I apologize in advance for the large pictures. I was having trouble editing the pictures smaller. More than likely it was user error but after 3 days of trying I finally gave up. The majority of the pictures were taken with my iphone because I am the idiot who takes her camera on vacation and forgets to put a memory card in it and we couldn't find a place to buy one. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />
Martinique was amazing! The island was beautiful, the people were friendly, and the food was incredible. We were pleasantly surprised by how many people could speak a little bit of English and at how much stuff also included translations in English. Between their little bit of English and our little bit of French, we were able to get by without any major problems. It was a short trip (Friday thru Monday) but I very much look forward to going back and spending more time exploring more of the island.
We left Baltimore around 1:30pm. We had a nice smooth flight on Norwegian Airlines. The sun was setting as we were flying over the islands. By the time we reached Martinique it was dark out.
After landing and clearing customs, we picked up our rental car and headed out. We learned very quickly that Google maps was horrible for trying to navigate the roads of a foreign country that neither of us had been to and in the dark. After getting lost a few times, we finally made it. We rented an apartment in Les Trois Ilets thru Airbnb. The location was perfect (on Pointe du Bout) and the apartment was great. It had been a long afternoon of traveling and we were hungry. There were plenty of restaurants and shops within walking distance. We decide to go to La Pause since it had outdoor seating. The bruschetta was amazing!
We had a few drinks at the bar after dinner but made it an early night. Saturday morning we got up early. Neither of us were hungry so we skipped breakfast and started driving towards Sainte Marie so we (really me) could go to the Banana Museum. Prior to leaving Baltimore I downloaded the app maps.me as well as the maps for Martinique. That wound up being the best thing I did in preparing for this trip besides attempting to learn a little bit of French. The app does not use cellular data and gave perfect directions so navigating around the island was much easier than the night before. On our way there we were happy to see the island in daylight, got our first glimpse at Mount Pelée, and many fields of Banana plants.
When we arrived at the museum, we were informed that we could not take pictures inside the museum. Okay, no big deal. It was very interesting learning the history of the banana as well as how it got to the Caribbean and the modern day banana industry. After walking around the museum, we walked outside to the trail where we got to see various types of banana plants.
I was a happy girl because my curiosity about the banana museum was satisfied. At this point we were both getting hungry and decided we would stop somewhere along the way across the island to Saint Pierre. By sheer luck and my wanting to stop to take a picture at one of the overlooks, we stumbled upon a wonderful restaurant called Le Point de Vew. And what a view of the Atlantic it had. I opted for the Colombo Chicken Curry. So good! After lunch we started the drive to Saint Pierre. We drove past Mount Pelée and got a better view of the volcano. (I didn’t get a close up picture of Mount Pelée because we were using my phone for GPS)
Once we got to Saint Pierre, we spent a lot of time walking around and exploring. Besides the ruins, there were small shops where we picked up a few souvenirs and some of the local fisherman cutting up their fresh catch of the day and selling it. We walked over to the black sand beach. I couldn’t get over how much seaglass was on the beach. We brought home a few pieces.
Saint Pierre was really fascinating. I’d like to go back here on my next trip to explore more. As we made our way through the town, I see a gate and lots of stairs. Naturally I feel the overwhelming need to go check it out. It’s the remains of the Grand Theater and right next door were the remains of the prison.
After exploring around Saint Pierre we headed down the coastline back to the apartment. We got cleaned up and headed to dinner at L’embarcadere. I see lobster on the menu and had to order it. We had a great view of the boats in the marina while eating dinner.
We headed back to La Pause for drinks because we really liked the bartender and the drinks he made for us the night before. Shots anyone?
Sunday morning I got up early to grab breakfast. I found a bakery not far from the apartment that had amazing pastries. I opted for a guava one. OMG it was so delicious! I contemplated going back for more but refrained from doing so. After breakfast we headed to the beach. We went to Anse Mitan beach, which was about a 7 minute walk from the apartment. It wasn’t overly crowded and there were a few restaurants on the beach. It was perfect for a lazy beach day. The water was awesome. We saw several sand dollars and lots of fish by the shoreline. I brought one of the sand dollars out so I could take a picture then put it back into the water because it was still alive. There were coral reefs not far from shore with lots of people snorkeling.
That evening we wandered around town and checked out several shops. We opted for pizza for our final meal on island and had a few drinks before heading back to the apartment to pack our bags. The only good thing about an early morning flight leaving vacation is that you get to watch a beautiful sunrise.
As we were leaving we got one final look at Pointe du Bout. Until next time Martinique...
Eva- We were really happy with Norwegian and would definitely fly with them again. Flights were on time, all Norwegian staff we had contact with were very friendly and welcoming. It was a 4.5hr direct flight and they came thru multiple times serving food and drink. I thought their food/beverage prices were reasonable. Newer planes, very clean. Free wifi and in flight entertainment on the screens that drop down from the ceiling. Seats were comfortable and roomy with plenty of leg room.
Thank you! Yes, we did try the agricole rhum as well as the Ti Punch. I wasn't overly crazy about it when I first tried it but I think it's because the restaurant just set the stuff on the table for the Ti Punch and we had to mix it ourselves, which of coarse we had no idea what the right portions were. lol. I would definitely try it again though. We didn't make it to any of the distilleries but we definitely will on our next trip there.
LOL - Make it yourself Ti Punch??? That's a 1st for me in terms of a bar/restaurant not preparing it for you. Normally the only decision you have to make is with ice or not. Of course if you're local, you know how to make it.
I met a guy in Asheville, NC who was from Martinique. Here we can't buy Agricole Rhum, so I took him a bottle I had at home, and he proceeded to make the drinks at a restaurant we visited like it was 2nd nature for him.
Hopefully you'll get a "proper" Ti Punch on your next visit. With the temperature here tonight in the teens, it's sort of easy to dream about the Carib.
Great report and photos! and nice timing because my wife just asked this morning if I want to try Miartinique in March, of course I said sure! Have zero knowledge of the island, let the planning begin! Any advice on laid back areas to villa/hotel search. 7 days 2 adults. Any must do ideas appreciated as well. Thanks <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />
I have been looking at those Norwegian Airlines fares out of BWI and saying why not this weekend - Lets do it.
How was the flight? How did it compare with other flights you have taken to the Caribbean. It is hard to beat the price, but I am old enough that I do not want to endure pain getting there. However - saving money is good!
Thanks Loved your report! The bigger the pics the better <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" />
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tom- I really liked Norwegian Airlines a lot. In the past year I have also flown Delta, American, and Southwest to/from the Caribbean. (I feel a little spoiled having had multiple Caribbean vacations in one year. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />) Between the 4 airlines, I liked Norwegian was the best. Very pleasant staff, comfy seats with plenty of leg room, free wifi & in flight entertainment, the planes were very clean, and very smooth flights.