously likes the small round trip by tram.

Jutta drives the tram

Driver, conductor, chief disinfector and another employee of the tram company are in the vehicle. Today is the first day of operation. The staff laugh and joke with passers-by, shopkeepers and with and about us. Tourists! You are back.

No minimum distance! The conductor gets angry.

We drive past a group of men who stand side by side without a safe distance. The conductor calls them over that they have to keep two meters away. Then everyone laughs together. It seems to me that an important element of normalcy has returned to the city.

Shop shoes.

We are kicked out at the final stop, it was the last ride of the day. We were very lucky. Together we walk back into the pedestrian zone. Together until the first open shoe store. Then unfortunately I have to leave Ute and Jutta. I actually wanted to take pictures of cats and film them. Instead, I photographed people. It was a nice afternoon.

Scientologists also left it outside today. They made the pedestrian zone unsafe in full body overalls. They must now wear the overalls for promotional purposes or so that they can be found on the island again and again if they run away.

I wouldn't want to walk around with my clothes in the shade at 32 ° C. A Scientologist with Freewinds print.

Something has happened today regarding Corona. Nine people are still ill in Aruba. A 70-year-old man died of Covid-19 yesterday, so there are now three dead. The total number of infections remains at 101.

In another country at a different time

It's not easy to spend these days so that you don't get stupid in your head. The daily walk to the supermarket is one of the highlights of the day. Although the marina shower, the staff shower of the adjacent hotel, has a very bad quality of stay, a visit there is another highlight. Yesterday I spent five hours at the stove and conjured up a dinner for the Chapo and us. All the time I have tortured Jens with kitchen smells. The event was a roast beef tenderly pink on crunchy carrots with a huge mountain of crispy potato pancakes refined with a little Parmesan. The roast was admittedly more pink than tender, but everyone enjoyed it. We have been cooking each other for the past few days.

The positive thing about the situation is that we come to things that we have left behind for months. In Lisbon we have made many videos, cut and published nothing so far. While I was standing at the stove, Jens was doing video editing. And now we have a little video of Lisbon with - uh - a small amount of trams. The tram there is, in my opinion, a rolling monument.

On the other side of the Atlantic, half a dozen cruise ships loaded with tourists in front of the city, open bars and restaurants, crowds of people roll through the city center, clump in front of the elevator to the upper city or spring from fully occupied trams. I watched the video two or three times. Not because of the great shots with the shaky handheld camera. Not because of the fantastic film music (Gema-free). Not because I have nothing else to do. I enjoyed life on the streets.

Is the scene at 3 min 46 seconds to be understood as a view of the future? What does life look like in public in half a year or a year?

Tram driving in Aruba

I was really looking forward to that. We are in Aruba and there is a tram there. I had no splints under my ass for a long time, the last time it was open Tenerife, on the other side of the Atlantic and last year. That brings me withdrawal symptoms. That's why I'm glad that we have arrived at the most Caribbean of all trams.

A few technical ones Tram information is available on Wikipedia. I am not copying it now, if you are interested, just click on the link.

Blue tram comes from the crusader terminal

We are actually lucky enough to see three different vehicles in one day. This is a very good value, because there are only four cars in total that drive the almost two kilometers long route.

Red train at one of the many shopping malls

The train in Oranjestad is actually not a tram, but a carousel. It has no significance for public transport, but only serves to bring the cruise tourists from the cruise ship terminal to the shopping street and vice versa.

Orange tram on staff trip

The trip in the carousel costs nothing. You can just get in and ride. I think that's awesome. The fun is likely to be financed by downtown businessmen who are driving the crusaders out the door.

Jens photographs the blue tram

The beautiful shape of the vehicles even motivated Jens to hold his camera lens on a rail vehicle again. I torture him every evening with a series of railway romance from the ARD media library. This is starting to show fruit.

Red tram under palm trees

In any case, the red vehicle is much nicer to look at than the blue one. Like almost always. The bright colors also go when the sun is hiding behind clouds. It's a shame that the orange car doesn't drive regularly.

“Emergency photo” of the orange car. He came back much faster than I expected.

We stayed longer at the dodge and took photos. It was not only the picture of Jens taking pictures, but also a picture of the red vehicle.

Red tram in the dodge

At the final stop, the trains always have a few minutes of rest. The tram driver went to a cafe there. As always you have to run after the staff, then you will also find good and cheap food. We were able to hunt delicious ham and cheese sandwiches that didn't pull all the dollars out of our wallets.

final destination

After this photo of the blue tram at the final stop, I want to take a picture of the red train. The driver took my cell phone out of my hand, sent Jens and me to his workplace and took a picture of us.

This is us.

Then he went into the shade for his well-deserved break. That would be a job to my liking. Work a quarter of an hour, then a quarter of an hour break. They don't break themselves.

Well-deserved break at the final stop

When we walk from the marina to the cruise ship terminal, we can take the tram and drive near a butcher shop. Then the tram gets a traffic purpose. We then run back from the butcher shop to the marina because the route is shorter and the meat should not spoil.

We go to the butcher

Because it was so much fun, we shot and edited a little video. So I filmed and Jens cut it together. The best thing was the driver who didn't want to use the cell phone to drive over it. Since we are still in Aruba for a few days, we will take one or two trips.

Specifically, I will take one or two trips. I don't know if Jens is there. I have to punch a few more episodes of railway romance.

Tram in Santa Cruz

I pre-produced this post so that one or the other picture that does not show the boring ocean can appear while crossing the Atlantic.

Intercambiador terminus

At the lower terminus there is a large bus station, from where both city buses and interurban buses drive. I start my walk along the route.

Tram in the direction of the final stop Intercambiador

The tram runs from the coast across the city, higher and higher. The steepness of the tracks is impressive. The picture above was taken just before the upper terminus “La Trinidad”.

The following two pictures were taken in the city center, just before the lower end and close to our marina.

Just before the “Fundación” stop

What I liked very much is the really well-functioning priority circuit for the trains at all traffic lights. We didn't have to wait anywhere, instead the traffic had to wait. That's the way it has to be. I know it differently from Frankfurt because the trains often wait at the traffic lights until the wheels get square.

On the way to the “Teatro Guimerá” stop

Everywhere the tram has its own track structure. This ensures that it is not blocked by incorrectly parked cars.

After the Plaza Weyler stop
Exit at La Paz stop

Some of the tracks are concreted in, some have beautiful lawn tracks. The construction of this tram shows the will to install an efficient means of transport for the city of Santa Cruz. I think it worked well.

After the Puente Zurita stop (and in front of the local employment office)

The tram climbs ever higher and higher. Me too. However, on foot. Before this recording, I had to work through a crowd of people standing in front of a kind of shop. At first I thought it was one of the many gambling dens. But it was the local job center.

Dorada brewery on the way to the Conservatorio stop

The Dorada brewery produces what I think is the tastiest beer in the Canary Islands. I prefer the Dorada Especial.

Shortly before the terminus La Trinidad in the mountains

After my walk up the Santa Cruz hills I took the tram back.

Driver perspective

The interior of the vehicles is modern and bright. There are two USB charging sockets for mobile phones on the handlebars where the stop request buttons are located in other cities.

inner space

Illegal driving is never worth it, especially not here in Santa Cruz. The tariffs are slightly higher than I am used to from Germany.

400 € for black driving

Tram in Lisbon

Jens groaned when we drove to Lisbon on the first day of our stay in Oeiras and ran after the tram. He had imagined it differently. That day, however, it was unthinkable to take a ride, as there were five cruise ships in front of Lisbon. They all blocked the trams.

Tram with sea view

After a few minutes, Jens also got the hunting fever. We fired on the rustic trams at every corner and there are indeed beautiful photo opportunities at every corner. This is also due to the seasonal low sun, which provides exciting lighting situations in the afternoon.

Low sun creates great motifs

Now I feel more comfortable. I put the first tram photos on the blog. That's enough for now Lisbon side I will update in a few days. If a few photos have been added that show motifs other than rail vehicles.

Nice memories of Douglas

We are still in Porto and are waiting for the right wind. We are actually waiting for any wind that will start to take us south. The current forecasts speak of hours of motor driving.

We are on schedule with the work on the boat. We took a good look at the city of Porto. We want to continue. And we save our diesel for later.

So we rummaged in our video material and found uncut material from the Isle of Man. Jens had a lot of fun editing the tram video. I’ll make him a buffer kisser.

Of all the places we've seen so far, the Isle of Man has been the most pleasant surprise. It was not the last time I was there.

On to new shores! Off to the Isle of Man!

I am almost two countries behind with the blog, so a longer post is coming now. I write this post in Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, on the eve of our departure from there. Another bread is baking in the oven. As long as that's not finished, I can write on this post.

After a stay of only 24 hours, we virtually escaped from Belfast. Although we come from Frankfurt am Main, the city, which is only half the size, completely blew us away. So many people, so many cars, so much noise, and so much dirt in the air. If you can only breathe the purest sea air and the scent of the Highlands for weeks, the bustle and bustle of a big city is the real hell.

So we quickly replenished the stock of fresh goods in the fridge, took another shower in the very, very good marina shower and put our heads to one another for a few hours. Around midnight it was time to start the engine and leave the marina. When we left the marina we came across the harbor Ben-My-Cree opposite. At that point we didn't know it was a ferry from the Isle of Man, it was just a giant pot that came up to us and then turned in the harbor basin.

After leaving the concreted canal, a decent sailing wind soon set in, so that we could switch off the engine. That was the time for me to take a long nap, Jens had the first watch. The waves were very uncomfortable and always pushed us diagonally from behind, with a wave height of maybe two meters. I can't really estimate that, it could have been three or four meters, but I don't want to brag.

The tide stream helped us a bit with the speed, but when I replaced Jens sometime in the morning, we hadn't made much progress. That was not a good thing, because we wanted to reach the northern tip of the Isle of Man before the current tipped. There is an uncomfortable and strong counter current there.

Point of Ayre Lighthouse
Point of Ayre Lighthouse

Then the wind also left us. Despite the fast motorized drive, which was supported by the current, we reached the northern tip about an hour late. Uncle Benz churned up the water with his 94 horsepower, but we hardly drove more than two to three knots above the ground. The counter current had about three to four knots and uncomfortable waves and circular currents even required me to turn off the autopilot and steer the ship by hand. Jens had fun photographing the lighthouse on the northern tip in this situation.

Fortunately, after an hour, the spook was over, Sissi was driving the autopilot again and the countercurrent had shrunk to a reasonable level. Only one to one and a half knots flowed towards us. But which stream should stop two Frankfurters on the way to the next pub?

Another lighthouse on the Isle of Man

I was able to photograph the next lighthouse myself. We also tried to get more information about the coming port from the Internet than the Reeds Nautical Almanac provides.

However, the Internet refused to cooperate. The data volume that we bought in Peterhead is only functional within the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man is not one of them, it is owned by the Crown - like the Channel Islands, for example. The cell phones reported that we have normal EU conditions, i.e. free roaming. We reactivated an old data card from Germany and lo and behold, the Internet wanted to speak to us again.

Entrance to Douglas Marina

For example, in this way we came to the information that we cannot enter the marina. At least not before 9 p.m. We had to drive to the waiting pontoon, which, according to the reed, can accommodate up to 18 boats. With a lot of good will, three sailing boats fit one behind the other. Since a larger English boat was already at the pontoon and some fishermen had moored their small motor boats at the other end, Jens Sissi had to steer into an approximately 14 meter long parking space. As a reminder: Sissi is about 13 meters long from the anchor to the wind vane control. It worked very well, the harbor master praised Jens for the mooring maneuver. Then forms had to be filled in and we were allowed to wait a good six hours for there to be enough water in the entrance to the marina.

Parcel formation on the waiting pontoon

In the meantime, more and more sailing boats were gathering at the waiting pontoon. If it doesn't work in a row, you just lay the boats next to each other. We moored the Steel Pulse, a beautiful sailing boat from Bangor, Northern Ireland. A relaxed conversation relaxed - we were sure that we hadn't spoken to the two of them for the last time.

Finally at 9:15 p.m. the bridge opened and we were able to go to the port. There we moored to the pontoon and fell into our beds pretty quickly after the long night.

Douglas Marina at night

The next day we started to explore the island. We bought a three-day ticket for public transport. For just £ 34 you can do everyone, really everyone, for three days Open on the island to use. The steam train, the electric one railroad, the mountain railway, the horse-drawn tram and of course all buses. This is practical and quickly pays off. And the public transport is not just a fig leaf, the buses take you almost everywhere on the island every quarter of an hour. Unfortunately the horse-drawn tram was out of order due to construction work, I have never been on a 1 HP tram.

In the Manx Electric Railway

The electric railway, which opened in the 19th century, still runs on old vehicles from the Wilhelminian period and is therefore very good to look at. The old carriages with their wooden superstructures twist clearly when the trains swing over the worn-out tracks. It creaks and cracks in the entablature, but the driver blows his little song with his pneumatic horn at every intersection.

Car 32 in Fairy Cottage

There are closed and open railcars, the trailers carried were all open summer cars.

Laxey station

Laxey is something like a “central” transfer station. Here you can change from the normal train (on the right in the picture) to the mountain railway, the Snaefell Mountain Tramway, (on the left in the picture) and drive to the highest mountain on the island. Of course we did that.

At 2000 feet - the mountain station

It's hard to believe that the Isle of Man only knew motorcycle racing. I have made a few videos of the tracks and still have some photos in stock. The videos still want to be cut, so I need a day or two at sea. and afterwards decent internet for uploading.

Now there is a download, the bread has to be out of the oven. Then we go to bed because tomorrow we have to get up early. We still need supplies from the supermarket, then we must not miss the opening of the bridge. We can only leave the port within the time window from two hours before flood to two hours after flood. Otherwise we are stuck until the next tide.