Update 3 May 2011: This post has been chosen by WordPress for their Freshly Pressed selection. Thank you to FP and all of you who have stopped by to read it and leave such kind comments.
I have just had 5 glorious sunny days in The Channel Islands, with my long-term best buddy MB. We arrived in Guernsey on Monday to weather warmer than the Mediterranean. The Good Weather Fairy looked upon us kindly throughout our stay.
Monday: We arrived at lunchtime and wandered down into St Peter Port for lunch and a general mooch about looking at the shops. MB, being a jeweller, was interested in all the jewellery shops in the town, and there were many!
Tuesday: We caught the 10:35 ferry for a 20 minute trip to Herm Island.
Herm Island is 3 miles from Guernsey, a mile and a half long and half a mile wide. There are no cars on Herm and it was tranquil and calm. We followed the designated path around the island and took in some fantastic views.
The first thing that struck me was how advanced the flora and fauna was. There were many fuchsia bushes in flower.
Then, we came across several beautiful and deserted beaches.
We missed the regular Tuesday Herm Island Garden Walks, so looked out for what we hoped would be pretty gardens but to no avail and came to conclusion that they must be well tucked away. However, the island was an abundance of Rock Asters, Osteospermum and Mesembryanthemums, so there were plenty of flowers to photograph.
We headed back to the landing steps for the 3.35 p.m. sailing back to St Peter Port.
Wednesday: After much deliberation, rejecting the idea of hiring a car and opting for the bus, we went to the west side of Guernsey Island. Again the day was hot, the sea was like a mill pond and the haze denied us clear photos.
We walked the length of the west coast, with the intention of getting around to the sandy bay at the top of Island, but heat and hunger got the better of us. We flagged down a bus to the Guernsey Freesia Centre. Why do advertising leaflets make places sound as though you could spend some time there? It was empty, apart from 3 ladies packing freesias who didn’t speak English so we couldn’t ask any questions; we wandered around the greenhouses instead. The perfume was well worth the brief visit.
Thursday: Another bus ride. This time, to Fermain Bay, which was an incredibly steep walk down to the bay, but well worth it. The shady banks on the way down were full of bluebells and wild garlic. It is called “Stinking Garlic” on Guernsey and it was certainly that! Seen as more invasive than the Spanish Bluebell on the Island, a large number of plants are removed each year to keep it under control. It was, however, everywhere.
We sat on the beach until the heat got too much for us and then headed to the cliff path for the walk back to St Peter Port.
As you can see from the photo looking down from the cliff, the ascent up the path was very very steep, but like the walk down, was well worth the climb.
The two hour walk along the cliff path was magical.
The higher we got the better the surprises. To our left was a glorious, breathtaking bluebell wood and …
…to the right was the view over to Herm Island.
Then we reached the pièce de résistance….
It was breathtaking, and I must have counted at least 6 artists perched on their little stools with their watercolours – heavenly!
Friday: It rained for about 2 minutes this morning, the first and last rain of the day. We walked just a few minutes up the hill from the hotel to the Guernsey Museum and Candie Gardens. These gardens are a rare example of a late 19th century public flower garden with the oldest known heated glass-houses in the British Isles, which date back to the late eighteenth century.
… and then we had to go the airport to return back home. It was a great holiday and I love Guernsey.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (bondwithbooks.wordpress.com)