Category: North and Central America

Saint Martin Geography

Saint Martin Geography

Saint Martin is one shared between France and the Netherlands Caribbean island. The only land border between these two countries is located on the 94 square kilometer island. This chapter deals with thatFrenchPart of the island of Saint Martin, the part of the island of Sint Maarten belongs to the Netherlands Antilles and is therefore also presented in the chapter Netherlands Antilles.

Saint Martin is located about 250 kilometers north of Guadeloupe and belongs to the so-called Northern Archipelago. The highest point is the Pic du Paradis (424 meters). Until 2007, Saint Martin and the island of Saint Barthelemy formed an arrondissement of the overseas department of Guadeloupe. Since February 22, 2007, Saint Martin is a French Territorial Collective (Collectivité d’outre-mer). Saint Martin belongs to the European Union and represents the westernmost point of the community. The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 11th 1493, the day of Saint Martin.

Geographically, the island is divided into two parts : Grande-Terre and Terres-Basses, which are connected by two narrow strips of land, and include the salt water pond, “étang” of Simsonbaai. The capital of the French Saint Martin is the port city of Marigot, with around 5,700 residents. Sights here include the colonial style buildings.

Everywhere along the coast, where there are 37 white sandy beaches, there are more strips of land that separate saltwater ponds from the sea. With the exception of the picturesque town of Colombier, the interior is practically uninhabited. Walkers and hikers can walk through the green valleys and hills in peace. On the impressive rocky beaches or the flat white sandy beaches, everyone will find their ideal place for swimming or sunbathing. For active people, all kinds of water sports are offered in the warm and crystal clear water. Snorkeling, scuba diving in the coral reefs, windsurfing and much more.

Saint Martin (Caribbean): important dates for your trip

Area: 54.4 km². The island of Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world, shared by two independent states (France and the Netherlands).

Population: 30,615 (July 2011, CIA). Creoles (mulattos), blacks,Guadeloupe Mestizos, whites, East Indian

Population density: 563 people per km²

Administrative headquarters: Marigot (approx. 5,700 residents)

Highest point: Pic du Paradis, 424 m

Lowest point: Caribbean, 0 m

Form of government: Until 2007, the French part of Saint-Martins belonged together with the neighboring island of Saint-Barthélemy to the arrondissement of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe, the Arrondissement des Îles du Nord (Arrondissement of the Northern Islands).
After a referendum, Saint-Martin separated – alongside Saint Barthélemy – from Guadeloupe on February 22, 2007 and became its own collectivité d’outre mer. The administration corresponds to that of a French commune. Non-French people from an EU country are allowed to vote in local council elections on Saint Martin. Saint Martin is the westernmost part of the European Union.

Head of Government: President of the Territorial Council Aline Hanson, since April 17, 2013

Head of State: French President Francois Hollande, since May 15, 2012

Language: The official language in Saint Martin is French, English and Creole are also spoken

Religion: Mostly Catholics (95%), but also Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hindus

Local time: CET – 5 h

There is no change between summer and winter time on Saint Martin.
The time difference to Central Europe is -5 hours in winter and -6 hours in summer.

International phone code: + 590

Internet identification:.fr and.gp are used, since 2006.mf

Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz. An adapter is usually not required.

Saint Martin (France): Map and Geography

Saint Martin (officially: collectivité de Saint-Martin) is a French overseas territory in the Caribbean. It was created on February 22, 2007, and covers the northern part of the island of Saint-Martin and the neighboring islands, the largest of which is Île Tintamarre. The southern part of the island, Sint Maarten, is part of the Netherlands Antilles.

The highest elevation in both the French Area as well as on the entire island is the Pic du Paradise with 424 m.

There are no rivers, however numerous dry river beds. The hilltops and slopes are covered by dry forest.

Saint Martin Geography

Salt Lake City Utah Travel Guide

Salt Lake City Utah Travel Guide

Salt Lake City is the modern capital of Utah. Tourist highlights are a visit to the Salt Lake Temple, the heart of the Mormon temple complex “Temple Square” as well as the Utah State Capitol and the Fort Douglas Military Museum.

The city calls itself a ski city – and for good reason. 11 ski areas are only about an hour away from Salt Lake City International Airport. A city trip is included on a ski vacation in Utah.

Religion, music, genealogy: the city center of superlatives

Along with Israel, Salt Lake City is one of the world’s most popular destinations for religious tourism – not least because of the Temple Square , which is located in the heart of the city center.

With three to five million visitors annually, the Mormon religious square is Utah’s most visited attraction. Salt Lake City has a total population of 181,743.

The Salt Lake Temple , which embodies the faith community of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” like no other building, has also had a lasting impact on the cityscape:
It is not only an architectural flagship of the city, but also determines the numbering and arrangement of the surrounding streets – all of which lead to the temple.

The Family History Library , located west of the Salt Lake Temple, contains the world’s largest collection of genealogical data.

Another highlight is the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir , whose choir rehearsals are open to the public every Thursday between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. In the summer months, the rehearsals take place in the conference center.

The Utah State Capitol on Capitol Hill is also in the immediate vicinity of Temple Square. The Capitol is the result of centuries of development and was completed in 1916 according to plans by architect Richard KA Kletting, who himself comes from Utah. The landmark is particularly beautiful to look at in spring – when the more than 400 blossoming cherry trees take the place.

Culture and theater

In addition to numerous bars and restaurants, the pulsating city also has a lot to offer culturally. With a performance by the Plan-B Theater Company in the Rose Wagner Theater you get the best entertainment away from the mainstream. Those who prefer it classic can visit a performance of the Utah Symphony in Abravanel Hall and children will get their money’s worth in the Gateway Mall thanks to laser shows, 3D films and a planetary museum.

Shopping and entertainment

Just a few steps south of Temple Square is the City Creek Center , which was named “best retail development” in North and South America at the 2012 International Property Awards. The state-of-the-art mall has a fully retractable glass roof and features waterfalls, hourly fountain shows and a bubbling stream that runs through the entire project structure. A total of 110 shops are integrated into the shopping center.

Alternatively, the Trolley Square , which is located around 2.5 kilometers southeast of the City Creek Center, offers numerous opportunities for recreational activities. The shopping area, which has been recognized as a historic site, contrasts with the ultra-modern City Creek Center.

Thanksgiving Point

Trolley Square Shopping Center in Salt Lake City

Every November, Eat like a Pilgrim is celebrated at Thanksgiving Point in Leni, about 25 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Even if the name “Thanksgiving Point” fits perfectly, it originally had nothing to do with traditional Thanksgiving. Rather, the founders of Thanksgiving Point made so much money with a software company that they wanted to give some of it back to the community and built this complex in the mid-1990s, which is now the Museum of Ancient Life , an ingenious dinosaur museum , a golf course Includes gardens and much more.

The Museum of Ancient Life has the largest dinosaur exhibition in the world with 60 complete skeletons. There are also 50 interactive displays that make it possible to touch real fossils, dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs and thus immerse yourself in the world of prehistoric times. In the “Jr. Paleo Lab ”, children can experience paleontology up close and prepare prehistoric fossils. The fossils can be kept and taken home.

Even when it’s not celebrating Thanksgiving , Thanksgiving Point is always worth a stop, either to visit the gardens, have a snack in the café or to visit the museum. This can really be recommended to everyone, whether families with children or adults, it is worth it!

Thanksgiving Point Golf Course in Lehi

Getting there

Delta Air Lines takes travelers from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol directly to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) and back. For German travelers on a flight with a stopover in Amsterdam, the lack of “immigration” when switching is particularly interesting. SLC is known for its punctual flight handling and proximity to the city itself. This means that downtown Salt Lake Cities can be reached in just 10 minutes from the airport.

Mexico City and Puebla

Mexico City and Puebla

Our exciting group trip to Mexico City begins with excursions in the city and its surroundings. The huge capital Mexico City is built on top of the ancient Aztec cult site Tenochtitlán. The center of the Aztec universe, the Templo Mayor, still remains with ruins in the modern Zocaló square. On this large square is also the more modern and stately National Palace, where the president has his work premises in a part of the building. The palace also houses huge murals by the famous artist Diego Rivera. Here you can follow Mexico’s eventful history interwoven in a single large painting. We meet his wife Frida Kahlo, also an artist, in the Blue House. If you have seen the film “Frida”, you will soon recognize the interior of her parents’ home. Frida and Diego lived here and many of the celebrities of that time came here for big parties. A great experience is the visit to the huge Sun and Moon Pyramids in Teotihuacán. How could such huge buildings be built without modern aids? In Xochimilco, we are seduced by the Mexicans’ ease of laughter and desire for music and partying. The city of Taxco dazzles with all its beautiful silver objects! On your day off, you can visit some of the world’s leading museums of anthropology and modern art. Shopping and entertainment? Sure! There is a rich selection here. Mexico City is also a green city and you can stroll around the huge Chapultepec Park. The last two nights we spend in the “ceramic city” Puebla. The trip there goes through wooded national parks and fertile farmland, a real contrast to the capital’s dense and sometimes chaotic buildings. Welcome to the fascinating country of Mexico!

Mexico City and Puebla 2

Day 1: Travel to Mexico (Mexico City)
Flights to Mexico City. Arrival in the Mexican capital the same day. We leave directly from the airport and check in at our hotel for rest. Meals are included on board the flight. Overnight in Mexico City.

Day 2: Xochimilco
Culture and folk life characterize the program this day. First there will be a visit to the charming Saturday market “Bazaar del Sábado” which is located in neighborhoods you never thought existed in this giant city. Artists and artisans gather around the small square to exhibit their work. Then we stroll through the colonial district of Coyoacán to see the Blue House, former residence of Frida Kahlo. Then there are literally other tones. Out in Xochimilco, the townspeople themselves gather during the weekends and therefore Saturdays offer a wonderful life. You take a seat in the boats and head out onto the canals in what was once called “the floating gardens”. The trumpets clatter and the song sounds. Here it is popular, festive and a wonderful atmosphere. On the way home we visit the beautiful Dolores Olmedo Museum which is housed in a charming colonial building. Here are also some paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. We pass the university campus and see the beautiful mosaic on the library building. Here, as well as at the nearby Olympic Stadium, we take a photo break. Overnight in Mexico City. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 3: City tour The
artist Diego Rivera’s monumental fresco on Mexico’s history in the National Palace will be a natural prelude to the city tour. The palace was built where the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, used to be. Ruins from part of the temple area, Templo Mayor, have been excavated and can be seen next to the palace. We also visit the National Cathedral, which like the palace is located at the Plaza de la Constitución. This magnificent square is usually called the heart of Mexico. The tour of Mexico City continues through the city’s bustling street life with wide boulevards, magnificent monuments, trendy shopping streets, lush parks and exclusive residential areas. In the afternoon we visit the market La Ciudadela which sells handicrafts from all over Mexico. Overnight in Mexico City. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 4: Guadalupe Basilica and Teotihuacán
The morning begins with a visit to the Guadalupe Basilica, one of Latin America’s holiest sites. It will be time to experience the life of the people outside the sanctuary where religion and commerce are mixed in a very special way. Native American cultures have succeeded each other in Mexico. The city of Mexico City itself was built by the Aztecs, while the Teotihuacans built the huge Pyramids of the Sun and Moon just over 30 km outside what is now central Mexico City. The dimensions of Teotihuacán are enormous and as a modern human being one can only marvel that all this was created without our modern technical aids. The size becomes even more concrete if you choose to climb one of the pyramids. But remember – it’s easier to get up than to get down … After lunch it’s time to return to the hotel. Overnight in Mexico City. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 5: Cuernavaca and Taxco
Today’s full day trip goes south and we pass through a beautiful mountain area towards the city of Cuernavaca, “the city of eternal spring”. Cuernavaca was already used by the ancient Native American cultures as a “summer place”. After a short walk in the center, the journey continues through fertile farmland and at lunchtime the old silver town of Taxco appears. After lunch we go on a journey of discovery in this charming city. There will also be time on your own, and maybe you will linger at the square to experience the life of the people and the lively commerce. But it is important to remember that not everything is even silver that glitters! Comfortable walking shoes with a rubber sole are recommended in Taxco. Overnight in Mexico City. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 6: Mexico City
All day it’s time on its own. You can visit any of Mexico City’s museums; the museum of modern art has a world reputation. The opportunities for shopping are also great. You can also take a lovely walk in the huge Chapultepec Park. In the evening, you might head to Plaza Garibaldi to listen and not least watch the many orchestras trying to capture the interest of the spectators. Overnight in Mexico City. (Breakfast)

Day 7: Mexico City – Puebla 
The morning offers a visit to the Anthropological Museum, one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting museums. Here we experience the country’s rich past and admire fantastic art treasures from Mexico’s different Native American cultures. After lunch we leave the big city Mexico City and travel through an exciting landscape to the ceramic city of Puebla where we check in at our hotel. Overnight in Puebla. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 8: Puebla
In the charming colonial city of Puebla located in the shadow of the volcano Popocatépetl, the atmosphere is completely different than in the huge Mexico City. Much of the Spanish architecture remains here with beautiful, flower-decorated courtyards, covered sidewalks and playful fountains. The city is famous for its tiles and there are good opportunities for shopping. In the evening we gather for a joint farewell dinner. Overnight in Puebla. (Breakfast and dinner)

Day 9: Return from Mexico City 
The day is free for your own walks in Puebla. In the afternoon transfer to the airport in Mexico City for the return journey. Meals are included on board the flight. (Breakfast in Puebla)

Day 10: Return
Flight to the place of boarding.

Mexico City and Puebla