Sunday 7 April 2024

Wedding anniversary

It's our wedding anniversary today, so congratulations to us!!

We were thinking about going on an afternoon wine tasting tour, but then changed it to a dolphin watching and views of France trip instead.

First stop was the pretty little harbour at Rosel where we got off the bus.

This was on the north coast of the island and we hiked along the undulating coast round to the eastern side. This side is directly across the sea from Normandy.

But first came the dolphin viewing spot at St Catherine's breakwater.

We had been told by a local islander that it was a great viewing spot, but we looked really carefully, and there wasn't a dolphin, or beach ball or hoop in sight.

However, right on the horizon we could make out the feint coast of France, but it wasn't big enough to be able to be seen in our photos.

This is a great view though of the enormous breakwater, and you can imagine the coast of France beyond it.

As both highlights were not as high as originally hoped, I thought that a new high would be a shortcut across the long bay.

It looked gorgeous from a distance, and a lot of it was lovely sand, but gradually it turned wetter with water draining from rock pools higher up the beach.

It got to that stage where we had gone too far to turn back, but to head forwards meant getting even wetter feet, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Back on dry land we walked southwards with my shoes allegedly drying much quicker than Darren's.

Final stop for a late lunch was at Gorey with the huge Mont Orgueil Castle towering above us.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Parkrun and a long walk back

Parkrun day today at Jersey, and Happy Birthday and Double Parkrun Alphabet Day to Susan. 

She hand iced letters on to many chocolate biscuits for parkrun finishers, and Darren did his best to be the winner of the unofficial 'who could eat the most biscuits' competition.

Then we set off walking to Corbiere Lighthouse along lovely quiet lanes, eventually seeing it in the distance with the tide out.

Putting us to shame, Paul reached it on the way to running 25 kilometres to the start of the parkrun, but couldn't get across because the tide was in.

No such problems for us, and we wandered across enjoying the beautiful views.

Apart from the fact that it was blowing a gale, it was very peaceful which would have been very different to the scene here during the war. There are many tank and gun emplacements all along the coast, and I popped inside a massive concrete viewing bunker.

It's very well camouflaged and is a small square space where, standing on tip toes, I could see the whole coastline and horizon. If Allies had been approaching I would have easily spotted them.

Then we set off along the coast passing lots more fortifications. This one was right down near the sea and had a little railway track to move materials.

The cliff views were beautiful.

The beaches were stunning.

Today I have just run out of words to describe the gorgeous scenes, and it had nothing to do with the cider at the finish.

Friday 5 April 2024

Jersey castle and war tunnels

We are having a long weekend in Jersey and arrived in the late afternoon yesterday. We had a bit of a lazy evening and then woke up this morning ready to explore.

What a start, with a walk to Elizabeth Castle.

It was built in around 1600 when Sir Walter Raleigh was Governor of the island and he named it after his queen, Elizabeth the first.

It can only be reached on foot at low tide, and by a happy coincidence, that was when we arrived.

It was a proper castle, built on huge boulders, with a grand entrance and fancy turrets.

We didn't actually go inside as it didn't open until 10am, but it was well worth the journey, and then we headed back along the causeway to a bus stop.

On the way we passed this superb sculpture called 'Freedom' which was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth the second in 2005 to commemorate 60 years since the liberation of the island.

The bus arrived on time and swiftly carried us to the War Tunnels.

Jersey was invaded by the Nazis at the start of the Second World War and were occupied by them until VE day in 1945.

The tunnels were built by the Nazis using local labour as well as prisoners from many other countries including Russia. Working conditions were very bad and many people died during the construction.

It was originally used as a hospital but is now a very well laid out museum telling explaining what happened on the island during the war.

We were given copies of identity cards of genuine islanders and told to look out for their story amongst the exhibits. Darren's was a young man who was among the very few who managed to escape by boat, and mine, very disappointingly, was of a collaborator who was almost lynched after the war and was taken to England for her own safety. She was given £5 and released and who knows what happened to her after that.

We then walked back to St Hellier and the sun had gone in, the castle causeway had also disappeared and the only way to visit the castle was by an amphibious bus.