Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day One - Arriving in Martinique (Extremely picture heavy)

5.29.11 : 149/365

One of the first shots of our island home for the next 7 days.


It was fun that we got to fly right over where we were going to stay on our way in. See this tip, right in front, on the left? We were there... fantastic! It's called la Pointe du Bout, and it possesses a really nice beach along the Caribbean Sea, with the calmest, clearest water we'd ever seen; la Plage de l'Anse Mitan.

If you don't know anything about Martinique, let me fill you in. (I'll leave it to the experts, though)

Located in the heart of the Caribbean archipelago, Martinique is one of the Windward islands in the Lesser Antilles group. Its eastern coastline borders the Atlantic Ocean while its western coast is flanked by the Caribbean Sea. The island is 4 350 miles away from France, 1 950 miles from New York and 275 miles from the closest South American coastline. The closest neighboring islands are to the north: Dominica, 16 miles away, Guadeloupe, 75 miles away, and to the south: Saint Lucia, 23 miles away. Martinique is equidistant from the coasts of Venezuela and Haiti/Dominican Republic (497 miles). (via)

Martinique has a surface area of 425 square miles. At its greatest length and width it measures 50 miles and 24 miles, respectively. The rugged mountainous landscape to the north is geologically young. Mount PelĂ©e is the island’s highest peak, culminating at 4 500 feet. The north is characterized by dense forests, rivers and waterfalls. In the center, the Lamentin Plain transitions to the south’s gentler and geologically older landscape of rolling hills. The southern coast is dotted with many picturesque bays and coves. In the southernmost part of the island, a savanna of petrified trees is an unusual geological sight. (
via)
Martinique has a fairly mild climate and the heat is never excessive. Thanks to the average temperature of 79°, Martinique is the island of the “never-ending summer.” The trade winds from the east and northeast provide a steady breeze that constantly refreshes the air.

Due to the tropical climate conditions in Martinique, the island is lush with vegetation: lavish tropical forests, groves, savannas, countless species of trees, fruits, plants and flowers, not to mention the mangrove forests. All in all, the island is an extraordinary garden. The wildlife mainly consists of birds, fish and shellfish, as well as small lizards called “mabouyas” and “anolis”, iguanas and trigonocephalus snakes that are only found in Martinique. The “manicou”, a type of opossum, is one of the rare mammals to be found in the Antilles. The mongoose, however, was introduced by humans to control the snake population. (
via)

Martinique has a multiethnic population. This diversity stems from the cultural mixing of the island’s successive inhabitants: Amerindians, Europeans, Africans, Indians, Levantines and Asians. Approximately one quarter of the population resides in the administrative capital, Fort de France. Martinique is truly a land of tradition and culture, with a rich history of crafts and literature by renowned authors and famous poets, music and dance, lifestyle and gastronomy. Numerous religious denominations are present in Martinique. The official language is French, although everyone speaks Creole, a language that is a blend of Old French, English, and African languages, as well as surviving Amerindian terms (
via)
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One thing that is not as widely known (as this is not a largely commercial island) is that Martinique is not a country, but rather a department of France


We stayed in a rental apartment just big enough for the two of us, and walking distance to the beach in Trois-Ilets. Actually we weren't in the town itself but Pointe du bout is sort of  an 'outskirt' of the town.

About Trois Ilets;
You can get here by car of course, but also on a ferry from Fort-de-France. The Pagerie Museum is in this town, set up on the spot where Empress Josephine was born. A number of musical and cultural events are organized in the Park of the Trois-Ilets close to the island's magnificent golf club. You must not miss the Market or the Sugar Cane Museum. The pottery center, where the objects are handmade by local craft artists, is also worth a visit. (via)

The first day we spent getting in tune with our surroundings (our 'village');

































Accras de Morue

Planteur Punch


So that pretty much gets you up to speed on the location and details our first day more or less. Hope you enjoy the week-long coverage!

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2 comments:

Alison Hobbs said...

Just saw this blogpost. How lovely, and you know how to make the most of it, too.

Callie Marie said...

Wow that looks beautiful i wouldnt mind taking a holiday to there
Cool blog!

-Callie

http://thosebluebirdskies.blogspot.com