St Marteen is a 34 square mile Caribbean island with a population of about 78, 000 people. It belongs to two countries...France controls about 60%, the Netherlands, 40%. However the Dutch side is more populated.The two countries live harmoniously and travel from one side to the other without border checks. But, a call from one side to the other is an International call...even if you are next door neighbors with just the border between!! And don't think you can use your cell phone...there are towers to block them!
This greeted us as we headed from the dock to...
our nice air conditioned tour buses!!
Much nicer than our transportation on St Thomas.
Thought these were neat...twirling windmills.
They served no purpose...just an art feature.
Our guide was Danny, a life long resident of St Marteen.
He was very informative and enjoyable. He slowed down
so we could get a shot of our ship.
Expensive resort...nice, huh?
Our first stop on the Dutch side.
There were several round-a-bouts on our tour.
Each one had a statue of a well-known forefather.
This man started directing traffic when there were only 3 cars
on the island! :-)
Now there are thousands! The island imports many
models and residents from neighboring islands
come to St Marteen to buy their cars.
And their KFC! Missed getting a picture of their
Kentucky Fried Chicken Store, but Danny said
folks come by boat and plane to pick up
their bucket of the Colonel's finest!
Pretty waterfront on the French side.
Had to pay a buck to use this restroom...
but it was worth it...first class!
Our stop on the French side.
A couple from Cincinnati offered to take our picture.
We returned the favor and found out they had visited
our fair city twice to tour our Air Force Museum!
There were some souvenir vendors and some lovely flowers
at this stop.
This school bus driver drove for many years
and was known for maintaining good discipline
on his bus.
After our tour, we did some shopping and
made our way through an alley to the beach closest
to Front Street in Philipsburg, the main city on the Dutch side.
That's our ship in the background.
We ate lunch at this seaside cafe...
not sure what the name was, but the view was great!
Saw this replica of a pirate ship as we were
walking down the beach... cool!
This is Front Street where most of the shops are.
Notice how narrow it is...and that the street is brick.
The palm trees are nice, too!
When we got back to the pier, I thought I should
take a picture of this "old sailor" and his ship!
(He served in the Navy from '67-'71on the
It's 209 ft high and over 1100 ft long...
a pretty big house boat!! :-)
One more post about our trip will include pics of the ship.
It's a beauty!