The 178th country to visit my Blog comes from Martinique, hours ago.
Thank you for your visit, whoever you are...
Let's learn something about this French territory:
Martinique flagMartinique, a mountainous island lying in the Lesser Antilles about 300 mi (483 km) northeast of Venezuela, was probably explored by Columbus in 1502 and was taken for France in 1635. Martinique became a domain of the French crown in 1674. It became an overseas department of France in 1946.
Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of St. Lucia and south of Dominica
Part of the archipelago of the Antilles, it is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 450 km northeast of the coast of South America, and about 700 km southeast of the Dominican Republic.
With the total area of 1100 km2 Martinique is the 3rd largest island in The Lesser Antilles after Trinidad and Guadeloupe. It stretches 70 km in length and 30 km in width. The highest point is the volcano of Mount Pelee (1397m). The last two major eruptive phases occurred in 1902: the eruption of May 8, 1902 destroyed Saint-Pierre and took 28,000 dead in 2 minutes; that of August 30, 1902 caused nearly 1,100 deaths, mostly in Morne-Red and Ajoupa-Bouillon.
The coast of Martinique is difficult for navigation of ships. The peninsula of Caravelle clearly separates the north-Atlantic and South Atlantic coast.
The north of the island is mountainous and lushly forested. It features four ensembles of pitons (volcanoes) and mornes (mountains): the Piton Conil on the extreme North, which dominates the Dominica Channel; Mount Pelée, an active volcano; the Morne Jacob; and the Pitons du Carbet, an ensemble of five extinct volcanoes covered with rainforest and dominating the Bay of Fort de France at 1,196 metres (3,924 ft).
The highest of the island's many mountains, at 1,397 metres (4,583 ft), is the famous volcano Mount Pelée. Its volcanic ash has created gray and black sand beaches in the north (in particular between Anse Ceron and Anse des Gallets), contrasting markedly from the white sands of Les Salines in the south.
The south is more easily traversed, though it still features some impressive geographic features. Because it is easier to travel and because of the many beaches and food facilities throughout this region, the south receives the bulk of the tourist traffic. The beaches from Pointe de Bout, through Diamant (which features right off the coast of Roche de Diamant), St. Luce, the department of St. Anne and down to Les Salines are popular.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
Status: Overseas Department
Prefect: Michel Cadot (2000)
Land area: 409 sq mi (1,059 sq km); total area: 425 sq mi (1,100 sq km)
Population (2006 est.): 436,131 (growth rate: 0.7%); birth rate: 13.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 7.0/1000; life expectancy: 79.2; density per sq mi: 1,067
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Fort-de-France, 170,300 (metro. area), 96,400 (city proper)
Other large cities: Le Lamentin, 36,400; Schoelcher, 21,400; Sainte-Marie, 20,600
Monetary unit: Franc