Guernsey, UK (2.23.10 – 3.9.10)

Guernsey Feb 23- Mar9

My journey to Guernsey was… interesting. I arrived at London Stansted at about 11PM on Tuesday the 23rd, and then got to enjoy a grand sixteen hours in the airport before my flight left for Guernsey, one of the English Channel islands, off the French  coast (for those of you who don’t know where Guernsey is). Sixteen hours, overnight in an airport… is unpleasant… and I did it on purpose. Flying from Munich to London, I wanted to fly for as little money as possible, and this meant flying on EasyJet, affectionately known as SleazyJet; their customer service is nonexistent, and every time I think that every time I have had the displeasure of flying with them, they have been late, always without explanation. This being the case, I was convinced that if I flew on EasyJet and left only three hours between my arrival at Stansted, and my scheduled departure, I would never make the connecting flight to Guernsey, which only goes once a day. So, to ensure that I wasn’t going to end up stuck for 24 hours, I opted to stay the night in the airport. After landing, I collected my bag and headed to the waiting area, in hopes of snagging a bench to sleep on. All of the benches were taken, so I stayed up, cross-stitching until about 5AM, at which point, the terminal starts buzzing with energy because check in desks begin to open. A bench freed up, and I managed to sleep, albeit poorly, with a bag strap tied to my belt so that in the event that anyone tried to steal my bag, I would wake up. I slept until about 11, woke up and continued to cross-stitch, waiting for my check-in desk to open. An hour and a half before the flight’s departure, the desk finally opened. I checked my bag and headed to my gate. The flight was scheduled to be two hours total, stopping first in Jersey, one of Guernsey’s neighboring islands. The flight left at 3PM, and the leg to Jersey was about an hour, we then stayed there for about forty minutes before continuing the journey to Guernsey; the second part of the flight takes only fifteen minutes… a horrific, turbulent, sickening fifteen minutes. I’ve flown a lot in my twenty-one years, and I would probably consider that the worst flight I’ve ever been on; it’s rare that I think that I’m going to be sick on a plane.
I was met at the airport by Anne and Peter, the family for whom I was dog sitting, that being the reason for my trip to Guernsey. Peter was at the airport for an outbound flight as he had to go to London for business for a couple of days, so we said a quick hello and goodbye, and Anne and I went back to their house. That night we had a nice meal of salads and salmon, and we just hung out and watched ‘Beaches,’ which I’d never seen before; by the end, we were both in tears.
On Thursday, Anne and I took Phoebe, the doggy, for a walk. We later went shopping so that I had food to eat during the time they would be gone, and after shopping, we went for a drive around the island… literally around the whole island (it‘s only 78 sq km, or 30.1 sq mi). We drove around the perimeter for most of the way, but for some parts, it’s not possible to do so. We had to get back to the house so that Anne could teach an Economics lesson to a student she’s teaching, so I made myself scarce during that time. That night we went out for a fantastic meal at a local seafood restaurant called Christie’s. Peter returned that night, with the news that their ferry across to France scheduled for the next day had been canceled. Fortunately they were able to reschedule for a Saturday departure.
On Friday, I woke up fairly late, because the bed was sooooo luxurious and comfy, and well, I was tired. I worked on my cross-stitch during the day and hung out with Anne. That night we went for dinner at the restaurant in a nearby hotel, which was fantastic. We had drinks in the bar first, and I had a gin and tonic with Hendrick’s gin, which I now know is properly served with cucumbers, versus lemon or lime, as would be appropriate with other brands of gin. The meal was incredible, and for dessert, I had an Eton mess, which is indeed a mess of custard, meringue, and strawberries.
On Saturday, Anne and Peter took the ferry to France, from where they were driving to Geneva to see their daughter, Alexa, who I stayed with during my stay in Geneva. They were due to return on Friday, so for the next six days, it was just me and Phoebe.
The next six days were embarrassingly uneventful. To be honest, it was nice to have time to relax and do nothing. Each day, Phoebe and I went out for a walk, and I would cook my meals. It was fantastic to have access to such a fabulous kitchen and be able to cook good food! Many of the hostels I stay at have kitchens available, but for simplicity’s sake, the extent of my cooking usually extends to pasta with pesto, or macaroni and cheese. I had every intention of taking the bus into town so that I could rent a bike for a few days and cycle around the island… but several days in a row, by the time I had gotten up and ready for the day, it was mid-afternoon and I saw little point in paying to rent the bike for that day. When I finally did get around to attempting this small task, I couldn’t figure out the bus system. I went and stood at the bus stop, which was clearly marked ’BUS’ in huge letters on the ground; I stood waiting for half an hour, and when it finally did come, it drove right by me. Tremendously confused, I sought the warmth of the house, telling myself that I would try again the next hour, as the buses are scheduled only once an hour. Upon walking outside to try and catch the next bus, I was met by blustery, freezing weather, which made me walk right back indoors. So, over the course of those few days, I worked on my cross-stitch, played on the Wii Fit, cooked, and walked Phoebe. I intended to catch up on my blog, but felt hugely uninspired to write… which happens sometimes; this thing can be somewhat of a chore, though I really do love it. After a humdrum, but pleasant few days, Anne and Peter returned home late on Friday night.
On Saturday, we all hung around the house, and I continued work on my cross-stitch… I think that was the extent of the day, really.
On Sunday, we took Phoebe for a walk on the beach! We drove for about fifteen minutes to get to this beach, which was beautiful, and cold. To be precise, the exact temperature was: f**king freezing. Sunday night we had a fantastic meal prepared by Anne, and the rest consisted of chatting, cross-stitch, and watching ‘Team America.’
Monday was another quiet day. Anne had lessons, and I just took it easy. Tuesday marked the day of my departure, so I woke up early, as I am occasionally capable of, repacked my bag, and readied myself for the airport. Anne was too sweet, and bought me some Cadbury’s Mini Crème Eggs for my plane journeys as well as a thank you for watching the dog. In preparation for my 12:30PM flight, we left the house around 11:20, as the airport is a mere 10 minutes from their house… and probably everything else on the island! I said a goodbye to Anne, although I’ll be seeing her again in April, and made my way through security, ready for my flight back to London.

The beach!

Phoebe playing with a stick that Peter found for her.

A beautiful, but windy and freezing day.

Peter, Anne, and Phoebe. You can tell how bloody windy it is!!

And next up: SWEDEN

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4 responses to “Guernsey, UK (2.23.10 – 3.9.10)

  1. good luck with not drinking soda! I love the beach there, it’s just so different from what we have! I can’t wait to read about Sweden, Liz 😀

    • Thanks miss! 4 days strong so far… it’s going to be tough, but I really do want to stop, so I’m going to make it so.
      The beach was lovely, but it really was such a cold day. Freezing, with a wind chill that made it feel at the most -5C… ugh… it makes me appreciate my dessert living. 🙂
      Sweden up next!!! I just have to sit down and write, but I’ve got a couple other things I need to take care of first.

  2. I can not fathom how we have been friends for so many years and you have never seen Beaches. That is ridiculous. “Over the shoulder, boulder holder” come on! That is lyrical genius!

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