In Willemstad, Dutch Colonial façades in cheerful hues of yellow, blue, pink, green worthy of UNESCO World Heritage are set against a background reminiscent of Tolkien’s Mordor. This unmistakable blot in the heart of Curaçao’s otherwise picturesque landscape is a huge oil refinery surrounded by a halo of awful-smelling sulfur dioxide-filled air and asbestos-filled asphalt lake. A remnant of the once thriving Royal Dutch Shell Refinery – founded in 1915 – also happens to be the very reason Curaçao ranks among the most prosperous Caribbean islands today. A necessary evil. A slice of paradise, lost. Read more here.