Saturday, July 09, 2011

Island round-up

We arrived at London Gatwick airport early morning and were delayed in the aftermath of the UK border workers strike - Aurigny would not honour our ticket as we missed the connecting flight. They told me I couldn't get to Alderney that day but I bought two new tickets to Guernsey and talked my way onto the connecting flight and we got there on schedule. I was rather cross.

The arrival in Alderney calmed us down as we sat on a bench at the airport and waited for the car from the hotel to pick us up. Holly arrived in the Subaru and we were whisked into St Anne. We were in Alderney for six nights - staying on Victoria St in the centre of town at the Georgian House (good value at £70 per night for two incl breakfast). Alderney is generally quieter than I remember - air fares are a deterrent.
We went on the Alderney railway twice, on the Saturday and Sunday. We found the Harbour Lights of yore, now completely rebuilt, and I sampled the Breda lager. We did plenty of walking - a cycling tour went wrong as we got separated and it rather spoilt the day.
We sampled the restaurants - Jack's, the Mai Thai, the Pizzeria, Little Rock Cafe (a wagon run by Krys from Florida at Braye harbour, she put us in charge as she went to the store, recommended), Gloria's Food, and the Braye Chippy. The Chippy was a joy at £20 for two including tip, good food, good service (but bring your own alcohol).
The weather was mostly delightful in Alderney. We went to Cherbourg on a rather rough crossing on a charter day boat, The Lady Maris II, with six passengers. Annette barfed on the outward leg but managed to hold it together on the rougher return. Got her sea legs now. You can't beat a trip to France - we returned with a view of the wonderful old railway station in Cherbourg and the roadstead where the Titanic anchored on her maiden voyage.
We hopped over to Guernsey on the Aurigny Trislander. Staying at the Le ChĂȘne Hotel, near the airport, we walked from arrivals with our (light) luggage. There is a free bus pass provided by the hotel - we went right round the island, a 90-minute tour clockwise. Some locals don't approve of the grockles filling up the buses but they can suck it up!
Trips to St Peter Port take us to the old market, Italian lunches at Bella Delicatessen (42-44 Fountain St., recommended), the Guernsey Tapestry, the Condor Ferries booking office, Fort Cornet, the archives and The Priaulx Library. We went to the startline at Le Val de Terres to check out the hillclimb course. The whole place seems very busy after Alderney.

To Fort Saumarez and Fort Grey (shipwreck museum) today. The Occupation Museum is unmissable at £5 per head. The Germans installed a 90cm narrow-gauge railway on Guernsey, but sadly it was ripped out in the 1940s - we are told nothing remains of the railway. We are leaving for Jersey on Monday.
Pics by RLT.

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