Sunday, 22 February 2015

Fort De France, Martinique

As we couldn't hire a car in Martinique, we were obliged to use local transport. We have become used to buses in the Caribbean, but those on Martinique were a cut above the norm. Instead of a battered minibus crammed full of people. These were more like the buses of home. Spacious, airy, moving at a gentle pace, no continuous blasting of the horn, but there was a big sign saying don't talk to the driver, not the most helpful when you are not too sure where you need to get off. No loud music and definitely no squeezing extra people in. Therefore the bus journeys we took were more comfortable, but slightly less fun. We travelled up to Morne Rouge a town on Mount Pelee the volcano by St Pierre and spent a few hours exploring. Unfortunately, the museum of volcanology was shut between noon and 4pm. It was pleasant to spend some time in the cool of the mountains.

Our next trip was down the island to the capital: Fort de France. Luckily, this time it was open and very busy when we arrived at the bus station. We timed our arrival superbly to coincide with the Carnival Parade by the preschool and primary pupils of the area. The theme for the costumes was colours of the world. So it was definitely bright and great fun to watch as they danced to the drums of the Samba bands and taped music from very large speakers on the back of vans.

We then took in the sights and had a tasty meal of in the local market. It was a much more interesting visit than last year. The city has a more European feel with modern buildings, while managing to maintain a charm of its own. 
Martinique was the home of Napoleon's Josephine. Her statue was decapitated by the locals who blamed her for the reintroduction of slavery. They also decapitated the main people in the plaque on the side of it. We spent a while using our historical knowledge to identify some of the people.

1 comment:

  1. Love the carneval costume!
    Love from "I am not a robot"