Martinique - 3rd port of call on our Caribbean cruise

Published: February 9th 2018
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Having been a bit ill the previous night, I had a long lie and lazy morning this day, but when we finally came ashore into the heart of Fort de France, I loved wandering around this quirky port town. What a contrast to Basseterre yesterday, instead of feeling touristy it felt much more authentic, vibrant and full of friendly locals and nobody pestered us or was aggressive.

In fact, outside the cathedral a woman approached asking if she could help us, and she was genuine, giving us a map and pointing out local points of interest on it. A group of people were standing in the Square singing Christmas carols and there was still decorations up everywhere - in mid-January. They like Christmas and really do it in the Caribbean apparently.

My favourite building was definitely the Bibliotheque Schoelcher, a library housed in an eccentric art nouveau building built for the 1889 Paris Exhibition, then shipped to Martinique and reconstructed. We only got a quick peek inside as it was a Saturday and closing early. There were lots of interesting and colourful buildings around, and music everywhere, I'd have liked to spend more time in Fort de France.

In the afternoon, we took a ferry to a beach. I opted for Anse a l'ane, a good choice I think. It was small and quiet, pretty with palm trees and a lush green peninsula that was home to a colony of brown pelicans which kept flying by. Of course, I discovered that I'd brought my camera but left its battery charging back in my cabin, so I didn't get any close up shots with my phone camera.

The only downside to the beach was the poor visibility in the water, I think it was extra silty or something. I don't suppose any nearby beaches would have been any better anyway. On the way back the ferry stopped at Anse Mitan, which looked less pretty but more crowded, so I was happy with my choice.

Unfortunately there were a few heavy but short rain showers that day, thank goodness for the random tents on the beach. Still got soaked though, and manky!

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