Having had a great time at Habitation Clément a few days ago — watching how rum is made, and tasting the final product (of course!) — we chose to visit the Banana Museum. Yes, its existence startled us too.
Table of Contents
- Day One — Our Airbnb Host Was Nowhere to Be Found.
- Day Two — Like a Bloody Fire Engine!
- Day Three — Things You Need to Know About Renting Cars and Dining.
- Day Four — I Know Where the Rum’s Gone!
- Day Five — The Diamond Rock / Rocher Du Diamant.
- Day Six — A Beautiful Sunset.
- Day Seven — Beaches and Nudists.
- Day Eight — How to Avoid Crowded Beachs on the Weekends.
- Day Nine — The Volcano and Jardin de Balatan.
- Day Ten — Banana Museum.
- Day Eleven — Sunsets.
- Day Twelve — the One With Me Being Lazy.
- Day Thirteen — Les Trois Ilets, Pointe Du Bout, and the Museums.
- Day Fourteen — Anse Michel, Anse Trabuad, and Driving Down a Road Narrower Than Our Car.
- Day Fifteen — Astrophotography of the Night Sky with a Fuji X100T.
- Day Sixteen — Trying Some More Astrophotography with the Fuji X100T.
- Day Seventeen — Restaurant Pignon Nouvelle Vague in Les Trois Ilets.
- Day Eighteen & Nineteen — Probably the Best Vacation in My Life.
However, before we got there, we stopped a kilometre or so before the city of Sainte-Marie, and got our first glimpse of the impressive waves on the eastern side of Martinique.
La Musee de la Banane — the Banana Museum — isn’t far away, but it’s not on Google Maps, so it might be hard to find. We got lost… naturally. It’s just off road D24, not far from Sainte-Marie, but please note that there is also a road named D24b, and we already confirmed you won’t find it on the latter, so don’t waste your time.
If you recall our visit to Jardin de Balata, you’ll remember that a centipede just like the one above tried to ambush me. Well, it happened again — I almost jumped out of my skin.
The Banana Museum consists of two parts. The first one is inside the building (pictured two photos above) and it’s a series of signs, posters, and illustrations hung on the walls. They provide a healthy amount of information, including almost a full history of the fruit. I learned that there are about 1000 different species of bananas, of which only 300 are edible, and 150 of those are digestible in raw form.
I also learned that bananas don’t grow on trees, but on plants. There are many different specimens in the museum, most of which won’t be spotted on banana plantations. The above photo pictures a bunch of bananas, with a flower trailing down towards the ground. The flower itself is cut off as soon as it starts growing, due to the fact that it weakens the fruits.
Another example of a banana plant. This one has tiny bananas, which are inedible, if I recall correctly.
The second part of the museum, which I mentioned earlier, is the garden itself. There are no guides — just signs with various bits of information about the individual plants.
Since my wife is fascinated by this kind of knowledge, she could have spent the whole day just walking around the garden. Personally, I didn’t find it that interesting.
I did admire some of the banana plants — for example, the bunch above has all of the fruits stuck together.
There weren’t many flowers in this particular garden, but one did strike my fancy.
Since there was still some daylight left, we decided to go visit another beautiful beach, not far away from the museum.
This one is located just past the small village of Tartane, which was built on a peninsula. There is also a beach in the village itself, but I recommend driving the few hundred metres east to Anse l’etang.
Since it’s on the Atlantic Ocean side of Martinique, the waves are huge, and the current strong. This particular beach appeared to be a surfer favourite — I wish I had a long lens with me, since they were doing insane tricks on the waves.
I wouldn’t recommend visiting the Banana Museum if you don’t live close by, or if you’re in the area, and have some time to kill. The entrance fee is €7 per adult, and not really worth it in my opinion. It certainly doesn’t compare well to Jardin de Balata. But if you are in the neighbourhood, then why not?
Seriously, I love this place. Did I mentioned that already?