Anglo-French Travel 2017 travel blog

The little chapel

Do you recognise any of this china?

Guernsey cows - they have pink noses whereas Jerseys have black

Victor Hugo managed to incorporate "H" into the delft tiles in the...

Blue water and white sandy beach on Guernsey

Have uploaded photos and hope to do some writing after dinner.

Lovely dinner overlooking the water and warm enough for our coffee outside on the terrace. Locals tell us it might be the only chance in a year!

Guernsey had to be a hurried visit to fit in as much as possible in the one day after our stranding in Jersay. First stop the Little Chapel started in 1914 by a De La Salle brother after a trip to Lourdes. The current Chapel is the third attempt on the site and its most interesting feature is the mosaics made initially using the broken crockery from Wedgwood, but after refusing Wedgwood the naming rights, the locals were asked to contribute. Children were rewarded with sweets for bringing broken china but this was stopped after good china stared to disappear from their homes! Currently restoration work is being done as there was no underpinning and the building was starting to slide down the hill.

Our driver was excellent telling us about the island and life there as he drove. Guernsey is not part of the EU. One of its main industries has been finance but that is waning a little with banks now being responsible to ensure that all dealings are legal. In previous years the island had a reputation for growing tomatoes; evidence of this were the many abandoned glass houses as the market disappeared once the EU was formed. The Guernsey cows now basically supply the island. The population of the island is "regulated" to about 60,000 through strict regulations around housing which is expensive, and complicated especially for those who aren't residents.

One resident in earlier times was Victor Hugo who lived in Guernsey from 1856 to 1870 a period during which Les Miserables was written. His family home was extravagantly decorated with tapestries on walls and ceilings in some rooms, Delft tiles in other rooms and a strong Chinese and Japanese theme in the decorations and ornaments. A lovely garden behind the house and an outlook to the sea made it seem a pretty good place of exile.

Lunch at a lovely hotel with sea views and once again we were lucky with the weather and after lunch strolled a little on a wide sandy beach. Tapestry museum in the afternoon where each of the six parishes into which the island is divided has made a scene depicting a period of history. Much more elaborate stitching than in the Jersey tapestries. A visit to an historic home with a sub-tropical garden and plenty of stories from the current owner of his families seafaring history.

Time to catch the ferry to Poole a three hour trip. Leaving Guernsey at 18.40 and having a light dinner on the boat it was then about a 40 minute drive to our hotel in Southampton where it was nearly 11pm when our tired group arrived to discover that we had to be ready to leave at 7 next to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight and no breakfast would be available to fit our schedule. More about that in the next episode.

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