Centre International de Sejour Martinique

Rue Ernest Hemingway, Zac Etang Zabricot, Fort-de-France, 97200, Caribbean
Centre International de Sejour Martinique
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Travel Tips for Fort-de-France

Fort de France, Martinique

by starship

" "Island of Flowers""

(under construction)

It was a sunny, hot and humid morning when we arrived in Fort de France, Martinique. Though it was quite early, people were already busy going about their weekday activities.

We had decided not to take a tour that day although willing taxi drivers were available in abundance. We had decided to simply walk around town as much as possible on our own. There was a Tourist Information kiosk near the dock where information and maps were readily available. The heat and humidy being as oppressive as it was discouraged us from doing more. Within the city, the sea breeze could not find its way down the narrow streets to have any cooling affect. In retrospect we thought we might have made a mistake by not striking a deal with a taxi driver, cum tour guide, and had a drive around the island and up to Montagne Pelee (Mt. Pelee), because by the time we sailed, dark and menacing clouds shrouded the summit of the mountain.

What we did see was the rabbit's warren of little streets filled with shops and eateries, the Saint Louis Cathedral, the Artisan's Market and only the outer walls of the Fort Saint Louis. We walked along the harborfront and picked "seaglass," pieces of glass of varying colors worn smooth by the constant action of the waves over rocks and sand.

"Little France in the Caribbean"

While the present-day inhabitants of Martinique may be descendants of the native Arawaks, Asian Indians, Africans, or French Settlers, the island claims that it truly is the "France of the Caribbean." Martinique's status as an "overseas department of France" means that the islands inhabitants have the same rights and privileges as those living in France," including French citizenship. Martinique is represented in the French National Assembly in Paris by elected senators and deputies.

The language of the island is French, and we heard everyone speaking it. Other native languages may still exist, but the business of the island is conducted in French. Many people, of course, spoke English as well. Since the inhabitants of Martinique are in essence French, they vote in French elections, have French social security benefits, health programs and free education. The literacy rate of Martinique being around 95% makes it one of the highest in the Caribbean. Martinique also has one of the highest standards of living among the islands of the Caribbean.

The islands of Guadaloupe, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin are also French dependencies and are often referred to as the "French West Indies."

"A Very Brief History"

History tells us that Christopher Columbus "sighted" the island in 1493 but was discouraged from landing by tales of its fierce Carib Indians during that sailing. He later briefly set foot on the island but no permanent settlement was established until 1635 when a Frenchman from St. Kitts did so on the leeward side of the island. Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc came with 100 settlers and subsequently the island became the seat of the French crown in the Caribbean and one of the most prosperous and richest islands at that time.

As was the case with many islands in the Caribbean, ownership was fought over and changed hands several times, but the French gained sovereignty over the island in 1848 and abolished slavery. During the mid-1800's, thousands of Asian Indian immigrants were imported to work the sugar cane fields but the industry collapsed. The islands economy suffered tremedously when Mt. Pelee erupted in 1902 and virtually buried the capital city which at that time was St. Pierre on the northwest coast. Afterwards the capital was relocated to Fort de France.

The island's "star" has continued to rise along with its economy---in 1946 Martinique's designation rose to that of an "overseas department of France" and then once again in 1974 when its status rose to that of "region."

Today, Martinique's economy is fueled by tourism, agriculture and the fishing industry.

*** *** FORT DE FRANCE *** ***

by dedeckerm.


Martinique is an island of enormous variety and beauty.
There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities in Martinique
Fort-de-France, the capital, is wonderful to explore
La Savane's gardens make for pleasant strolling and picture-taking
Inland is Morne Rouge, a pretty town with a cool climate, and site of MacIntosh Plantation, named for the renowned cultivator of Martinique's best-known flower, the anthurium

Fort de France

by seagoingJLW

"Capital of Martinique"

Fort de France, with a population of 100,000 is the largest city in the French West Indies.

The city has a rich history and bustling narrow streets.

Important places are the War Memorial, the Statue of Josephine (who had been beheaded just prior to our arrival) and the St. Louis Cathedral.

on board Aquarius...

by pollon

here is Aquarius which became my boat for the last two days onboard, which again was something definitely unusual but for an unexpected reason I had this chance to sail on both boats :-)... the only disadvantage was the double wistfulness of goodbye when I disembarked...

UNDER CONSTRUCTION...*

and she is the nice Enrica&b, the other admiral of the fleet of Delphinia Sea Conservation, the person who replied all my curious mails before leaving with endless friendliness and I was moved when we said goodbye...

Aquarius sailing close to the wind and Alex at its helm...

and the extra kind Dani of the crew of Acquarius who succeeded in getting some food from below while close-hauled, who prepared fabulous snacks for the aperitif, with whom I spoke about photography and exchanged the lens of our cameras to take pics, who always lendend you an hand with a smile...

the rivalry for arriving as first boat is put off to the next sailing ;-)... now we are moored and have all joined on the same boat: I have already introduced you Claudia & Davide, in the middle, but not yet the easy-going Cristina with whom I discovered various points in common... the young Lucia who read a book while sailing and who put up very well all we aged and last but not least Livio, the veterinary, the cigarette supplier of the smokers on board and of whom I miss the real stories with which he intertained...

me...

Acquarius deck was the best liked for having meals and in the dish of the pic the pasta with lobster sauce which came out from the remainings of the christmas dinner... my taste buds remind it as yummy and I have also the dear memory of its preparation: the team on the deck working at the lobster pulp for the sauce...

Acquarius approaching its mooring at sunset time... so it's aperitif time! I do hope to toast with your admirals and guests soon again...

on board Elendil...

by pollon

this is my the good-bye to Elendil but I had 10 wonderful days on board so let's start from the beginning...

Marco, the captain... ops ;-) the admiral, as I nicknamed him because the boats were two ... but as I said, let's go in order... you can visit the other boat and know Enrica in my other travelogue...
They are two great people who run Delphinia Sea Conservation, a no profit association for the research and protection of the sea and its mammals.
To pay part of their studies, when they are not carrying out researches, they get guests on board and they know how to enjoy ;-) the sea and the beautiful islands of the neighbourhood...

the fill the storeroom was the starting point: it's something normally guests don't take part to as they find the boat ready to leave but a mishap had prevented the two from doing it before the arrival of us guests... but I found it a perfect way to discover all incredible places where you can store things on a boat and it was fun as well!!!

as someone made me notice, when I showed him the internet site of Delphinia, in the "price includes" is mentioned explicitely also: alcoholic drinks which become a very important ingredient at the aperitif time together with yummy homemade snacks... only pay attention not to be duped by the fruity tasty of a rum aperitif like me who had two glasses and ended rolling not only because of the boat movement ;-)... but it was a good rum as the day after I had no hangover... lol...

the food is excellent: mainly italian cooking, as Marco and Enrica are Italian and good chefs!
and you could end keeping in your hands your still alive Christmas dinner... which for me, who love animals so much, was a sort of... ooohhh :-(... but I couldn't disappoint the clever fabulous man aka Jean_Claude who had fished lobsters for us and was so proud to show them to me...
Marco is helping me not to make the dinner run away... and... it was a spectacular dinner! I'll bother you with the particulars in my Grenadines page...

and a getting along well group was a wonderful seasoning of this holiday!!!
in the pic the sweet Claudia who turned her voice tone into a professional one when she spoke of her job, was such a pleasant person to chat with and was a very good accomplice when we made shopping by the local sellers and their boat shops...
Davide is a good sailor, a very kind fellow traveller and attention ;-) when he chooses the alcoholic bottles (note the plural) for the aperitif...

me sailing after some tips and teaching of the captain infact during the cruise you can be also at the helm, if you feel like...

or if you are able to do it: in the pic Alex at helm

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