Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Browsing Fort-de- France's Covered Market


The heart of any Caribbean island is always a bustling, open air market where locals buy fresh produce, crafts, clothes and anything else considered a staple. In Martinique, the cosmopolitan capital of Fort- de- France hosts the island's shopping mecca, Le Grand Marche' Couvert or covered market. It was designed by a French architect in 1901 and still serves generations of locals.


I love shopping in local markets because it's the best way to sample cultural hallmarks. In Martinique, spices are essential. The line-up of spices shown above include a heaping pile of columbo, the curry powder that flavors many Martinican dishes.


The madras cloth that represents the island's cultural tradition fills many stalls. The boldly colored cloth appears in basket linings, on dolls, purses and  on an array of clothes. I spent a long time looking through all the dresses and shirts until I found a turquoise madras sundress that I quickly snapped up.


Jewelry also plays a significant role in Martinican culture, rows of traditional necklaces and bracelets made from seeds and stones claim a prime spot in the market. Notice that the sign welcomes visitors in French, English, Spanish and creole.


Of course, you can actually buy fruit and vegetables at the market as well. Seasonal tropical fruits like genips,  and tamarinds and vegetables like christophene dot  the stalls with pretty colors and scents. I left clutching my dress and munching on a bunch of tangy genips and I felt like a true Martinican. What are your favorite markets that you've discovered  on your travels?

10 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

it looks like a neat shopping area.

(i had to count the stripes to tell there were only 11). :)

Fly Girl said...

Tex, it was a very enthralling shopping experience, one of me faves!

Catherine said...

what a lovely vibrant market....wonderful colours...but unfortunately cant read the text as it has gone same colour as background...is that just me.....? greetings from Nice

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, I'm so sorry you couldn't read the text, it may be your computer, it reads clearly on my end.

Indrani said...

This is great, loved seeing the happenings there.

Fly Girl said...

Indrani, thanks, markets are great to watch wherever they are in the world.

Andrew said...

What a colourful photo series, Rosalind. I love markets of all kinds, anywhere!

Fly Girl said...

Andrew, I love them as well, not just for the photos but for the wonderful window into the destination's community.

Samuel Jeffery said...

That looks like a very lively and colorful market!

Fly Girl said...

Samuel,
Thanks for dropping by!