Posted in North America Trip, The Caribbean, Vacation

#1823 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean (Part IV: Saint Martin)

ENGLISH

Posts in the September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Sint Maarten
3. Part II: Sint Maarten
4. Part III: The Maho Beach
5. Part IV: Saint Martin
6. Part V: Back to the Netherlands

***

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean
Dutch-French border in the Caribbean
As I mentioned in the Introduction, the island of St.Martin is governed by two countries: the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the south (the Sint Maarten area) and France in the north (the Saint Martin area). There is a free-movement right between the two parts and so obviously we explored both parts with our rental car. In Part II, I focused on the Dutch side. In this post, I focus on the French side.

***

If the Dutch side appeared more developed, the French side was, in general, more scenic to me. Hills, fields, coastlines (obviously) with beautiful view were there to enjoy.

A coastal road in the French side
A coastal road in the French side
Speaking of the coastline, we went to a few beaches and once drove on a coastal road in the eastern part of the island. The beaches were, of course, beautiful even though not that much different from the Dutch-side beaches (It was a small island anyway so why would we expect the two parts to be so different in nature? Lol😆 ). However, I found that the beaches in the French part were slightly less clean than the Dutch counterpart. No, no, not like there was a lot of (human) trash nor the water was polluted, it was just that seaweed remain (I think?) that had turned dark lied there on the beaches.

The Orient Bay in the French side
The Orient Bay in the French side, the dark stuff I mention above is visible here.
Generally, the French side was less busy that the Dutch side. It appeared to me that the island’s economy center was the Dutch side, with more factories and, thus, trade. The French side was, probably, more for living as it felt much calmer. This was reflected by the location of some of the resorts, which were rather “secluded” and probably aimed to blend in more with the nature.

The capital of the French side was a town called Marigot, that was smaller than the Dutch’s Philipsburg (for the obvious reason). I liked Marigot; and, actually, I liked it more than Philipsburg. While in general the town was less busy than Philipsburg, at certain times traffic jams could occur too though. This was mainly due to the narrow streets😛 .

Marigot
Marigot
Speaking of Marigot and the French side, the best food we had during our entire stay in Sint Maarten was found in Marigot! Well, come to think about it, it was not surprising at all, given that I love French food, haha😆 . There were a lot of French restaurants, run by French people, in Marigot (and in the French side overall).

A delicious French meal in the French side
A serving of escargot, bavette with pasta, and cappuccino at L’Arhawak
Once we had lunch at L’Arhawak, a family restaurant run by a super friendly French family in Marigot. The guy thought I spoke French because apparently I pronounced “bonjour” perfectly, lol😆 . Well, those frequent trips to France and flights with Air France paid off, I guess, lol😆 . Anyway, I had a bavette for lunch and we shared a serving of escargot as a side dish. It was my second time ever eating escargot (my first time was this May in Rennes), and this escargot in Marigot was much better!🙂

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Sint Maarten
3. Part II: Sint Maarten
4. Part III: The Maho Beach
5. Part IV: Saint Martin
6. Part V: Back to the Netherlands

***

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean
Perbatasan Belanda dan Prancis di Karibia
Seperti yang kusebutkan di posting Pendahuluan, pulau St. Martin diperintah oleh dua negara: Kerajaan Belanda di selatan (area Sint Maarten) dan Prancis di utara (area Saint Martin). Ada hak untuk bebas berpindah di antara dua bagian ini sehingga jelas dong kami memanfaatkannya untuk menjelajahi pulau dengan mobil sewaan kami. Di posting Bagian II, aku fokus di bagian Belandanya. Nah, di posting ini, aku akan menceritakan bagian Prancisnya.

***

Jika bagian Belanda nampak lebih maju, bagian Prancis, secara umum, nampak lebih permai bagiku. Ada bukit-bukit, padang-padang, dan (kelas) pantai-pantai yang pemandangannya kece untu dinikmati.

A coastal road in the French side
Sebuah jalan tepi pantai di sisi Prancis
Ngomongin garis pantai, kami mengunjungi beberapa pantai di sana dan sempat juga sekali menyusuri jalan tepian pantai di sisi timur pulaunya. Pantai-pantainya, jelas, cakep-cakep deh walaupun memang mirip-mirip sih dengan yang di sisi Belanda (Namanya aja pulau kecil, nggak mengherankan juga kan dua bagiannya mirip-mirip alamnya? Haha😆 ). Namun, aku merasa pantai-pantai di sisi Prancis itu sedikit lebih kotor dibandingkan yang di sisi Belanda. Bukan, bukan kotor karena sampah (manusia) atau air lautnya terpolusi, tetapi kotor karena sisa-sisa rumput laut (kayaknya?) yang sudah menghitam yang banyak terlihat di pasir pantainya.

The Orient Bay in the French side
Pantai Orient di sisi Prancis, yang hitam-hitam yang kusebutkan di atas terlihat kan di foto ini.
Secara umum, sisi Prancis lebih tidak sibuk dibandingkan sisi Belanda. Nampaknya memang pusat perekonomian pulau ini tersentralisasi di sisi Belanda deh, dimana di sana juga banyak terdapat pabrik dan, akibatnya, perdagangan. Mungkin sisi Prancis lebih digunakan untuk hidup ya karena memang lebih tenang. Ini terefleksikan juga sih dari beberapa lokasi hotel-hotel resort yang mana cukup “terisolasi”; mungkin memang tujuannya adalah agar lebih menyatu dengan alam.

Ibukota sisi Prancis adalah kota Marigot, yang berukuran lebih kecil daripada Philipsburg di sisi Belanda (ya iya lah ya). Aku suka Marigot; dan, bahkan, aku lebih menyukainya daripada Philipsburg loh. Walaupun secara umum kotanya juga lebih tidak sibuk dibandingkan Philipsburg, tetapi di waktu-waktu tertentu di kotanya bisa ada kemacetan lalu-lintas juga, haha. Ini disebabkan jalanannya yang sempit-sempit😛 .

Marigot
Marigot
Ngomongin Marigot dan sisi Prancis, makanan terenak yang kami makan sepanjang waktu kami di Sint Maarten kami temukan di Marigot! Yah, dipikir-pikir lagi mah memang tidak mengherankan sama sekali ya, apalagi aku kan memang suka makanan Prancis, haha😆 . Ada banyak sekali restoran Prancis, yang dikelola oleh orang Prancis loh, di Marigot (dan juga di keseluruhan sisi Prancis secara umum).

A delicious French meal in the French side
Seporsi escargot, bavette dengan pasta, dan cappuccino di L’Arhawak
Suatu ketika kami makan siang di restoran L’Arhawak, sebuah restoran keluarga yang dikelola oleh sekeluarga Prancis yang super ramah banget. Bapak-bapaknya awalnya mengira aku bisa berbahasa Prancis karena ternyata aku mengucapkan “bonjour” dengan sempurna, huahaha😆 . Yah, sering jalan-jalan ke Prancis dan terbang dengan Air France ternyata ada buahnya juga ya, haha😆 . Anyway, aku memesan bavette untuk makan siang dan kami berbagi seporsi escargot untuk makanan sampingan. Ini adalah kali kedua seumur-hidup aku makan escargot (kali pertama adalah Mei ini di Rennes) dan escargot di Marigot ini rasanya lebih enak loh!🙂

28 thoughts on “#1823 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean (Part IV: Saint Martin)

  1. Pemandangannya keren2! Trus yg escargot itu… sebelum baca artikel ini tadinya aku pikir itu pajangan dari tembaga. Ternyata makanan. Hahaha. *mata mulai rabun

  2. Sepertinya asik ya kalau bisa tinggal di pinggir pantai disana untuk beberapa saat… Bisa menjadi semacam tempat buat menyendiri gitu deh hahahaha, kesan nya tenang banget yaa di pantai sanaa😀

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