Thursday, March 28, 2013

Phillipsburg and St. Maartens

     Another of the Caribbean gems is St. Maarten and Phillipsburg.   This quaint little port town with its narrow streets is classic European with a colorful island atmosphere.   This island has been passed between Holland, France, England and Spain during its history.  First settled by the Arawak Indians, later discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 11,1493, a holy day of  St. Martin of Tours, and the namesake for the island.

    The island was divided peacefully between the Dutch and the French in 1648, and today the smallest land mass, 37 square miles, shared by two sovereign nations.   It was divided by a foot race between Franch and Dutch men starting at opposite sides of the island and where they met was deemed the dividing line between the two countries.

     Today this is a beautiful gem of the Caribbean boasting some of the most beautiful beaches that can be found anywhere.  This is another of those marriages between the ocean and the land.   From the docks to the beaches all around this island there are spectacular views of the water and the soft white sand beaches that take your breath.  

     Phillipsburg on the Dutch side of the island with all of its historic buildings and narrow streets is quite enjoyable to walk through.   You can find interesting bars, shops, and of course the Guavaberry Distillery visitors center right in the center of town.  There is plenty to keep you occupied on your day in St Maarten, between the shops, the beaches and the beautiful mountains this island will keep your camera shutter in motion the whole trip.

There are also a large number of beautiful sights on the French side of the island as well, but my short time on the island did not allow me to be on both sides, so Phillipsburg got most of my attention.   The one place I did not see that I wanted to was the beach at the end of the runway for Princess Juliana International Airport where the giant airliners wheels barely clear the heads of the people standing by the fences at the end of the runway.

   Your trip to St Maarten / St. Martin is one you will not forget, there are so many things to see and do there.  Pick your interest and you can find something that will keep you occupied.   ;o)