Carol-IvanTravels travel blog

My 'jeweled' lanyard (from a kit on the ship)

St. Marten/St. Maarten - smallest land mass with 2 countries on it

Pointe Blanche terminal for St. Maarten (Dutch side)

4 ships in port today

license plate

Salt flats near Philipsburg (Dutch capital)

Lovely scenery along our island tour

Inauspicious marker at the border between the 2 countries

Shopping area of Margot, capital of the French side

Lots of vendors around the central square

Margot has many upscale shops and gourmet restaurants

Thought this looked rather nice, if pricey

This is more what the locals can afford

Back on the ship I had a lesson on the steel pan...

The notes were marked for us

Our room stewards delight in creating critters for our beds at night

March 20 - St. Marten/Sint Maarten *PICTURES ADDED 4/13*

*this is the smallest land mass governed by 2 nations: the Dutch and the French, since 1648.

*they share quite a bit but have their separate languages, interests and vibes.

*island's original name was Soulougia (Salt Land) because of its valuable salt flats

*one of the earliest islands to open up to tourism (its main industry)

*Dutch side has many casinos; French side gourmet restaurants and expensive shopping

*no border checks; just a short obelisk to indicate the change in country

*Philipsburg is the Dutch capital – where the cruise ships dock (up to 10 the same day!)

*Marigot is the French capital – where the passengers go to eat and shop

*Grande Case is the French fishing village known for its gourmet chefs and restaurants and

*called the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean

Our shore excursion: was a drive around both sides of the island with some stops to admire the lovely water scenes, boats, beaches and homes. Not very many really interesting sights...

We had 45 min. (about 20 too many) to wander shops and vendor booths in Marigot. It never ceases to amaze us how so many people can earn a living when they all sell the same

merchandise! (shirts, dresses, book bags, key chains, hats, etc., etc.)

There were 4 ships in port today: our medium-sized Maasdam and Celebrity's Constellation beside the enormous P & O Azure and Norwegian's Epic. Those 2 were said to have 4,000 passengers each! (Seven ships due in tomorrow, followed by 8 the next day! )

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