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Guernsey - May 2010
Having visited Jersey a couple of times we thought it was high time we visited its smaller Channel Island neighbour Guernsey - so off we went in May 2010.
View the Picture Gallery of our Guernsey Trip by clicking here.
Saturday May 22nd
Flying from Norwich Airport is a delight for us. We live just nine miles away, have somewhere to leave the car and it's pretty much hassle free which is one of the great attractions. Our flight left at 3.40 p.m and took just and hour and very little time to get out of the airport at the other end. A minibus took us to Les Douvres Hotel. Room rather old fashioned but quite comfortable and the evening meal in their restaurant was very tasty. After the meal we had time for a walk through the fields to the cliffs before bed.
Sunday May 23rd
We walked and we walked and we walked and it was very hot. Walked along the cliff top across the top of many picturesque bays, stopping at a small cafe for a light lunch and then at a bar by an outdoor swimming pool for an ice cream. That all led us into the capital St Peter's port where we wandered to the end of the pier and then into the town. Found a cafe overlooking the harbour and had a cup of tea. It was a busy place and good atmosphere.
Soon worked out the public transport system and got on a number seven bus which went pretty much round the whole island. Ultimately we wanted to get back to St Martin's where our hotel was but the driver seemed confused:
"If you get on the number seven going in the other direction it's just four stops. This bus will go all the way round the island before getting to Martin's," he said and he seemed rather confused when we told him that was the idea.
When we did eventually get into the St Martin's District we had to be dropped quite a way from the hotel due to a road closure.
Once back we walked to one of the other local hotels Le Barberie to book an evening meal for Tuesday night and the nad a meal in our own hotel - again nice food.
Monday May 24th
An uncomfortably hot day, making walking difficult. Had a long walk along the cliffs but it was really too hot for that, It was lovely scenery, however, and we stopped at a bay called Petite Bot. Sat on the beach in the shade to cool off and then a sandwich and cold beer at the beach cafe. A long walk back towards our hotel necessitated a cool off and cup of tea at the Saints Bay Hotel where we sat in the shade by the swimming pool. Got back to find the radiator in our bedroom was on!!!!
Had a cool down by sitting in the hotel garden and then an evening meal and relatively short walk to the top of the cliffs.
Tuesday May 25th
Caught the 9.45 a.m bus to the St Peter Port Terminus and we were just in time to book in for the ferry to Herm Island. The journey took just 20 minutes and the walk round the entire island about an hour. There were contrasts with steep cliffs on one side and sea level walks across the sand on the other. Stopped at a beach side cafe for a drink and then finished our walk and went to the island's hotel for another drink and a laugh at the staff who seemed to be totally grumpy and disorganised despite the fact that they were scarcely overwhelmed with people. The two waitresses seemed to be having an argument with one of them bossing the other about and the waiter seemed to be totally stressed out.
We caught the 2.35 p.m ferry back to Guernsey and had a walk through St Peter's Port which seemed to be rather uninspiring. Caught the bus back to the hotel.
We ate at the Barberie where we had a two course special meal for £10 a head and it was very tasty.
Wednesday May 26th
It rained!!!!! Heavy overnight and still going on when we got up to have breakfast. Eventually it brightened up enough for us to go for a walk. Went to the Occupation Museum but it seemed so small that we didn't bother to go in. We had a look round a local church and then had a fascinating visit to the Little Chapel which is made out of shells but big enough to stand it. I think it might be the top tourist attraction in Guernsey!! Basically Guernsey doesn't seem hugely geared up to tourism which might be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.
We went round the underground German Occupation museum which was a case in point. A similar museum in Jersey had well set out displays and information. This one looked just like it must have done during the war. Information was minimal and water was dripping in. At least you couldn't accuse it of not being authentic, but really a little more effort needed to be made. At the end there was a display of old newspapers telling the story of the occupation but these were stuck to the walls with what appeared to be sellotape.
The walk back to the hotel was long and tiring. I guess we could have hired a car as we did in Jersey but distances in Guernsey are so small and the roads so narrow that it scarcely seemed necessary.
After a rest and shower we walked to Saints Bay to get another look at the beautiful coastline. Went to the Captain's Pub for an evening meal - there are no shortage of pubs and restaurants on the island. Another tasty meal.
Thursday May 27th
Today we walked to the island's manor house where they had a very interesting sculpture trail in the garden. It was so good we walked round twice with coffee in between. Then walked into St Peter's Port and visited the church flower festival and then various gardens. There was a very old library which rather summed up the island. The books were higgeldy piggledy and it gave the impression of a library from the 1950s with the public just allowed to wander around. There was an exhibition of photographs from the German occupation in the grounds.
For lunch we went to an Irish pub where I had the intriguingly titled Bean Jar which was a stew mainly made with beans. The walk back to our hotel took an hour and in the evening we had a meal there and also renewed acquaintances with the Rev David Hart who was previously minister at Hethersett Methodist Church and is now working on Guernsey. He has been on the island for five years and is soon moving back to the mainland.
Friday May 28th
We walked and we walked and we walked and when we had finished walking we walked some more. Got the bus into St Peter Port and then a second bus out to the far west of the island. It cost us just 60p each to do that - excellent value. Walked along the coastline and then got another bus to St George's Fort which was built to defend the island from the French during the Napoleonic Wars. Found a cafe in a garden for a sandwich lunch. Then decided to walk the coastal path all the way back to our hotel.
It took five hours to get back. We stopped every 30 minutes but it was difficult terrain to master. Only one break at a cafe for a drink, otherwise it was up and down steps. We even walked past the airport. Ate in our hotel again.
Saturday May 29th
Quite a bit of waiting around before going to the airport at midday. Flight took under an hour but was quite noisy and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be on for longer. Got home to find 1,400 e-mails, most of which were rubbish