Whenever the opportunity arises for me to give my vehement advice on my traveled destinations – Guernsey has always ranked highly on my list and will continue to do so. Generally, I receive very puzzled looks when I mention Guernsey as few people seem to be aware of the island – never-mind its whereabouts. Perhaps Normandy or The Battle of Normandy rings a bell…
This enchanting island is located in the English Channel and is nestled between Great Britain and France. On a clear day France is prominently visible from Guernsey and is accessible via a turbulent trip that will take one hour on a commuter boat. There is obviously both English and French influence throughout the island, along with fascinating warfare remnants strewn across the countryside – owing to Guernsey’s affluent history.
From the moment I stepped onto Guern soil I was besieged with the islands dense forestry and cobblestone appearance, which gives consequence to its over-all cozy ambiance. Guernsey appears to magically retain its composure and elegance, whilst the vigorous waters of the English Channel hurry onto its shores. This is what gives Guernsey its calm and stress-free aire – creating the perfect holiday destination for vacationers who simple want to get away.
Guerns live a relatively simple life. They have a charming little system called Hedge-veg, which was one of my many favorite goings-on in Guernsey.
This is a system whereby residents grow their own fruit and vegetables and sell the produce from their gate. It’s a self-serve system based on honesty, so there is no one selling to you directly. You go up to their hedge or gate, choose what you would like and put the money in the little box next to the produce.
The Little Chapel
If you take pleasure in sightseeing, do make sure you visit the smallest chapel in the world. It was built by a Monk named Brother Deodat, who started its intricate construction just after the Second World War but retired due to ill health before he could complete it.
It was later finished on his behalf by companion Monks. Besides its petite size, the full interior and exterior is decorated with small pieces of colourful broken china, shells and pebbles. A maximum of six people at one time can fit inside the Little Chapel. This masterpiece can be found in St Andrews.
You will discover that one of the most apparent sightings around Guernsey is the war bunkers. Heavily fortified by the Germans, these forts remain intact and can be see all around the island. Built during the Germanic occupation of Guernsey and in the epoch of the Second World War – their presence is some-what haunting as they seem forlorn and mysterious. Unfortunately they are all locked, but if you would like to go inside one then you’d really enjoy Fort Grey.
Built by the British in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars and later becoming the site of local witches’ satanic meetings. It was then occupied by the Germans upon their invasion of Guernsey during the Second World War. The many bunkers and Fort Grey in particular, give Guernsey a rich undercurrent of militant objectification of which this beautiful island has been subjected to throughout the centuries.
If you’re in the mood for an upbeat vibe then Cobo is great to just relax and take in everything around you. This zesty hang out is in the area of Castel, which is on the west coast of the island and is great for young people and vacationers. There is a strip of charismatic restaurants, bars and coffee shops along the beach, where you can watch the most fantastic sunsets and have memorable sundowners. This is also the place to have the best fish (Cod) and chips. It’s even served in the traditional British style – on newspaper.
Another hot spot is the yacht club in St. Peter’s Port. The yachts are primarily owned by wealthy Guerns, but you do have the option to hire one and sail around the various islands. Or you can simply take the ferry to Alderny and Jersey. You will notice that boating is a very popular sport in Guernsey. The yacht club is also adjacent to a large Castle on an island called Castle Cornet and is a major tourist attraction. Castle Cornet was built sometime between 1206 and 1256 and has not only been besieged a number of times, but was also home to the Guernsey Governor until 1672. The castle also survived the Napoleonic Wars, has served as a seaplane base in the First World War and was occupied by the Germans in the Second World War.
Guernsey is internationally renowned for its annual marathon, which takes the participants through beautiful scenic views. Runners pass by boastful sandy beaches, valleys and flowery lanes.
It’s a healthy alternative to see the beauty of Guernsey, as the marathon traces the fringes of the entire island. The Guernsey Marathon will be celebrating its one hundred and third birthday this year when the event takes place on the 26th August 2012.
La Piazza – Trinity Square
The setting of La Piazza Trinity Square in Guernsey town is picturesque. Imagine sitting under an umbrella along a cobblestone and mossy arena, sipping that well deserved latte after your eventful day. Be sure to order crumpets and cream. Guernsey cream is delectable and is like no other cream you will ever taste. For the shop-a-holics I have some good news: clothing and accessories go for very affordable prices in Guernsey and also in her adjoining island – Jersey. Whilst you stroll through the town you will hear the echo’s of all sorts of live music protruding from their venues.
Guernsey’s uniqueness has an enduring effect on the traveler and is a getaway option well-worth considering