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15th September 2013
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Country number: 1 (UK)
Territory number: 47

When?  August 1994
How?     By car
Who?    With Chris

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“The Noble Little Nation of the Sea”

Victor Hugo

  • To be frank I can’t remember huge amounts about my trip to Guernsey. We flew from Southampton  and Chris made me a certificate for being brave and flying in a small plane. I quickly discovered the island was small and easily circumnavigated, with areas of dramatic coastal cliffs and pretty bays. Chris had been before several times and wanted to take me to his favourite spots.
  • We stayed in the capital, St Peter Port. It is definitely a tourist mecca with a very French flavour, visited by over 80 cruise ships each year. There are fish restaurants galore, lots of fish platters with big-budget scarlet lobsters. The harbour is dominated by thirteenth-century Castle Cornet. Here, there are several museums to entertain and scarlet uniformed gunners parade out to music at midday and fire the(very noisy) noon day gun. There’s also Hauteville House, the lavish former home of exiled French writer, Victor Hugo. He completed Les Miserables here and it’s actually now owned by the city of Paris, (so France has claim to a very small part of the island still) and houses an honorary French consul, as well as another museums.
  •  The other main tourist site on the island is what is promoted as the smallest chapel in the world. It’s fairly recently built (designed by a French monk), early twentieth century, and unusually decorated with shells pebbles and broken china and shells.
  •  We also made a boat trip to Sark. Charming scenery, and no cars allowed. You can walk easily along the coastal paths  – it’s very small – or hop onto one of the local horse traps.
  • And I bought a traditional navy blue woollen fisherman’s guernsey – of course

Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, closer to the Normandy coast than England.

Guernsey and its islands came under the control of William Longsword, son of Rollo the first Duke of Normandy, in 933. It was annexed from the Duchy of Brittany. With Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, and associated islets, it forms the Bailiwick of Guernsey and is a self-governing British Crown dependency. Its assembly is presided over by the bailiff of Guernsey.

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles occupied by the Germans in World War II

Guernsey’s tidal range of over 11 metres is one of the largest in the world.

One of the island symbols is the donkey. People in Jersey say the donkey is a symbol due to the stubbornness of the residents! In return, Guernsey dwellers call Jersey dwellers, crapauds, or toads.

Channel Islanders believe they are descended from ‘pouques’ – or fairies. Legend has it that fairies, witches and elves met at the Table des Pions, or Fairy Ring,. Many of the houses in Guernsey’s west have granite “witches’ seats sticking out of them – so that the witches could stop and rest, rather than causing havoc. The last reported fairy sighting on the island was in the early 1900s!’

The  Guernsey cow produces some of the most sought after dairy products in the world; this is because of the high butterfat and protein levels in its milk.

Sorry – I didn’t keep a record of my trip to Guernsey and I  don’t have any more good images. I shall have to go back – one day. My blogs vary considerably in length but I have  much more to say and show in most of my other country posts. Please have a look!