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Published: August 1st 2015
Why Jersey? Well, is a place that Blu has always wanted to go, as was the home of Gerald Durrell and his wildlife park, and Blu has been a big Durrell fan since he was a child. So, after a rather bad nights sleep at Bournemouth, due to some very drunk young people staying at the hotel, we took the Channel Ferry over. A large fast ferry, takes about 5 hours to get there via a stop at Guernsey.
Our first night we stayed at Gorey, a small fishing village that sits under a castle, very atmospheric. We were up at the hostel on top of the hill so we had a steep climb up from the bus stop at the pier, not so good on a hot day. The hostel was rather strange, a huge rambling place. Went down to the pier to find a place to eat, we were amazed to see a sign at the end of the waterfront advertising Thai food and pointing to the end of the groyne. It was a hole in the wall with outside tables, serving good Thai food!
Next day we decided to take a half day tour of the
island, a good decision. Pat, our driver and guide was great, we went all around the island and Pat was a fountain of knowledge about Jersey and very entertaining too. There are seven 'parishes' all with their own church, school and village store etc. The island is really beautiful, with very narrow lanes, sandy beaches, rugged coastlines and small villages. We thought it was quite French, not surprising given it is just off the French coast. We could see France clearly as it was a good day. All the streets have French names. We had moved up to the Youth Hostel at Trinity in the morning, it is right next to the Durrell Wildlife centre, and used to be a training hostel for wildlife workers from Madagascar. A lovely old place with a big garden out back. Really enjoyed our 3 nights there and so quiet.
Our second day on Jersey was very leisurely, we walked across to the Wildlife Centre and basically spent the day there! Blu had finally fulfilled a dream, and I enjoyed it too. The key reason the animals and birds are there is for conservation, not for display, and a lot of the species
are endangered. The highlights were the gorillas and the orangatangs, but we also enjoyed all the other exhibits, the reptile house was particularly good.
We timed it well the next day, was raining so spent the morning visiting the Jersey War tunnels built by the Germans in WW2, the Channel Islamds strategic position meant that the islands were occupied and highly fortified by the Germans, partly to show the Allies they were in command. The exhibition was fascinating, the Islanders really suffered under occupation. The afternoon cleared and we walked out to the point beyond St Aubins, the village where Bergerac was filmed. Loads of bunkers on the headland, as there is all around the island. Had a roast dinner at the old inn out on the point. Funny the manager was a Kiwi, from New Plymouth!
Our last morning on Jersey was a chance for Blu to visit the (Nigel) Mansell Collection, and I wandered up to the glass church, where the altar, pulpit, font etc were all glass. Sad goodbye to Jersey and headed back on the afternoon ferry, smooth crossings both ways luckily. Even managed dinner on board. Picked up our car back on the
mainland and off to our YHA in Dorset for 2 nights. An answer to our initial question, why Jersey? Well it was great, loved it all, so French but British...lovely place.
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