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Philipsburg: Shops And History
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Philipsburg: Shops And History

The island of St. Martin has two faces. The Dutch side called St. Maartin, the French is Sint Martin. My ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, docked at the capital Philipsburg on the Dutch side.

Back in the 1990s I stayed at Mullet Bay for the week. This beach is on the Dutch side of the island but I got a chance to explore both the Dutch and French St. Martin

Today, including mine, there are three cruise ships visiting, one of which was the huge Allure of the Seas holding 5400 passengers.

From outside the dock area you can take a water taxi for $7.00 return but if you’re in relatively good shape, it’s really only a 20 minute walk to the start of the village.

It was a hot day so a bottle of water, sunscreen and a hat was the order. I debated whether to climb to Ft. Amsterdam again but decided to pass. I did so five years ago. From town it’ll take about 20 minutes (depending on your speed of walk). It’s a steep climb but the view from this fort is worth it. To get into the fort is from Little Divi Resort. Just tell the guard at the gate of the resort you are going to the fort. In 1631, the fort was built between Great Bay and Little Bay. It’s free to get in. Make sure to wear comfy shoes, your feel will thank you.

Front St. and Back St. are the main streets with plenty of shops and restaurants. The little lanes that connect these two streets are quieter but colourful and fun to walk in.

In the heart of Philipsburg is Wathey Square (pronounced watty) where the courthouse (1793) stands. It had many roles such as home of the commander, fire station, a jail and a post office.

I stopped in St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church. Built in 1952, it's a perfect place to escape the heat or say a prayer if you like. But do leave a little donation. Money goes to help the poor.

If you don’t have a mobile device, there are about three places I spotted to use the Internet. The fourth I found out when I got home. I probably could have gone to the library (which I should have thought to look for since I work in a public library). I used Cyber Surf on Front St. for $3.00 an hour. I spotted another one along the board walked called Call @ Home and charges $3.00 for half an hour.

Along the beach is a one kilometre boardwalk full of places to stop for a drink or eats. It was hard to choose but I decided to stop at Oulachi for a cold Heineken and watch people going by, soaking in the blue water and white sand. I had a few short days left of my vacation and desperately tried not to think of the winter I had to return to.

My ship left the dock at 3:00. Blah. I wish we could stay a little longer. I sat out on deck, watching St. Maarten slowly leave my sight. We passed by the huge Allure of the Sea next to a “smaller” ship. We passed by the runaway watching some planes take off and land. I even spotted our Canadian airline WestJet. I sighed seeing some houses on the hill. Would be nice to live here for six months. Ah, keep dreamin’, eh?


Street Talk

Ljupcho  

Wonderful post for a travel destination worth to be explored. Big Like !

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Thank you!!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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