Guernsey cows and silver
Trip Start May 09, 2007
9Trip End Jun 04, 2007
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The house they live in is beautiful and overlooks the local church. We were back to being treated with first-class hospitality, and Annette prepared an amazing dinner that included salmon in a pastry shell. If that wasn't enough, every night she seemed to top the last with her home-made desserts.
Guernsey is a relaxing place to visit, and we indulged in the great local past-time of window-shopping. Duty here is very low, so high-ticket items like watches and jewellery are quite reasonable here. This even intrigued Mark enough to go and get a fancy watch and Allison got a matching shiny one to boot. Kath and Zora also got into the rings a bit too.
Our most interesting visit of the trip was a tour of the house Victor Hugo lived in for 15 years during his exile from France. Victor was an outspoken writer and ended up criticizing his uncle, Napolean II, by writing a book 'Napolean The Small' (ouch!).
The next day we went for a morning visit to the Occupation Museum, documenting the 5 years the Germans spent on the island during World War II, the only British soil occupied by Germany. There were fascinating stories and artifacts from this period, and many were quite tragic and uplifting. It was amazing how much happened in that short time, and it was sad to see how many landmines and ocean mines were laid in that time. We spent a good 2 hours there and could have spent more.
One of interesting features on the island is the cement bunkers that dot the headlands overlooking the water, as Germany thought they would be attacked by sea during the War (although they never were). A few of these are within easy walk along beautiful cliffsides and wildflowers from Desmond's house, so we decided to go exploring. The flora here is unique, as the climate is moderated by the Gulfstream current, creating an amazing array of colours and displays. Going inside one of the towers was a little freaky as it was dark and damp, but it was exhilirating.
The visit was short and relaxing, and it was a short time for Mark and family to catch up with Desmond and hear some more stories of school and running days gone by. He is a little quirkier in his advanced age though, as evidenced by the morning we left. We had to catch the 7:00 flight, and so being worried that we might not get up he came into our room and woke us up at 4:15, 90 minutes before we had to leave for the 10 minute drive there! It was quite a shock to the system! But is was nice he had a chance to see his great-granddaughter as he doesn't travel much anymore.
Next is jolly Ol' England...