Week 2 - July 24th-31st: Guernsey
The ferry trip across to Guernsey is quite an experience, not like the school french exchange trips on the old Townsend Thoresen or Sealink ferries, when you spent 8 hours sitting on your luggage chucking up into a paper bag.
No, there's none of that now. The sleek Condor catamarans get you there in just over 2 hours, hardly giving you time to look round the duty-free shop!
Guernsey and the nearby islands of Herm and Sark are wonderful places for a holiday, at least they are when the sun is shining (which it seems to do most of the time).
The 2nd World War looms large everywhere you go. The coastline is full of German observation towers, gun emplacements & bunkers and there are several fascinating museums dedicated to the occupation of the islands. There are loads of secluded little bays with sandy beaches and towering cliffs and I've never seen as many flowers & butterflies anywhere.
CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
St Peter Port from just outside the harbour with Castle Cornet on the left.
Just to give you an idea of just how many yachts there are in St Peter Port harbour!
Petit Bot Bay on the south coast
Pebbles on the beach at Petit Bot
Fort Grey in Rocquaine Bay on the west coast, known locally as The Cup & Saucer. One of many Napoleonic era forts dotted around the island.
The German WWII coastal observation tower at Pleinmont. Most of the WWII defences are still in pretty good condition because the occupying forces surrendered without a fight in May 1945. This particular tower has been completely restored to its original wartime condition with all its internal fittings and equipment.
Another nice piece of German architecture. This time it's an enormous underground military hospital in the middle of the island.
The Little Chapel, reputed to be the smallest working place of worship in Britain. We kept hearing about this place wherever we went on the island but somehow didn't feel compelled to visit. However Gaynor's sister, Helen, who lives on the island finally persuaded us it was worth seeing - and she was absolutely right! What an amazing place!
The whole of the Little Chapel is covered with pieces of broken china and shells and it was built by a French monk over many years, starting in 1914.
The Little Chapel is a beautiful early example of recycling!