This post is due. One long year late, but here it is, for other subjects to follow.
Our holiday last Summer in St Maarten was memorable from all the other ones we have had in the Caribbeans. First, because it was a real holiday this time and not a stop over between work. And secondly, we were going to spend it with our French friends Christian and Michele. ‘ De bons vivants’ as we would say ..
For those who can get a bit confused about the islands in the Caribbeans, here is short apercu :
The island of Sint Maarten-Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Only 37 square miles are owned by France and the Netherlands Antilles.
The French territory covers about two thirds of the island and is technically a part of Europe and the European Community. The Dutch side is a member island of the Netherlands Antilles and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but not considered European territory. There is no real border, just modest monuments and signs. The island is known as an almost perfect holiday environment; beaches and nightlife are spectacular, shopping and dining the best in the Caribbean.
To get a feel of the area covered by St. Martin, multiply 6 miles by 6 miles. You got already 36 square miles… But not to worry, this is the biggest small island in the world. Without visiting, its impossible to imagine the variety of landscape, cultures and entertainment to be found here. St. Martin just doesn’t FEEL that small… Its central mountain range provides for a rugged and interesting terrain, with winding roads up and down the hills, through small villages and still plenty of untouched land.
The Caribbean’s largest lagoon is the Simpson Bay Lagoon, landlocked with the exception of two narrow channels with draw bridges. The Lagoon is large enough to have a real sail and is home to a giant fleet of yachts, which are either berthed in one of the luxury marinas or anchored in the sheltered waters. St. Maarten has become the yachting center of the Caribbean, home port to some of the world’s most outrageous megayachts.
St. Martin is the ultimate micro cosmos, home to residents from over 90 different nations. The island broke out of the Antillean group of third-world economies and societies and became the exiting, active, bustling economic center of the Northeastern Caribbean. To be sure, there are problems associated with its rapid growth, but there are also stunning success stories to be told.
Our stay was a daily routine of booze, swimming, beach bathing, lunch, dinner and water sports with beautiful company in the most delightful environment we can ask for. Not to forget the Rum ! From Appero to cocktail, it is present all the time. Our friends introduced us to Maryse who brew her own with local exotic fruits. They macerate in the delightful concoctions for a couple of years before they are ready to bottled. We enjoyed the ‘Rum Bois Bande’ and ‘Love Potion’ … No comments.
Here are our friends on the terrace with Maryse in her magnificient villa overlooking the bay set in a lush tropical garden.
But before I forget, there is one tremendous thing we experienced there and in Bahamas. That of watching a plane land on almost our head. No Kidding, it is a favourite past time on the island, and everyone knows the arrivals timetable there, as business on the beach gets roaring. Crazy surfers even wait for the blast to get blown away …You can get an idea from this clip behind the landing strip of Juliana Airport :
Appero time al fresco :