Euro-pass: Caribbean two-fer & other compact island relics of colonialism

Sint Maarten-Saint Martin

Sint Maarten-Saint Martin

Europe is easy to get to from the Americas – just go island-hopping in the Caribbean. Or the Atlantic or Pacific. Or so CNN would have us believe. “You can get to France with an hour’s ferry ride from Canada to the islands of St. Pierre and Miquillon (in the Atlantic Ocean)”.

Or to the Netherlands by stopping off at Saba, one of three Caribbean islands administered as a special municipality of Holland. Here, the law decrees that all houses are painted white, with red roofs and green shutters. And goats outnumber the 1,500-strong human population by 10 to one. (Click here to read the original CNN piece.)

Lovely little Sint Maarten (where we got our Dutch passport-bearing dog Martina) is not mentioned, but the 34 sq km Caribbean duty-free port is probably the only European two-fer among islands. Its southern half is Dutch; the north is French.

What’s more, it was named by Christopher Columbus himself, in 1493, on his second voyage to the West Indies. The great man saw it on St Martin’s Day, November 11 and smartly did the honours.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac