One day in Martinique. Another island fully owned by the French. In fact if you are French and fly there from Paris it is considered a domestic flight! This was by far the wealthiest island I’ve been to so far – it would appear this is helped by the inhabitants enjoying all aspects of the Fenech social system plus a hefty dose of EU funding for important things – like making rum.
First stop was the rum factory which was interesting as they use slightly different techniques from other makers (in case you’re interested – they use all the sugar from the cane not just the molasses). We were tasting different rums by 10am – well that’s the way the tour went!
After that we headed to the north of the island to the former capital St Pierre – former because in 1902 there was a volcanic blast that instantly killed all 30000 of its inhabitants – bar one man who was in the prison for drunk and disorderly behaviour. He was badly burned but went on to join Barnum and Bailey circus and made a good living out of being indestructible. There is a moral to that tale somewhere. Anyway you can see some of the remains – like a very minor Pompei and it is all rather a sad story (especially as it was the local politician who decided to delay the town’s evacuation by a couple of weeks so that people would be around to vote for him (he died too)
Then we headed inland to the Rain forest where it is wet and rainy most of the time but of course very lush. Some nice things to see and opportunities for serious hikers too. (Not me). Also a fifth size kind of replica of the Sacre Coueur in Paris – it was a bit of a sad imitation.
End of day cocktails with Beth back on the ship is a must