The bailiwick of Guernsey encompasses the island of Guernsey along with the islands of Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and Lihou and, along with the bailiwick of Jersey, forms the Channel Islands. Guernsey is a British Crown dependency rather than part of the UK as such and, although protected by the UK, has its own parliament. It is located just off the Cherbourg Peninsula in Normandy (which incidentally I did not realise until last week is called Normandy after the North men, or Norse men, Viking invaders who settled there).
Mark had not flown in almost 20 years because of the severity of his flying anxiety, so we thought the short (45 minute) flight from Bristol to Guernsey would be a good way for him to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Mark was brilliant and had no problems at all flying and the journey was a breeze…and then we landed in Paradise!
Mind you we soon realised we were not in Kansas any more Toto, so to speak. The post boxes are blue and the telephone boxes are yellow!
We stayed at the Granary in St Pierre du Bois, in a beautiful self-catering apartment above the family’s home. It is is set in three acres of land in the Quanteraine Valley, bordering the Silbe nature reserve and overlooking a pretty watermill. We were made to feel so welcome – from the board at the driveway to the Guernsey goodies provided in the kitchen, and even a box of chocolates on our last evening.
Behind the apartment is a steep path through a little wildlife garden to a view point, appropriately called ‘the top of the world’. It is a haven for bees and butterflies and the view is breathtaking – particularly at sunset!
After several days of sightseeing and lots of walking, it was lovely to allow ourselves an afternoon to sit by the Summer house, opposite the reservoir, watching the ducks, reading our Kindles, photographing butterflies and swinging on the little swing seat, before a short walk down to the beach (and a fabulous piece of apple pie from the Guernsey Pearl opposite Fort Grey!)
We arrived early afternoon on the Saturday, unpacked and walked along the valley to St Peters to stock up on supplies, and were already in love with the island. On the Sunday morning I woke early, as I tend to do, and at 05.30 set off to photograph the lanes and hedgerows – a mistake as it turned out, as knees gave up later in the day after walking up and down hills in St Peter Port (or ‘Town’ as we were calling it by the end if the week, like regular locals). With the nature reserve on our doorstep as well as the lanes criss-crossing the island, we were treated to lots of flora and fauna.
This island was full of butterflies dancing everywhere, but they were a little camera shy…I did my best, but even Mark – the most patient photography-widower in the world – did get cross with me at one point; just one butterfly photo too far!
Apologies for the number of photos, but I keep this blog mainly as my own keepsake…and there’s lots I want to remember! Coming up…coastline and St Peter Port.