Saint Martin of Sint Maarten?
Saint Martin Travel Blog› entry 15 of 17 › view all entries
At the end of my stay in the Caribbean I decided to go and see some other islands before flying back home to the cold in Europe. The first stop on this trip was the island of Saint Martin. A special island because of the double nationality it has. I spent three days on the island, both on the French side as the Dutch side.
On an island with two nationalities you might expect some big differences between both sides, but I was surprised not to see a lot of differences. Of course there is a difference in language and in currency: of the French side the Euro is used and the common language is French. On the Dutch side the official currency is the Guilder and English is used. But in every day life you hear English all over the island, as well and Papiamento, and wherever you come you can use the Euro, the Guilder and the US Dollar to pay. The only big difference is what you see around you.
On the French side it is green and the landscape is more pure, while on the Dutch side the island is full with casino's, hotels, tax-free shops and nightclubs. Highlights I saw on the French side were Pic Paradis, a hill from where you have a great view of the island and the beaches on this side. At the other side the must spectacular attraction is the airport. Juliana Airport where the planes arrive just above your head, and makes you feel like you have to duck when they come over...