I made my trip with 20hrs stopover in Miami, but besides sleeping on the bench outside the airport nothing spectacular happened, so I’m gonna just share with you a bunch of pics I’ve taken while I was awake 😉
Imagine an island 18 times smaller than London, 9 times smaller than New York, an island even smaller than Barcelona. The customs form you need to fill before arrival includes a question “How did you get to know about St Maarten?” and most of the answers would be: the Internet because this place is famous of her right-above-your-head landing Boeings 747-800.
Welcome to Sint Maarten.
The youngest babe on the island.
Waiting for the check in I’ve noticed that all of my fellow travellers are about 60yo. Well, I thought, I’m gonna be the youngest chick on the island! And I wasn’t wrong.
To pamper myself after all those Couchsurfing adventures, for the first 4 nights I’ve booked a place in a resort. Me and my backpack. In a resort. 5 stars. Lol. You should’ve seen my face when on the first day they gave me a shuttle bus to take me to my apartment distanced 250m from the front desk and when the lady came in, to CLEAN THE ROOM (dude, I’ve been here only a few hours, there’s nothing to clean!). Surrounded by old Dutch and German people I was charging my batteries by the poolside preparing to move to a hostel located in a not-so-fancy side of the island.
The Ghetto Life
“Wtf, you’re moving to the centre of the ghetto,” my tinder match said when I mentioned what I’m about to do.
“Just don’t go out after dark, so nobody will kill you”.
The place turned out to be beyond any expectations. Small dorms with only 3 beds inside, each with its own kitchen and bathroom, but what’s most important – PEOPLE. I’ve found myself eager to explore, chat, to do all those things that are the reason why I’m travelling: immersing into the local culture and the stories of others.
Some facts (Wikipedia style, boring alert)
Sint Maarten is divided into 2: the south of the island is Dutch and the north – French. The famous airport which attracts tourist from all over the world is located on the Dutch side right next to Simpson Bay. Just type Maho Beach.
The sad thing is that in a few weeks time all Boeings 747-800 will be cancelled, so you will be still able to admire all the small ones, but let’s face it: it’s just not the same.
Some other places worth visiting are: Orient Bay, Marigot, Gran Case and Philipsburg. In order to move from one point to another, you need to catch the van. These are shuttling on the specific routes so don’t be surprised if the distance of 5 km will take you 1hr. That’s life.
If you’re into sightseeing, monuments, museums – don’t go there, you’ll be disappointed. If you want to stay in an amazingly friendly place and you’re not scared of a “ghetto” gossips – go to Vicky’s Keys, you’ll be astonished 🙂
How I didn’t get killed in an abandoned hotel by the Dutch guy
When you think it’s just a hookup app, well better think again.
“You like a bit of adventure? Or you just wanna get pissed in a bar?”
That’s what my match asked me, and when I found out that the adventure part is about an abandoned hotel, I couldn’t be happier. He offered to take me from my hostel, offered some beers on the way and everything was more than perfect. We sneaked into the tiny ghost town right after the sunset. The area was huge and impressive, especially for me, who is in love with the urban exploration. No torches, just a faint light of my iPhone, that was how we made it to the centre of the complex, which was an empty pool surrounded by two bars, where no one was serving any cocktails anymore. And while we were chatting and enjoying chilled beer, surrounded by the fireflies, he said:
– I want to take a picture of you.
– I’ don’t like my pictures being taken tbh – I replied.
– No worries, you’re not going to see this one…
I froze. YOU STUPID CHICK WHAT THE HEL ARE YOU DOING IN THIS DESERTED PLACE WITH A GUY WHOSE NAME YOU CANNOT EVEN SAY PROPERLY?!? All the horrors I’ve ever watched ran through my head like a fast forward movie….but nothing happened.
We had a beer, then he took me for some nachos and delivered back home offering we could be back very early morning so that I would be able to take some pictures. It never happened and it was my fault. I got carried away by the vibe of Vicky’s Keys.
I’ve missed it, but no regrets, the reason was worth it 😉