Friday, April 22, 2011

Ode To The Caribbean 2

Our last stop on our cruise vacation was to the island of Saint Martin or Sint Maarten depending on what half of the island you are on. The island is divided 60/40 between France and the Netherlands. On the French side you would be in Saint Martin and the capital is Marigot, on the Dutch side you would be in Sint Maarten and the capital is Philipsburg. This island is unique as it has been owned by two countries who have been able to carry out a treaty to share the island, there is no border between the two ownerships so no need to bring your passport with you as you travel around the island. The most populated city is Marigot but the Dutch side has more people than the French. They have two different currencies used on the island, but like most countries I have traveled to they accept the US Dollar as well.

This is a beautiful island full of great people! Thomas and I chose to spend most of our time in Marigot, it was about a 20 minute taxi ride ($7/person) from Philipsburg to Marigot. We walked their street market, ate a delicious restaurant La Vie En Rose and visited Fort Louis. While the Fort is not well preserved with crumbling walls, you can tell that it was a great vantage point to help defend the island from attacks. The French side of the island is known for clothing optional beaches, we didn't go to any because probably those who choose the clothing optional option are not those that you want to see. We did spend time on the beach in Philipsburg and were offered many times to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas, we denied each offer and in one beach mans dire attempts to get some money out of us he asked "well if no loungers how about some weed, its legal here"! The water was so salty that Thomas was able to float on his back for almost 10 minutes without have to kick or wave his arms. This island was very different from Dominica as it was very urban. We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to our next trip back to Dominica and St. Maarten.

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