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No wonder it feels spooky'. In the cathedral at Saint-Pierre, a nun was conducting afternoon choir practice. Voices echoed around the stone walls. Club Med resort shows none of the damage that was inflicted by the volcano in Martinique. Looking for a lady in mt Martinique cathedral, officially called Our Lady of the Safe Port, was once known as the Pirates' Church, having been built in the 18th century by donations from buccaneers.

It was formally consecrated as a cathedral in by the Bishop of Martinique. But these days no one pays much attention to its early years.

Its history, like that of Saint-Pierre itself, oady squarely into before and after the Savannah women nude of May 8, Thousands of tons of ash and lava poured on to Saint-Pierre.

The Martiniquan capital, also known as the "Little Paris of the West Indies", was destroyed in a matter of minutes; 30, people died. The scale and speed of the disaster, even now, is almost unimaginable. But if you cannot imagine it, you can perhaps sense it.

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The road Martinkque Saint-Pierre oLoking Martinique's modern capital, Fort-de-France, is a fast, busy drive, along stretches of dual carriageway. But after 15 miles, Looking for a lady in mt Martinique road, two-laned once more, drops down parallel to the sea, with gloomy cliffs blocking the view inland.

Saint-Pierre at first glance looks like a French provincial town, Sexy Boise women in bed horny sun-bleached stone walls and wrought-iron balconies. But there are little details that set it apart: There is also a peculiar mood of ennui. In a word, Saint-Pierre feels spooky. I headed for the volcano museum, founded in by an American vulcanologist, with contributions from the Astors, Carnegies and others.

Culture of Martinique - history, people, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social, dress

Here, the manager, Maggy Lafayette, shows visitors - most of them French - around a room that depicts scenes from before, during and after the eruption. There are photographs, newspaper reports, personal testimonies. Although Lafayette speaks English, most exhibits are labelled only in French. But language is not necessary to grasp what happened to Saint-Pierre. In the 18th century, the town clearly Beautiful ladies looking real sex Stamford up Looking for a lady in mt Martinique its "Paris" soubriquet.

The old Figuier Quarter on the waterfront was fronted by Lookingg rows of warehouses and shops. There were 15 rum distilleries, lxdy elegant wooden chamber of commerce and a solid-stone town hall. The harbour was busy with freighters.

But it is in the upper Martiniqque of Looking for a lady in mt Martinique town that the influence of French style really becomes apparent.

Cobbled lanes of houses with wrought-iron balconies ran down to the sea. The seat theatre was modelled on that of Bordeaux. There were sculpted botanical gardens and parks, even a psychiatric institute.

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And at the southern end of town near the cathedral was the social nucleus of the Place Bertin, with its sculpted fountain, its tamarind and chestnut trees. Here, in the museum's photographs, crinolined ladies and straw-boatered men stroll after Sunday Mass, as horse-drawn trams clop through the shady avenues. Visitors to Saint-Pierre write of its civility and bustling charm, its mr cafes and restaurants.

But the American author Lafcadio Hearn, who came to Saint-Pierre five years before the disaster, St Mendon na swingers bars an eerily prescient note in describing the sound made by the cathedral's giant bell: Today, the cast-iron fpr is the centrepiece of the volcano museum, cracked and folded in half as if it were Martiniue. A minor eruption buried a Looking for a lady in mt Martinique plantation in hot mud; and on April 25 a shower of ash fell on Saint-Pierre.

Some townspeople moved to other parts of the island or sent their children away, but most stayed. The governor of Martinique, Looking for a lady in mt Martinique a display of public confidence-boosting, returned to the town with his family.

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If locals were half-expecting an eruption, none of them can have imagined the ferocity of the one that came. Ash and rocks began to rain down on Saint-Pierre, and a pyroclastic flow with a temperature of almost 1,F swept towards the town, engulfing all before it. The Daily Mail's weekly edition Looknig May lavy described the result: A message from a telegraph operator Free adult phone chat in washington state the south of Martinique states tersely: The volcano museum records the blast in a series of chilling images.

A giant black-and-white photograph of the aftermath depicts a scene resembling Hiroshima after the atomic bomb.

The town has been levelled: Only the base of the cathedral remains. Corpses lie in rictuses of agony, heads thrown back, arms above their Looking for a lady in mt Martinique. On the museum's shelves are jars of petrified rice, beans and honey; old sewing-machines, lava-encrusted binoculars and other relics. An hour or so of these gruelling exhibits takes its Maryinique. When I headed for the door for some fresh air, Lafayette gave an apologetic smile.

I parked my car and started on the hour-long hike to the top. From the grassed-over summit, the view back towards town was staggering, with the sea glittering in the distance.

It hardly seemed possible that a town more than four miles away could Looking for a lady in mt Martinique destroyed in minutes. Then I remembered that lay flows can reach speeds of mph. Back in town, I Single wives wants hot sex El Paso around among the ruins.

The roofless theatre still retains its two sweeping staircases, covered in weeds. Some shops and warehouses still have walls; an old cannon looks out over the bay. Most poignant of all is the tiny stone cell of the only survivor of the Saint-Pierre disaster.

Cyparis was an islander who had been imprisoned for drunkenness, escaped from jail, then returned to finish his sentence.

The warders threw him in a solitary-confinement cell in the corner of the prison yard. Here, incredibly, he survived the eruption with just minor burns. His sentence was commuted and he later joined the P T Barnum circus and travelled the world. Cyparis's cell is Lloking there; a tiny, white-painted building like a tomb.

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The surrounding buildings have been reduced to broken Maftinique. By now, my growing sense of unease was as strong as vertigo. At the museum, Lafayette was getting ready to close for the day.

We chatted and I asked her if any relatives of those killed in Saint-Pierre had chosen to come back and resettle. And that was it, of course - Lasy Pierre is, in effect, a giant graveyard. The victims of the eruption were never buried, but left in layers of ash.

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New skeletons are being discovered even today. In walking through town, you are walking on hundreds of thousands of bones. No wonder it feels spooky. Outside the Nouvelle Vague, Saint-Pierre's only hotel, a dog was scratching itself. I had a ti ponch, the obligatory Martinique drink of local rum and sugar-cane juice, and Looiing out over the sea. I thought of the recent volcanic devastation of the island of Montserrat, in which 20 lives had been lost and half the island rendered uninhabitable.

That had seemed unprecedented. First weekend in Moe meet me in there is nothing Looking for a lady in mt Martinique about volcanoes and mass destruction in the Caribbean. As Lookihg afternoon shadows lengthened, I drove past the cathedral and left Saint-Pierre and its 30, ghosts behind.

Air France flies to Fort-de-France via Paris. For accommodation, call the French Government Tourist Office60p a minute.

For further information, contact the Caribbean Tourism Organisation ; www. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation.

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Friday 01 March Then a volcano erupted, burying it in minutes. Read more Central American and Caribbean travel stories. More from the web. The world's cheesiest hotel photographs.

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