Guernsey Ferry Port

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    • Day 39

      St Peter Port Reflections

      September 28, 2017 in Guernsey ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      One of the things that I always like to do in my travels is to take the time to take "mind photos". In the technological age we have never taken so many images, but the sad result is that it is just too easy to press the shutter button and let the camera take the place of using our own senses. While it is great that we have the freedom to take 100s or even 1000s of images, I wonder just how many of these will be remembered and treasured in a few years time ?

      I have made a practice of taking time to store a few special "mind images" on every trip. These images cannot be stored by the press of a button, but I try to use all my senses to build a complete image in my mind. This can sometimes take up to 30 minutes while I sit, sometimes with my eyes open and sometimes with them shut. I try to store a record of each tiny sound and sensation, along with the visual image of the place I am in. Using this method I find that I can recall to mind places that I have visited many years ago.

      Our hotel in St Peter Port was originally two stately homes that have been combined and extended to form the Pandora Hotel. Behind the hotel is a series of delightful walled gardens and stone staircases than descend down the hillside. Each successive walled garden is a confusion of colour that reminded me of the famous Monet's Garden in France. The lower levels of these gardens offer beautiful views down to the harbour and out to the nearby islands of Jethu and Herm. It was on the lowest of these levels that I chose to store my latest mind image.

      With the late summer sunshine warming my face and the distant sounds of the seagulls mixing with the gentle murmur of the leaves on the trees it really seemed like the perfect way to remember this amazing adventure.Over the past five weeks we have cycled over a thousand kilometres in Germany, France, Switzerland and the Channel Islands and shared a never ending series of incredible experiences together.

      It already seems such a long time ago that we arrived in Mainz to begin our ride along the Rhine. Tomorrow we will be returning to St Malo on one of the huge Condor ferries and the following day our team will begin to disperse, with some coming back to Australia while others will be continuing their travels in Europe.

      Once again this trip has served to reinforce my opinion that there is simply no better way to explore Europe than by bicycle. Our aim has never been to set huge daily distances or get our names in the Guinness Book of Records. We came to see the real Europe that the mainstream tourists simply never get to see and I think that we have achieved this in spades.

      We will never forget those quiet backroads of France and yesterday's ride on Sark was really something unlike anything else we have ever done. Along the way we have lived together, we have sometimes cried together (more about that later) and we have often laughed ourselves senseless. I am so glad that I have had the privilege of sharing this ride with such inspiring and supportive friends. I really do love you all.

      As well as the experiences we have shared on two wheels, this trip has also been something of a culinary adventure as well. Since beginning our French ride in Rambouillet about 4 weeks ago we have been able to dine in some amazing restaurants each evening. I think that everyone was staggered at how we were able to include so many fine dining experiences in the limited budget. Some even commented that the dining each evening was as great a challenge as the cycling. We certainly never went hungry.

      In a couple of weeks I will be back in Australia and turning my attention to our next adventure. In just a few months we will be heading off to South America to trek and cycle in some of the most spectacular places on earth. It will be vastly different to Europe, but that is what life should be all about.

      Three day's ago we got our first glimpse of Guernsey and I was very interested to hear what people's first impressions were. I think I can now honestly say that we have fallen in love with this little island.

      When we left Jersey our impressions were not so positive. Much of St Helier is dirty and dilapidated, the confusing tangle of one way streets made the city feel claustrophobic and we could not help but feel that its best years were behind it. It seemed that it could not progress beyond its war time years and was happy living in the past.

      St Peter Port, on the other hand, has a much more exciting feel about it. There is a healthy buzz of activity in the city, most of the buildings are in good condition, the streets are clean, we never saw any graffiti anywhere, the people are friendly and the public transport is so very cheap. The slope of the hillsides near the harbour mean that you can get wonderful sea views from most parts of the town. In the competition between Jersey and Guernsey I would declare Guernsey the winner by a country mile. We will all fondly remember you for a long time.
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    • Day 39

      Farewell to Guernsey

      September 28, 2017 in Guernsey ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Today was not only our last day in Guernsey, but the final cycling day of our entire trip. For some unknown reason Maggie thought that it would be worthwhile using the time to ride to a most unusual chapel she had read about somewhere. It was apparently the work of a local eccentric monk who had spent his lifetime constructing the chapel and then completely covering it in bits of broken glass and china. That seemed like a most creative way to waste a life to me, however somehow Maggie convinced us all to go in search of it.

      If we thought that there was no traffic on Guernsey, we would have been sorely mistaken. During the ride we must have encountered every vehicle on the island at least two or three times. It was not a very relaxing ride, and it also contained a never ending sequence of hills. When we eventually discovered the chapel, it turned out to be very underwhelming. The whole thing was not much bigger than a toilet.

      Although the rest of us were left scratching our heads as to why we had undertaken such a monumental waste of time and energy, Maggie actually said she liked the place. There is no accounting for poor taste.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Guernsey Port, Guernsey Ferry Port

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