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About Me

Found 4 results

  1. We slept well in our hotel on Alderney last night after the 30 000 + steps we'd walked yesterday! The advantage of staying in a hotel is having breakfast included and we were pleasantly surprised when we went downstairs in this hotel to find that there was a really nice breakfast menu. We both ended up having pancakes with bacon, which was an exceptionally good start to the day Our flight from Alderney back to Guernsey wasn't until 12.10 - and Alderney airport didn't seem like the sort of place we needed to be two hours before our flights - so we decided to take a scenic route from the hotel to the airport, walking around part of the cliff-top path that we'd not managed to do yesterday. We packed up our things and set off, walking downhill from the town of St Anne towards Braye where we'd had dinner last night. We had some beautiful views of the sea as we picked up the coastal path again. We also passed quite a few different castle and forts. Some of them were on land and some of them were out at sea. There were also some lovely sandy beaches... ...and some rockier ones. We passed an extremely windswept tree... ...before the path left the coast behind and we began to climb uphill towards the airport. This is definitely one of the more scenic walks to an airport I've ever done! Before too long the airport came into view. It's a really tiny airport, not much more than a prefab. We queued to check in, then queued again to go through security. Alderney airport doesn't seem to have any scanning technology, so security consisted of someone opening our bags and having a quick rifle through them. Then we transferred into a small prefab to watch the flight safety video and before we knew it we were boarding the tiny plane and about to take off. Tim and I were sitting in row 9 this time, which was the back of the plane. We had some more incredible views of the other Channel Islands as made the short journey back to Guernsey. After we landed, we realised that our 12.10 flight (which was due to get to Guernsey at 12.30), had actually landed at 12.04 I think that's the first time I've ever been on a flight that arrived before it was due to depart They're obviously quite flexible with the flight times from Alderney, with the plane taking off once all the passengers are there! I'd booked us into a pub about 10 minutes walk away from the airport, so we headed there to have lunch at 1pm. Our flight from Guernsey back to Birmingham is due to depart at 17.35, but we've just heard that there are air traffic control problems in the UK, so we're not sure to what extent we're going to be delayed. Whatever happens, we've had an amazing long weekend in the Channel Islands and have really enjoyed our trip to Alderney in particular
  2. 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
  3. We left the Airbnb just before 9am this morning and set off for the same cafe where we'd had breakfast yesterday. I went for scrambled egg on toast today, which fortunately came without the salad I'd received with my sausage bap yesterday! We had a bus to catch just after 10am to take us back towards Guernsey's capital, St Peter Port. The bus arrived promptly and we were soon on our way. I'd booked ferry tickets for us to visit the nearby island of Sark today and our ferry wasn't departing until midday, but we needed to go to a ferry office in advance to transform our online booking into actual boarding cards for the journey. Everything worked out fine and we got to St Peter Port with plenty of time to spare. We sorted out the tickets, then had time to go and get a coffee while we waited for our boat. Sark is only about 10 miles off the coast of Guernsey, so it wasn't a terribly long boat journey. We arrived on the island after about 45 minutes. First impressions were that Sark seemed very scenic, with a rocky coastline and beautiful bright blue sea. Sark is a tiny island, with an area of just over 2 square miles and a population of around 500 people. It's also famous for being one of the only places in the world where cars are not allowed, with the fastest form of transport permitted being tractors. Lots of the people who got off our ferry were staying overnight on Sark and catching a tractor connection to take them uphill from the harbour area to the main village. We decided to walk up the hill instead, following a tree-lined footpath alongside the road. When we got to the end of the footpath we found ourselves on the Avenue, the main high street in Sark. There wasn't a lot going on here! We did find Sark's only postbox, painted gold in honour of a former resident of the island who won a gold medal in dressage at the 2012 Olympics. We continued to follow a series of narrow lanes across the island. We were heading towards a place called La Coupée, a narrow isthmus which links the main island of Greater Sark to the smaller island of Little Sark. We made it to the isthmus without any difficulty, but as we'd been walking across Sark the clouds had been getting darker and darker. No sooner had we arrived at La Coupée then the heavens opened and we had to turn around again, finding a small cafe to escape the rain. Luckily it turned out to only be a rather brief shower and after 15 minutes or so, everywhere was looking a lot brighter. The landscape here is really dramatic. We had to walk quite steeply downhill, then across the isthmus and uphill again. There were some lovely views of the sea as we did so. In the distance we could see back to Guernsey and the settlement of St Peter Port. There wasn't loads to see on Little Sark! We walked to the far end, then turned around and head back towards La Coupée. From this direction, the path we'd just come down really did look rather steep! There were some more great views as we made our way back over to the bigger part of Sark. It's definitely a unique island. In some ways it felt a little bit similar to the Azores. Our ferry back to Guernsey was at 16.00, so we walked back across Sark and found a cafe to get a drink while we waited. Then when we got back to St Peter Port, we walked a couple of miles to a village called St Martin, where we were booked into a pub for dinner. Tomorrow will be an early start as we have an 08.55 flight to the final island of this trip: Alderney!
  4. It's August Bank Holiday weekend and that means it's time for another trip away We decided to do something a bit different for this bank holiday when Tim found relatively cheap flights from Birmingham to Guernsey a few months ago. We've never been to any of the Channel Islands before, so this felt like a good opportunity to explore somewhere new - and also to compare to the Isle of Man, which we visited for one of the May bank holidays earlier this year. We flew with Aurigny, Guernsey's official airline, on Thursday evening. I was worried that Birmingham airport might be really busy so we were there over two hours ahead of our flight. That turned out to be unnecessary; we got through security in around 5 minutes and had plenty of time to get dinner in the airport while we waited for our flight. And we turned out to have quite a wait! We arrived at the gate as boarding was starting and optimistically joined the queue, only to find ourselves standing at the bottom of a stairwell for around 40 minutes while we waited to be able to board the flight. It was absolutely boiling until an employee came along and opened the door to give everyone some air. Apparently the plane had been delayed by thunderstorms over southern England. It was a fairly small plane when we eventually did board it, although a bit bigger than some of the ones we flew on in Greenland earlier this year. The flight to Guernsey was only a little over an hour, but the late departure meant that by the time we arrived it was absolutely pitch black. Our originally plan had been to walk from the airport to the Airbnb where we're staying, a distance of less than 3 miles. In the end we chickened out and ended up getting a taxi! We didn't regret the taxi; it would have been a long walk on some pretty dark lanes. We found the Airbnb without too much difficulty and were able to get the key from a lockbox. It's just a room we're staying in rather than an apartment, but it's a big spacious one and we do at least have a kettle to be able to make coffee When we woke up on Friday morning, we were able to see what a lovely house the room is in. There's no breakfast included, so our first aim was to walk to a nearby cafe and find some. On the way we caught sight of a bright blue Guernsey postbox. The cafe was opposite Fort Grey, a small fortress built here in 1804. I ordered a sausage bap for breakfast and was slightly horrified to find it came with salad. Who eats salad for breakfast?! It was warm enough to sit outside and eat though, which was nice. Once we'd finished we had a better look at the fort... ...and then set off on a walk around the nearby coast. We're staying in the southwestern part of Guernsey and the coast is really pretty here; lots of sand and a bright blue sea. The path which we were following took us around a small headland at the bottom of the island. It was a really scenic route. We passed another small fortress... ...came to a "fairy ring" (which was described as a major tourist attraction, but slightly underwhelming in reality!)... ...and had views out to sea towards a lighthouse. By this point we were following part of a clifftop trail which goes along the southern coast of the island. It was a bit rockier here, but still really beautiful Towards the end of the trail we came across some large concrete buildings. These are some of the fortifications which were built on Guernsey by the German army when they occupied the island during the Second World War. The buildings themselves are not very attractive, although some of them are in stunning locations. Once we'd completed a loop back to our Airbnb we'd done about 15 000 steps, so we went inside for a rest for a couple of hours. Around 3pm we set off again towards a bus stop near the coast. We caught a bus across the island to the capital of Guernsey, St Peter Port. The buses in Guernsey are amazing value; it only cost £1.25 each for a single fare! The bus dropped us off near the harbour area in St Peter Port, which is dominated by Castle Cornet. There's been a castle here in various forms for over 800 years. We didn't pay to go in, but continued strolling through the harbour and out onto the pier. From here we had a view not only of a large ferry arriving in Guernsey, but also of an even larger cruise ship out in the sea. In the distance, behind the cruise ship, we could see the small island of Herm. Further behind it, on the horizon, we could also make out the island of Sark. It hasn't come out in the photo, but beyond Sark we could see an even fainter strip of land which we think must have been the coast of France. We had a stroll around St Peter Port, which seemed like a pretty town with lots of flowers. Not only do they have blue postboxes in Guernsey, they also have yellow phone boxes! I'd booked us in for a meal in an Indian restaurant, which luckily turned out to be really nice. I don't normally ever book restaurants when we go on holiday, but there are limited restaurants in Guernsey - especially if you don't want to eat sea food - and I was worried we might otherwise struggle to get in anywhere on a bank holiday weekend. Once we'd eaten we caught the bus back across the island, where we were just on time to catch sunset over the coast. From there it was a short walk back to the Airbnb. We've had a lovely first day on Guernsey today Tomorrow looks like it might not be 100% dry, but if all goes well we'll be making a day trip to the island of Sark.
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