A Travellerspoint blog

Five cemeteries and a hot dog in Martinique

From A HIgh Priced Expedia Tour


View 2018-Christmas and New Years Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The ship is rocking and rolling tonight because we have a NE wind of about 20 knots on our beam. The Captain gives us a rundown each noon and each evening, but Bob can't understand a word that he says. I guess his being deaf makes the accents harder to understand. This cabin is quite noisy. Every now and then it sounds like they are moving furniture overhead on the promenade deck. But also we hear less identifiable ship moving noises.
Fort de France in the rain

Fort de France in the rain


This morning we were in Martinique. We were to meet our guide for our private tour at 8:30. We had breakfast and did not ask to share so that we would not have to wait for a table to fill up to give our order. I decided to have the same as Bob except that he has hot chocolate and I have cranberry juice. So I ordered a half grapefruit and oatmeal, and he just said "the same". I didn't order eggs this morning and neither did he. The bacon on this ship is just plain tough. I don't like it and I don't like the sausage either and I think it causes Bob problems. He started his grapefruit (which had a green grape in the middle this morning instead of a purple one) before he had his hot chocolate and he had a problem swallowing it, so he had to start over. But the rest of breakfast went well.

Just as we exited the ship, and started down the very long dock, it started to rain. I put the camera in its raincoat which I have fastened to my camera vest, but the rest of us got wet. It rained all the way down the dock and then more or less stopped when we got to the end.
After the rain

After the rain


We found our guide right away, a really nice blond girl named Sophie. We also met Leslie who was the owner of the company that does the tours. I found out when she gave us her card that the company is called 'beyondthebeach.fr'. I made the reservation through Expedia. They had a tour called the Best of Martinique, which I thought I could do, but the tour absolutely refused to take the scooter. So I had to make reservations for a private tour and I paid the full price for a full van of people. I never told Bob how much I paid for it.

Sophie had a van which had plenty of room for the scooter in the back. I got into the front seat after a struggle (Bob gave me a push the same way the guide in Antigua did). Bob relaxed in the back.
IMG_2510.JPGStreet of Fort de France

Street of Fort de France


She said her car is a Suzuki and an automatic and the van is manual (cheaper) and twice as big as her car. Bob observed that the car had 6 gears and asked if she ever got into 6th gear as he did not see where that would be possible. On the flat areas there was a lot of traffic and the rest of the country is all uphill. We went first to the "rich people's cemetery" (Cimetière de La Levée)
Cimetiere de La Levée gate

Cimetiere de La Levée gate

Grave in Cimetière de La Levée

Grave in Cimetière de La Levée


and Sophie let us out at the bus parking and parked the van someplace. We took about 80 photos and then she brought the van back and this time I had no trouble getting in as I was standing on a curb and that made all the difference. The next cemetery was the "poor people's" cemetery (Cimetière de Trabaud) and it was raining again so I just took a photo of the entrance and then we went on.
Entrance of Cimetière de Trabaud

Entrance of Cimetière de Trabaud


She drove us up the hill to the Balata church which was constructed to be like Sacre Coeur,
Balata Church

Balata Church


Balata tower

Balata tower


and about a block away there was a cemetery.
large_IMG_8804.JPGlarge_IMG_8832.JPG
Bob got out and took almost 200 photos there.
Painting on a wall near where we parked

Painting on a wall near where we parked

Street scene

Street scene


Street near Terreville cemetery

Street near Terreville cemetery


Then we went to Cimetière Terreville which was a nice open cemetery with above ground tombs in three rows with paving in between the rows
Cimetière de Terreville

Cimetière de Terreville

Terreville map

Terreville map


I had some difficulty here because the top of the tomb was about level with the top of my head when I was on the scooter.
Photo from my scooter

Photo from my scooter


Bob's photo of Graves in Terreville

Bob's photo of Graves in Terreville


Terreville cross

Terreville cross

IMG_8992.JPGSophie putting the scooter in the car

Sophie putting the scooter in the car


Then we went to another cemetery called Case-Pilote. The cemetery of Case Pilote is about 0.44 hectares. It is having problems from infiltration of sea water. It is one of the few cemeteries in the département to have a columbarium. Bob went in and took photos
Cimetière de Case-Pilote gate

Cimetière de Case-Pilote gate


The first photo Bob took was the
Grave of Victor Sévère at Cimetière de Case-Pilote

Grave of Victor Sévère at Cimetière de Case-Pilote


According to his memorial Victor Sévère held various offices in Martinique, mostly mayor of Fort-de-France.
large_IMG_2652.JPG
Electric company towers

Electric company towers


and last we went to Bellefontaine. Bob went in and took photos here too.
Gate of Cimetière de Bellefontaine

Gate of Cimetière de Bellefontaine


large_IMG_2656.JPG
Then we drove back to town.
Fisherman

Fisherman

Street market

Street market


Sophie wanted to take us somewhere to eat lunch. We went to a local fast food place called Elize. Bob refused to eat anything but I persuaded him to go in to use the bathroom.
IMG_2663.JPGMenu on the wall

Menu on the wall


But the bathroom had a combination lock and he didn't have the combination.
Hot dog box

Hot dog box


I got a hot dog (3 Euros) and with that, he got the combination. (It was on the bottom of the register slip)
Houses on the hill

Houses on the hill


Then Sophie took us back to the ship, showing us the important buildings in town on the way back.
Church from the expressway

Church from the expressway

Political poster

Political poster

Building in Fort de France

Building in Fort de France

Prefecture of Martinique

Prefecture of Martinique


She was most anxious to show us the
IMG_2683.JPGBibliothèque Schœlcher

Bibliothèque Schœlcher


Built in 1887, this public library houses the collection of the abolitionist Victor Schoelcher. He was a famous abolitionist, who donated his private library of about 9,000 books and 250 musical scores to the General Council of Martinique in 1883 on the condition that a public library be built in the colony. Schœlcher was a humanist and a famous opponent of slavery who fought all his life for abolition. He was a member of parliament and subsequently a senator for Martinique and participated in the drawing-up of the abolition decree of 1848. The library was designed in 1884 by the architect Henri Picq who succeeded in combining different materials - concrete, wrought iron and wood - to overcome the hazards of the swampy land of the town of Fort-de-France and the many risks facing Martinique, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
Driving back to the ship

Driving back to the ship


When we got back to the ship a huge P&O ship named Britannia was parked behind us, dwarfing our ship. (3600 passengers).
P and O ship behind the Pacific Princess

P and O ship behind the Pacific Princess


This time we we came on board, one of the crew men took my camera and other stuff from me and put me on one side and sent the stuff through the scanner and then patted me down while I sat on the scooter. Then they brought my stuff back to me.

Bob went up and got something to eat in the buffet but I didn't go. I was busy organizing the photos (Bob took over 600). I found I did not have the name of the next to last cemetery and I tried to get in touch with the travel agency but couldn't send a text message, so I called. And after about 10 minutes, Sophie called me back and spelled the name of the cemetery for me. (It was Cimetière de Case-Pilote)

George and Ann, two of our table companions are having their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow and they celebrated at a specialty restaurant last night. So he brought a bottle of champagne to the table tonight to share.
Champagne at dinner

Champagne at dinner


Bob had the mango cream soup and salmon, and I had what was billed as
Chilled Virgin Bloody Mary

Chilled Virgin Bloody Mary


This turned out to be a lot of tiny shrimp in a spicy cold tomato juice with a celery stick on top. It was not a drink like I had thought it would be. Then I had the
Chicken and leek pot pie a la Curtis Stone

Chicken and leek pot pie a la Curtis Stone

.
Which was good. And then for dessert, I had the
New York cheesecake

New York cheesecake



Tomorrow we are in Tobago.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:45 Archived in Martinique

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You saw more in Martinque than I did. So enjoyed the commentary. Thanks.

by Sally Posner

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