Sunday, January 27, 2013
Caribbean Cruise - Martinique - Day 16 - 1/2/2013
Martinique is described as one of the most beautiful Caribbean Islands and I wouldn't argue the point. I much prefer the volcanically formed islands over the coral/limestone ones. Martinique is still a possession of France unlike other islands that have become independent countries.
We were greeted by another nice rainbow as we docked in Fort de France.
The naval ships in the harbor are French and are used primarily for intercepting drug shipments from South America.
Our second greeting was by a band playing Caribbean music and dancing in traditional clothing.
We visited the Church of Balata which is a mini-replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Paris.
The drive across the island was filled with panoramic vistas and lush tropical forrests.
We stopped in St. Pierre. It was destroyed by an eruption from Mt. Pelee in 1902. About 30,000 people were killed within three minutes of the eruption via hot ash and gases from the volcano. The only survivor of the eruption, was a prisoner in an underground cell. Ironically, people from other smaller cities and those living on the slope of Mt. Pelee fled to St. Pierre for safety. A side eruption much like the one that occurred on Mt. St. Helen's in Oregon, pushed to hot ash into St. Pierre. St. Pierre is now primarily and tourist town.
Some of the original damaged buildings have been preserved as a historical site.
There is an eruption museum in St. Pierre but we did not have enough time on the stop to visit.
Mt. Pelee with cloud cover in the distance. It is still an active volcano.
Another photo of Mt. Pelee from aong the coastline.
A panoramic view of Fort de France, Martinique as we departed in the early evening.
We are so close to our next port that the ship just slowly cruised the shores of Martinique until it was dark. A near full moon illuminates of clouds and reflects in the sea just off Martinique.
Tomorrow is Dominica.