We had an early start this morning, setting the alarm for 6am. We were booked on an 08.55 flight from Guernsey to Alderney and, as it seemed that the buses on Guernsey don't start running until nearer 9am on Sundays, we were planning to walk from the Airbnb to the airport.
We checked out before 7am and were on our way.
It wasn't a particularly sunny morning but it was dry at least and we had some lovely views as we walked along tiny lanes towards the airport.
When I'd put Guernsey Airport into my phone as a destination, it had told me that it was a walk of about 2.5 miles. Unfortunately, when I'd done that, I hadn't checked exactly what location it had chosen for the airport. The result was that after 2.5 miles we arrived... on the opposite side of the airport to where the entrance was
We then had another half a mile or so to walk, essentially around the airport perimeter fence, until we got to the way in. I was slightly worried that we were going to end up arriving too late to check in for our flight, but despite the diversion we made it to the airport by 08.00 and found the queue for check-in.
Phew, what a relief! Except our flight didn't seem to be on the departures board...
While we waited in the queue I logged into the airline website to check our booking. Yep, it definitely said that we were booked on the 08.55 flight this morning.
When we got to the front of the queue, an employee explained to us that the flight had been cancelled and he didn't know why we hadn't been informed about it. Wow The best he could do was book us onto the 14.30 flight instead. That was better that nothing but it was a bit disappointing when a) we only had one day on Alderney and b) we'd got up so early and hiked all the way to the airport!
We'd also not had any breakfast so we were starving by this point. The airport is only small but it does have a cafe on the first floor. We went up to investigate that, encouraged by the sign announcing that it served hot food all day. Unfortunately, it turned out that "all day" doesn't start until 10am.
There was no point staying at the airport so we went outside and waited at the bus stop for the first bus of the day towards St Peter Port. When we got there we had a wander around and established that there's not much open on Guernsey on a Sunday morning.
St Peter Port did look pretty though, especially with all the bunting.
And I absolutely love the blue post boxes on Guernsey. Somehow they're so much more exciting than red ones!
We ended up having breakfast in the Marks & Spencers cafe, which surpassed my expectations by serving nice crispy bacon. There weren't really any other options; even Costa didn't open until 10am!
Once we'd eaten and had a couple of cups of coffee, we walked uphill through the town towards the Candie Gardens, which I'd read were worth seeing.
There were some pretty flowers...
...and some nice views down towards the sea...
...but overall they were a bit on the small side.
Once we'd finished exploring the gardens, we walked back down into St Peter Port and caught a bus back out to the airport.
We still had a bit of a wait, but eventually it was time to board the plane. We passed through a very brief security check, then were told to sit down an watch a video about the safety features of the aircraft. Then it was finally time to walk across the tarmac towards our plane.
This is definitely the smallest plane we've ever been on in our lives! There was only one seat either side of the aisle and from where we were sitting we could see the pilot. There wasn't any overhead bag storage at all; I just about managed to squeeze my backpack into the limited under-seat storage space.
The flight from Guernsey to Alderney was only around 15 minutes. We had some fantastic views; initially of Guernsey, then of Sark and finally of the French coast as we got closer to Alderney. Unfortunately, I haven't got any photos. We were told to turn off all electronic devices and, given the size of the plane, I didn't want to disobey instructions
Never mind, we'd finally made it to Alderney!
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands after Jersey and Guernsey, so bigger than Sark, but that doesn't make it very large. It's about 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, with a population of around 2 000 people.
It was small enough that we could walk straight from the airport to St Anne, the main town on the island, and check into our hotel for the night.
St Anne is a pretty little town with beautiful, pastel-coloured houses.
The hotel we're staying in is really nice, with a Nespresso machine in the room. The receptionist also said we could help ourselves to ice-cream from a freezer downstairs. Free ice-cream in a hotel is a first for me
Once we'd checked in we were keen to get out again and see as much of Alderney as we could in the limited time available.
I was excited to find another blue postbox, and this one had a yellow phone box next to it too.
Our original plan for the day had been to walk around Alderney, on a 10-mile path known as the cliff trail.
It was now around 4pm and we were booked into a restaurant for 6, so we no longer had time to do the full circuit.
We decided instead to walk about half of the route, going south from St Anne to the coast and then looping around the northeastern end of the island.
We had some beautiful views as we did so.
There are some lovely sandy beaches on Alderney...
...though there do seem to be some rockier ones too.
There were also quite a lot of fortifications along the coast.
And when we reached the end of the island we found the lighthouse.
I'm really glad we got to see a bit of Alderney
Once it got past 5pm we caught sight of some colourful houses on the horizon.
That was a good sign because that was Braye, the town where we were booked into a hotel to have dinner at 6pm.
There aren't many restaurants on Alderney and a lot of the restaurants which do exist don't open on Sundays, so I hadn't had a lot of options when trying to arrange somewhere in advance. The place I'd found turned out to be good though and we both had a seriously nice steak.
It's been a long day - over 30 000 steps in total - but definitely one that's ended better than it started