Supplied with a reasonable stash of Belgian chocolate (which lasted post-cruise for a week or so), we walked over to the Boardwalk which fronts one of the prettiest stretches of beach on St. Maarten.

Strolling down towards the water taxi pier we came across the St. Martin of Tours church. If you follow my blog, you know I stop for churches, no matter their size or location. When I saw this pretty church located right on the beach, I had to go inside.


The church is named after St. Martin of Tours, who lived in 4th-century France and became one of the most famous of the Christian saints. One story told is he once cut his cloak in half to give to a beggar. A statue of the bishop was dedicated in 2012 and stands at the entrance to the church. A plaque to the right of the entrance gives a brief biography of the saint.

What a beautiful, colorful interior befitting a church located on a Caribbean island. It is not a small church; there is also a section of pews on both sides of the main nave. Statues of saints line both sides of the nave.
The beautiful altar with the large crucifix behind it.
The back of the church...

As you enter the church you see a set of colorful tiles on the wall which tell stories of the life of St. Martin including the middle one which shows the saint giving part of his cloak to a beggar.
There is a shrine to the Lady of La Salette (the Virgin Mary) just outside the entrance to the church. In the French town of La Salette in the mid-19th century, two French children, Melanie and Maximin, came upon "a beautiful lady" wearing a white robe weeping by the side of the road, her elbows on her knees and her hands covering her face. When Mary saw the children, she asked them to come to her. Mary told the children to warn people to stop taking the Name of her Son in vain and respect the Sabbath as a day of rest. If not, their harvests will be spoiled. One side of the shrine has two statues of Mary, one standing and one weeping.

The other side of the shrine again shows a statue of Mary between statues of the two children.
We spent a few minutes in this peaceful sanctuary before walking along the beach. We discovered on our last visit that this beach is great for hunting for shells. Afterwards we took the water taxi back to the ship. Our cruise was coming to an end...we would dock back in San Juan the following morning.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos were taken by my husband and me during our visit to St. Maarten.



After our voyage to St. Martin for our french desserts, we paid another $20 for the taxi ride back to Dutch St. Maarten. Once back in Philipsburg, we made our way down the main shopping street, Front Street...
past colorful buildings that are the reason I love the Caribbean so much...
to Old Street...

Turning left, we passed the lionshead fountain which unfortunately wasn't working (I wonder if water spurts out of their mouths)...

Past the old car with the flat tires and "Old Street" painted on its sides...

to our other "sweets" destination...

where we purchased more white and dark chocolate to replace the chocolate we had purchased in St. Thomas, and needless to say, had already eaten...yum, yum.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos were taken by my husband and me during our visit to St. Maarten.



For our final port stop we returned to the island of St. Maarten. We visited here on our previous cruise, and we quickly decided it was our favorite Caribbean island. Instead of a planned shore excursion we decided to travel to both sides of the island for the two gastronomic delights we had been craving since we departed the island.

Some of the most beautiful blue water in the Caribbean welcomed us as we sailed into port...

After disembarking the ship we made our way to the water taxis that shuttle visitors from the cruise terminal across the Great Bay to the town of Philipsburg. The cost for an all-day wristband pass is only $7.00!

After arriving in Philipsburg we immediately hired a taxi to take us to the French side of island. We were unsure about spending the $20/one way rate but it soon proved to be worth the expense. The road to the French side travels up hilly parts of the island allowing for spectacular scenic views of the island, from a panoramic view of our Carnival Liberty ship docked in port...
to the Divi Little Bay Resort...

to spectacular views of Simpson Bay Lagoon...
When we arrived in Marigot we browsed among the colorful merchandise of its outdoor market...
but the hot Caribbean sun was beating down on us, so we sought refuge at Sarafina's, the well-known French bakery and patisserie in Marigot.
Sarafina's offers sandwiches on traditional French baguettes and scrumptious, flaky croissants, but we were here for the sweets. But what to choose? Between the pastries, parfaits, berry tarts, macarons and cheesecake, it was nearly impossible to choose. To satisfy my husband's love of cheesecake and my sweet tooth, we chose a slice of French cheesecake and a French parfait topped with juicy strawberries and meringue.

We found comfortable, cushioned seats in the shade and sat down and indulged in the best French confections in the Caribbean.
Sarafina's is located on the waterfront of Marigot just steps away from gorgeous Marigot Bay. Just follow your nose...the decadent aromas will lead you there.

In my next post I'll show you our journey to the best Belgian chocolate in the Caribbean.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos were taken by my husband and me during our visit to St. Maarten.



Why is it that Europe has the most enchanting shops with the most photographic store fronts? This week's Waterlogue Wistfulness post photo is this flower shop I came across during my visit to Brugge. I just love all the colorful hanging baskets and the wrought-iron flowers stands.

If you are interested in purchasing variations of this print, please visit my Travels in Watercolor blog by clicking here.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

Photo taken by me during my visit to Brugge in May, 2010.



What do I love the most about traveling to the islands of the Caribbean? The colors. The third stop on our recent Carnival Liberty cruise was St. Kitts. This island, and its sister island of Nevis, are an endless rainbow of colors that make you just keep snapping the shutter button.

Cruising into the port of Basseterre gives a view of the pastel-colored buildings of the town and the lush green of Mount Liamuiga in the background.

The turquoise blue of the Caribbean water and cerulean blue of the sky on Pinney's Beach on Nevis...

The white of cattle egrets nesting in bushes along the side of the road...

The orange and red colors in the plants that grow on the island like this Bird of Paradise...

The sunshine yellow of the Welcome Center of the cruise port...

On the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, color abounds everywhere and on everything...

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

All photos were taken by my husband and me during our visits to St. Kitts.