St. Maarten St Martin is the tiniest dual-nation island in the world with half being French and half being Dutch governed. However, due to folklore, legend has it that when the French and Dutch were fighting over the island in the 16th century during the days of pirates and tall-ships.
[I:http://www.transtartours.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/RamiMaya1.jpg] The folklore says that after many wars and lost men on both sides, the French leader and the Dutch leader agreed to meet and settle the dispute about where to draw the border so they could all live in peace on the same island.
Well, after many bottles of rum and a few fights later, they were still not agreed so they made a bet. The challenge was to race around the island in opposite directions and wherever they met, that would be where they drew a line and divided up the island in half.
So they made a mark in the sand, set off in the heat with their troops to walk around the island hoping to divide it up between them when they reached the other side. The romantic version of the legend says that the Dutch, as liable to a few drinks then as they are now, had to take a snooze half way round because they were too drunk, so the French had the better of the Dutch – they netted 20 sq miles and the Dutch only 17 sq miles!
Despite the odd skirmish in the past, it is now a peaceful, neighborly affair which has benefited both sides tremendously and grown St. Maarten – St. Martin into the cosmopolitan, exciting, tranquil, picturesque, beautiful and inspiring island paradise it is today.
Having resided in the Caribbean for over 13 years and visited a lot of the other islands in the Caribbean, I can personally tell you that St. Maarten St. Martin is one of the best islands – to visit and to live on, for many reasons.
With 37 beaches for 37 square miles and a rugged mountain landscape interspersed with large valleys and navigable lagoons, St. Maarten St. Martin has much to offer in terms of natural beauty and exploration.
The recently built $90M Princess Juliana International Airport in St Maarten St Martin is a hub for the region and one of the largest.if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get within 50 ft of a landing jumbo jet then this is the place! It’s not by accident that St. Maartens’ airport was recently featured on the History Channels’ dubiously named Worlds Most Dangerous Airports’ (ironic considering there’s never been an accident here – touch wood). [I:http://www.transtartours.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/RamiMaya3.jpg]
One of the best things about St. Maarten St. Martin is its nearness to other fascinating islands – you have the rock-like Saba with its tropical forests and cliff-side walking trails, there’s the flat and hill-less Anguilla with its cultured hotels and world-class beaches, and then there’s St. Barths – best known as the cool French playground of the ‘other half’. And these islands are all visible from St Maarten St Martin and only 10 – 20 mins by plane (which is an experience on it’s own! – St Barths was also on the top ten list of worlds most dangerous airports!).
If you like food then this is the place – St. Maarten and especially the French-influenced St Martin, is regarded as the culinary and cooking capital of the Caribbean and some of the restaurants here are world beaters! From Argentinian to Thai to Mexican and Creole, to the traditional French or Italian, or the cost-effective outdoor local eateries, you’ll find it all here.
Accommodation on St Maarten St. Martin is varied – you can stay in a budget guest house, a resort, hotel or a 5- star villa complete with it’s own entourage of chefs, maids and butlers with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean!
In the classic words of Jimmy Buffet – ‘cheeseburgers in paradise’ have never tasted so great!
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