Hana Banana Goes to the Banana Museum

Bananas are nothing if not complex, as I have learned since arriving in Martinique. This is a country that has built its economy around sugar cane and bananas, so it makes sense that they would have an intricate understanding of the fruit. If you want to learn more about this fruit, the place to visit…

Carnaval: When The World Turns Upside Down

A cacophony of brass and percussion blasted through the city of Trinité this past Sunday as Martinique prepares for Carnaval. Carnaval is the festival that leads up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is a time for people to let loose before they have to settle down and be good Catholics during Lent.…

Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France became the capitol of Martinique after the 1902 eruption of Mont Pelée. The city is built into a hill, which makes it difficult to cross on foot. The cultural center of the city is near the gare des taxicos, which is right on the Baie and very convenient for people coming into the city…

Canal des Esclaves

The Canal de Beauregard, also known as the Canal des Esclaves, is a narrow path that snakes around the hills between Carbet and Fond St. Denis in the north of Martinique. In Fond St. Denis, the road is marked but not very clearly. Coming from Saint Pierre, you will pass a church and then turn…

Saint Pierre: A City Rising From Ruins

Saint Pierre is a city built around the ruins of the devastating 1902 volcanic eruption of Mont Pelée. Interwoven with the modern city are the ruins of the old theater and prison, of small houses and the facades of great churches. In order to understand just how much the eruption has influenced the face and…

Chez Leyla: Sunday Lunch in Martinique

My little Twingo huffed and puffed its way up the windy roads of the Montagne de Vauclin this past Sunday. We climbed until it seemed like we could climb no further, and then turned into a small courtyard surrounded by three houses. My friend Leyla led us through her house onto a porch that overlooks…