Fort-de-France, Martinique

Freedom, Bipolarity and Tropicality

Schoelcher Library
The elegant Schoelcher library with many of the books that belonged to the personal collection of Victor Shoelcher, a representative of the abolitionist movement in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Caribbean Houses
Panoramic view of the colorful coastline of Fort-de-France.
Les San Chenn
Band San Chénn plays in a street in Fort-de-France.
France green and yellow
Colorful historic buildings on a street in the capital of Martinique.
tropical street
Verdant coconut palms tower over a colorful, almost earthy building in Fort-de-France.
Fortified Baths
Children play in the Caribbean Sea in front of Fort Saint Louis.
Moment of a French military funeral.
The densely populated district of Trenelle Citron, on the outskirts of the capital Fort-de-France.
panel church
Saint Louis Cathedral in a mosaic-reflected version.
Two saleswomen unload goods from a truck.
Liberté, Equalite, Fraternité
Passersby cross the square in front of the former town hall of Fort-de-France.
Martiniquean pride
A young man from Martinique rests next to Fort San Louis, on the Fort-de-France waterfront.
Funeral Francophonie
Patriotic procession carried out during the funeral of a military man from Martinique.
Wall Street of Clothing
Clothing store with stock market in Fort-de-France.
The capital of Martinique confirms a fascinating Caribbean extension of French territory. There, the relations between the colonists and the natives descended from slaves still give rise to small revolutions.

In previous online contacts Philippe Lucien had already warned us that he was depressed. Shortly after we find him in one of the holiday homes he manages, he finally unburdens himself with the reason: “You know, my life in Martinique is not easy.

I was born here but moved early to France, got married there and had children. But I never felt integrated. They asked me all the time if I was from Algeria or Morocco, a little suspicious of my look. Afterwards, when I came back here, I also felt without an identity.

We are in an officially French paradise, but here, you have to choose which side you live on, whether the black or the white… I don't belong to any.”

San Chénn Ensemble, Fort de France-Martinique, French Antihas

Band San Chénn plays in a street in Fort-de-France.

In the various weekends that we spend at table with him and his girlfriend Severine, the Francophone contradictions of the Antilles come to the fore again and again, with the most distinct developments. Then, the following mornings, we left early to explore Martinique and experience the theme on the ground.

Philippe Lucien is the son of a wealthy Fort-de-France lawyer. It was in these two generations of Luciens that the island's capital changed the most.

Fort-de-France's rivalry with the neighbor Saint Pierre by the status of capital it lasted until the turn of the XNUMXth century, when the two cities had almost the same number of inhabitants and shared administrative and military institutions. By that time, Saint Pierre was at the forefront as its population was more concentrated and urban.

But in 1902, Mount Pelée volcano erupted and devastated her. Only two of its nearly 30.000 inhabitants resisted and survivors from the surrounding area had to move to Fort-de-France. Since then, the city has assumed itself as the true capital of Martinique and has never stopped growing.

A Curious Incursion into the Trenelle-Citron neighborhood

With the advent of the economic crisis of the 30s and World War II, Fort-de-France went out of control as the population approached 2 inhabitants, many of them settled in slums.

Trenelle Citron, Fort de France-Martinique, French Antihas2

The densely populated district of Trenelle Citron, on the outskirts of the capital Fort-de-France.

From 1945 to 2001, the mayor Aimé Cesaire sought to restore order to his city, but not all problems were completely resolved.

We find in one of them – the Trenelle-Citron quartier – an unexpected visual appeal that ends up giving rise to one of the most curious adventures we experience in Martinique.

Schoelcher Library, Fort-de-France-Martinique, French Antihas

The elegant Schoelcher library, with many of the books that belonged to the personal collection of Victor Shoelcher, a representative of the abolitionist movement in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

We probe the alleys below a viaduct in the suburb of Shoelcher to find a spot to photograph Trenelle's houses when we come across a Rue du Photographe. At a bad time, we decided to register your plate.

Immediately, the door of a house next door opens and a young resident with a naked torso and a thick beard comes outside, screaming in an intimidating way. “What do you want? Get out of here! They have nothing to interfere in our lives.”

An Understandable Confusion and Rejection

We reacted with amazement and took several minutes to calm the resident, meanwhile accompanied by 5 friends all wearing caps, sports clothes and, luckily, much cooler.

With the necessary patience, we explain and prove to them that we have nothing to do with the police. It's enough to tell us that they are from Haiti and Dominican Republic, and the reason for so much disquiet: “Since they opened the police station down there, they have not stopped controlling us.

We don't have the patience to put up with them anymore and we put that camera over the door to understand when they come here. That's how we saw you. Here they arrest us for everything and nothing. We ride the bike and go inside. We smoke a weed and go inside again…”

We ended up living with the “gangsta” Rolando and António de Castilla and we talked about everything.

from the unknown Portugal, Carnival and Brazilian women and the economic policies of Sarkozy and the peaceful, the descendants of the island's first settlers, some of them from still and always powerful families that the population blames for the increasingly unaffordable cost of living in Martinique.

Store, Fort de France, Martinique, French Antihas

Clothing store with stock market in Fort-de-France.

Afterwards, we said goodbye with mutual respect and continued to the heart of the capital.

Fort-de-France: the Caribbean Capital of Martinique

We walk along the wooden walkway that runs along the Caribbean Sea, overlooking the garden of Place de La Savane and up to the imposing wall of the Saint Louis fort and military base, where coconut trees and an inevitable tricolor flag flutter.

Fort de San Louis, Fort de France-Martinique, French Antihas

Children play in the Caribbean Sea in front of Fort Saint Louis.

During the day, Fort-de-France is given over to the activity of its numerous one-story stores, mostly shoe shops and boutiques with armies of mannequins.

We cross the Grand Marché, full of tropical fruit, aromas of spices, handicrafts and bottles of rum, ti punch and other liqueur specialties sold by large ladies and even bigger promotional gifts who ask us “From that department êtes-vous…” curious about which French corner we came from.

Around us, we also spoke with two Egyptians who named their shop Adham and joined an already significant immigrant community from the Middle East and surrounding areas.

Facades under coconut trees, Fort de France-Martinique, French Antihas

Verdant coconut palms tower over a colorful, almost earthy building in Fort-de-France.

We also meet the Chen family who decided to move three years ago from Cayenne and open their Mei Dieda bazaar because French Guiana has become too dangerous.

From time to time, this more down-to-earth and multi-ethnic Fort-de-France makes you forget who you belong to. The sensation rarely lasts.

When we reach the vicinity of Saint Louis Cathedral, the funeral of a former war veteran takes place, a ceremony that takes place with pomp and military circumstance.

Military Funeral-Fort de France, Martinique, French Antihas

Patriotic procession carried out during the funeral of a military man from Martinique.

The slow procession comes from the coastal area decorated by more French flags and insignia.

Officials, family and friends with a Gallic profile greet and greet other Afros, and the moment, so delicate, once again shuffles the data. We needed a year or two to live in these French-speaking confines to better understand its true universal principles.

Saint-Pierre, Martinique

The City that Arose from the Ashes

In 1900, the economic capital of the Antilles was envied for its Parisian sophistication, until the Pelée volcano charred and buried it. More than a century later, Saint-Pierre is still regenerating.
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Cilaos, Reunion Island

Refuge under the roof of the Indian Ocean

Cilaos appears in one of the old green boilers on the island of Réunion. It was initially inhabited by outlaw slaves who believed they were safe at that end of the world. Once made accessible, nor did the remote location of the crater prevent the shelter of a village that is now peculiar and flattered.

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

The Swampy Freedom of Quilombo do Remanso

Runaway slaves have survived for centuries around a wetland in Chapada Diamantina. Today, the quilombo of Remanso is a symbol of their union and resistance, but also of the exclusion to which they were voted.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
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Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Ceremonies and Festivities
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Horseback riding in shades of gold
El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia

Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Fajãzinha, Ilha das Flores, Confins of the Azores and Portugal
Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica, public boat
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Principe Island, São Tomé and Principe
Natural Parks
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
UNESCO World Heritage
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Sesimbra, Vila, Portugal, View from the top
Sesimbra, Portugal

A Village Touched by Midas

It's not just Praia da California and Praia do Ouro that close it to the south. Sheltered from the furies of the West Atlantic, gifted with other immaculate coves and endowed with centuries-old fortifications, Sesimbra is today a precious fishing and bathing haven.
Glamor vs Faith
Goa, India

The Last Gasp of the Goan Portugality

The prominent city of Goa already justified the title of “rome of the east” when, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, epidemics of malaria and cholera led to its abandonment. The New Goa (Pangim) for which it was exchanged became the administrative seat of Portuguese India but was annexed by the Indian Union of post-independence. In both, time and neglect are ailments that now make the Portuguese colonial legacy wither.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Rottnest Island, Wadjemup, Australia, Quokkas
Wadjemup, Rottnest Island, Australia

Among Quokkas and other Aboriginal Spirits

In the XNUMXth century, a Dutch captain nicknamed this island surrounded by a turquoise Indian Ocean, “Rottnest, a rat's nest”. The quokkas that eluded him were, however, marsupials, considered sacred by the Whadjuk Noongar aborigines of Western Australia. Like the Edenic island on which the British colonists martyred them.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.