January 6, 2010

exploring Philipsburg & Marigot

(1) Old Street passageway in Philipsburg decorated for the holidays (2) a colorful restaurant that's hard to miss (3) bell at Oranje School (4) old Oranje School (5) a Catholic Church

It was our second time in Saint Marten, our next stop. We reached the port early allowing many of the passengers to get off the ship by 7 a.m. A convenient round trip ferry boat ride took us to Philipsburg in Saint Marten. We were supposed to join a shore excursion but it got cancelled so we just took a taxi to Marigot on the French side. Our plan for the day was uncomplicated. We just wanted to look around and find a good French restaurant for lunch. Dark rain clouds were forming as we headed back to the shopping and restaurant areas. The heavy rains which immediately followed made us think about the travel umbrellas in our cabin that we should have brought with us. It was a good decision to stay out of the rain and get some drinks at Le Vie en Rose, another restaurant we wouldn't hesistate to try. Unfortunately, their main dining is only open for dinner but we got very good recommendations from them for a French restaurant to try for lunch. I must say O'Plongeoir was the exact restaurant we were looking for. The food was great, the service was quick and the staff was friendly. It turned out to be quite a memorable meal. Despite the rains, it was an unforgettable and enjoyable day.

(1) local Marigot produce market (2) Serafina, a French pastry & bread shop (3) escargot appetizers (4) very fresh, light and airy French baguette slices were served with our meal (5) my green salad with grilled chicken strips, anchovies and crispy bacon was so good and full of flavor that I almost finished the entire serving (6) au gratin potaoes, roast duck (hidden behind the alfalfa garnish), served with a rich creamy dip, made us want to come back someday.

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