I’m just back from a long weekend away in the sun. Anyone want to take a guess where I’ve been? Here are some photos to help you out. Those who already know – sssh.
Now, hands up – who guessed Guernsey? Nope, I wouldn’t have either.
I went to visit a friend who moved to the island a few months ago. I’d heard it was nice there, but I had no idea how beautiful it actually is. Of course it helped that the weather forecast lied to me (believe it or not, it wasn’t the predicted 14 degrees and cloudy) and we had glorious sunshine all weekend, but who knew there was such a lovely island so close to boring old England? 😉
My visit was only three days but we made the most of it. The first day, my friend had to work so I spent the time exploring the town, St Peter Port, and checking out the Guernsey Literary Festival (which, to be fair, didn’t take all that long), drinking tea, reading in the sunshine and taking lots of photos. It was a very tough day. In the evening, we headed over to Castle Cornet, listened to some music and just missed the hog roast, which was briefly devastating until we realised it gave us an excuse to go and get dinner at my friend’s favourite little French restaurant instead.
On Saturday, we started at Victor Hugo’s house, which was a bit weird, to be honest. You have to knock on the door to be let in by a stern French lady, then sit in the silent waiting area until your tour starts. The house’s decor leaves a bit to be desired, although I quite liked the idea of using the hallway as a library. Might adopt that one. My friend was disappointed that our guide didn’t mention his mistress, but otherwise it was pretty interesting.
Then we decided to walk up to Fermain Bay, which wasn’t far but involved a lot of unforeseen uphill bits, which, when it’s 20+ degrees and you’re wearing jeans because the weather forecast lied to you, is not ideal. Fortunately when we arrived, there was Pimm’s and strawberries and cream waiting for us as a reward. (I mean we had to pay for it; they weren’t just giving it away. Sadly.) Three glasses of Pimm’s (each) later, we weaved our way up the steepest hill in the world and caught a bus to the west coast, with plans to walk a short distance, get fish and chips and watch the sunset.
Unfortunately, the bus wasn’t going where we planned, so we thought we’d just walk the rest of the way. Not being fans of sticking to the beaten track, we left the road, wandered through a field, climbed over some rocks, ended up ankle deep in seaweed and eventually found our way on to the beach. All this took about 45 minutes; later when we drove back, we discovered the road would have taken us about ten. Doh.
Anyway we eventually arrived, got our fish and chips and settled down to watch the sun set in the sea at Cobo Bay. And wow, was it worth it. As regular readers will know, I do love a good sunset, mostly because they make me look like an amazing photographer. We had to keep grabbing our stuff and moving along to avoid being washed away by the tide, which came in disconcertingly quickly once it got going, but there were still plenty of opportunities for me to take a million and one sunset photos. Well, ok, 48. But still.
Finally, on Sunday we caught the ferry across to Herm, which is a small island about 20 minutes away. There are no cars allowed on Herm (although we did almost get run over by the ‘hotel porterage’ tractors a couple of times), and it only has about three shops, so it’s mostly just beaches and fields. We weren’t there all that long, as I had to catch my flight home, but we managed to make time to walk up to Shell Beach (again taking the scenic route, because why follow everyone else when you can go rock climbing?) and have lunch while admiring the view and discussing what kind of boat my friend should buy.
I can’t recommend Guernsey enough. If you’re looking for an action-packed holiday, it’s probably not the place for you, but if you want relaxation, history, friendly taxi drivers who’ll tell you that you look like Rodney’s wife in Only Fools and Horses (yes, really) and lovely views, plus you’re not a fan of long flights (40 minutes from Southampton, during which I was given a free newspaper, drink, crisps and a mint – thank you Blue Islands), it’s definitely worth a visit. I’m already planning my next trip, if only so I can see that sunset again.