I spent the beginning of last week visiting my friend, Will, who lives in Guernsey. I was excited a) to see him now that he’s out of the exam hole and b) to go on what is my only holiday this summer. Always keen (as my blog title suggests) to visit new places, it didn’t take long for me to act upon Will’s offer of a visit and book flights.
I’d never been to the Channel Islands before but it turns out that there are flights to Guernsey available from East Midlands, our “local” airport. Note the quotation marks; it’s still a ninety-minute drive away from little old Normanby-by-Spital, but it did save me the hassle (and money) of going to Gatwick.
When I stepped off the aeroplane (which was so small that it looked to be powered by propellers), I could have been in Spain such was the temperature. My arrival very handily coincided with the hottest day of the year so far. The weather was glorious for the whole time I spent there and so I really did feel like I was on holiday.
Guernsey is very quaint: the streets are all fairly narrow (with a speed limit of 35mph) and there are a lot of brightly-coloured window boxes and hanging baskets (not that I’m complaining).There was also an inexplicably large amount of bunting. The sea views and the boats bobbing in the harbour are very picturesque; in essence, the whole island is reminiscent of a seaside town.
We spent the first day looking around the town (St Peter Port, Guernsey’s capital) and went to Herm, one of the other islands. Will’s dad had described a particular stretch of beach on Herm as “like the Mediterranean”, and it actually was. Pale sand, clear sea, excited children, the whole caboodle. It was also during the first day that I ate this beautiful salted caramel and banana crêpe:
It was as fabulous as it looks.
The next day, we had a guided tour around Victor Hugo’s house. Hugo lived in Guernsey for 15 years during his partially self-imposed exile from France. The house itself was nothing other than a work of art, and the tour was probably the highlight of the trip for me. It was still boiling so we spent the afternoon relaxing on a beach. Of course, the whole island had had the same idea but we managed to find a clear bit of sand.
It was a really fun-filled trip (thanks a million, Will) and I would definitely recommend a visit to Guernsey if you’re looking for a destination that’s not too far away. Next step: to be able to point to the Channel Islands on a map…
I wrote an article for The Oxford Student about Guernsey. You can read it here.