Parlez-vous français? When you visit the southern Caribbean island of Martinique, you might be asking yourself, “Do you speak French?” Martinique is an overseas region of France, thus the official language is French and its currency is the Euro. This differs from many of its neighboring islands in which English is spoken and the US dollar widely accepted. Martinique is actually a member of the European Union and its citizens are French citizens.
I’ve only been to one city on the island. Fort de France is one of the major cities of the Caribbean. My first impression was walking into the city from the cruise ship port with my friend, stopping to get a coffee and unable to purchase it because I only had US dollars. This was further hindered by my lack of Savoir faire in the language!
Fort de France is a very interesting city. At times it can seem very congested with its narrow roads. Shops and restaurants overflow in the city center as tourists and locals jostle in the bustling streets. We finally found our way to the edge of town as we came across the harbor which features a nice wide boardwalk along the seaside.
Venturing to our left, we amble toward Fort St Louis, the historic 15th century fortress that overlooks the sea. Although I didn’t explore the fort this time, I did see some very interesting ruins just outside of the fort in La Savane park, the 12 acre park in the city center. The fort seems to jut into the park, which is where I found these interesting ruins. I’d love to explore this fort more thoroughly next time.
Closed on Sunday? My next visit to Fort de France was on a Sunday. I decided to continue exploring the city, since there were more sights in town that I wanted to check out. Again, I strolled into the city, only this time I quickly realized that I should have scheduled a beach day. The entire city closed up shop! Almost nothing was open. Well, now I know that next time I come to Fort de France on a Sunday, head to the beach! See you next time Martinique!
Have you been to Martinique? My next visit will be exploring the beach scene.
The photo at the top is of the statue of Pierre Belain Desnambuc who colonized Martinique in 1635. The statue stands at the edge of La Savane park near the waterfront.
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