Country number: 2 (France)
Territory number: 76
When? April 2007 side-trip from St Lucia
A day trip from St Lucia on a ferry; it’s a very choppy stretch of water. The Caribbean is very far from being a tranquil holiday paradise at times. There isn’t time to explore beyond the capital – Fort de France. But it is just like being parachuted into a ville on the French mainland. Not surprising, as this is a department of France, and they use the euro as currency. It’s all little narrow streets lined with cafes, boulangeries, patisseries and boucheries. Most of the streets are steep- its good exercise exploring and the hills extend across the island, a sprawl of bright wooden houses. The West Indies meets Europe. In town the larger houses and civic buildings are stone shuttered. It’s atmospheric, but there is little of note. A brown church with a tall steeple dominates the harbour. The main highlight seems to be a statue of Josephine de Beauharnais, who was born on one of Martinique’s islands. It’s in the garden of La Savane.