My seat was comfortable, and the foot room was spacious as I stretched out my legs, while looking out of the large glass windows anticipating all of the beautiful things this trip will encompass. Thus far, the weather was scorching hot, and I was rather pleased that the air condition was functioning correctly and it kept the bus comfortably cool. The bus driver and I chatted warmly about what Sint Maarten & Saint Martin Bus Tour would entail. Moments later, the tour guide arrived, and we were officially on our way!
It began on the Dutch side of the island, formerly known as Sint Maarten. Although the bus tour included several landmarks and attractions, I will be highlighting the most memorable ones. Let’s begin with the historic statue of Lady Liberty.
Surrounded by a small garden with bright, colorful flowers was The Lady Liberty of Freedom Point Statue. This statue, made in remembrance of the 1848 Emancipation from slavery. Before that time, thousands of African men, women, and children were kidnapped from their perspective countries in Africa and sold into slavery to work for the Dutch. Their primary duties included cultivating sugar cane fields. Approximately, fifteen years later slavery was abolished in Sint Maarten.
Phillipsburg was another memorable part of Sint Maarten & Saint Martin Bus Tour. There were several attractions in Phillipsburg including the Courthouse, Sint Maarten National Heritage Foundation, Sint Maarten Museum and Sint Maarten Park. Then outside of Phillipsburg, there was Fort Amsterdam, Sucker Garden Salt Factory and Fort Willem I. The tour guide shared the history of each attraction while the bus driver kept on driving until we entered into the St. Martin; on the French side. Naturally, we passed Border Obelisk. This border symbolizes the crossing from the Dutch side to the French side. Afterward, the bus continued in motion and then we stopped at Fort Louis.
It was originally built to defend the island against land invasions. According to King Louis XIV of France, the specific purpose of the fort was to protect and guard the Baie de l’Embouchure. From that vantage point of the fort, the view consists of Anguilla and the Marigot. It is very steep to hike to Fort Louis, but the picturesque view makes the trek worthwhile.
Additional attractions included visiting the Marigot, which is also known as the capital of Saint Martin. The Marigot is where French government officials conduct their business. Since Marigot is well known for its duty-free shopping, the bus remained parked for 45 minutes and I was able to walk around and go shopping. I purchased souvenirs at Marigot Market, also known as the local vendor’s plaza. There was a fusion of foods, spices, and clothes for sale. In addition to those items, there was much more available for purchase.
Afterward, I boarded the bus and the tour continued as we drove through the tiny streets of Rue De La Republique, then we passed the Durat Bridge, and I saw Orient Bay in the distance as the bus headed back to the Dutch side of the island.
Overall, Sint Maarten & Saint Martin Bus Tour was very educational! These are a few things that you may need to know if you travel to Sint Maarten and Saint Martin. Make sure you pack your passport and have euros in your wallet before your trip to the French side. Although there is a currency exchange place in Marigot, it is easier to be prepared instead of trying to navigate through the streets of a mostly French-speaking part of town. If you will be visiting the Dutch side, American money is acceptable.
While on our way back to Sint Maarten, I retracted my seat on the bus and admired the beauty of both territories of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin. Overall, I had an excellent trip!
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