Sunday, November 20, 2022

Authentic Island Tour, Jersey

On Friday, I took a seven-hour bus tour around the island with Waverly Coaches.  The Authentic Island Tour was £27,50 (€32 / $34) and it was well worth it. 

The coach picked me up at my hotel in Saint Helier and in seven hours we drove all around Jersey, checking out all twelve parishes.

St. Matthew's, also called the Glass Church, is an Anglican Church in Saint Lawrence parish.  The unassuming church was built in 1840. 

In 1934, it became the "Glass Church" when a French glassmaker was commissioned to decorate the church. 

The moulds used were destroyed after they completion so there is nothing similar in world by artist René Lalique.  

Battery Lothringen is a WWII artillery battery at the top of Noirmont Point in Saint Brélade parish.  It was built in 1941 by the Germans to defend against the Allies when the Channel Islands were occupied.

There's a memorial stone for the men and women of Jersey who perished in the war from 1939 - 1945.

The site overlooks la Tour de Vinde that the British built in 1915.

Janvrin's Tower, also known as Janvrin's Tomb, was built by the British in 1808 on Île au Guerdain in Portent Bay in Saint Brélade Parish.

The beach at Saint Brelade's Bay is one of the island's most popular.  Even in November, it felt so good to be on the beach.

Next to the bay is the St. Brelade Parish Church.  The church dates back to around the 12th century.  

Next to the church is the medieval Fisherman's Chapel.

The Corbière lighthouse was built in 1874.  There's a causeway from the shore to the lighthouse at low tide.

Near the lighthouse is a sculpture commemorating the 1995 rescue of the Saint-Malo catamaran.  On 17 April 1995, a French catamaran was sailing form Jersey to Sark when it hit a rock.  Nearby ships came to the aid and all 307 passengers and crew were rescued.

There are also more German defensive positions that once made up the Atlantic Wall during the war.

The seven-story German observation tower was converted in 2004 to the island's only self-catering holiday accommodation.

The Channel Islands Military Museum is housed in a German bunker.  We only drove past the museum as it's not one of the tours designated stops.  It wouldn't have mattered as the museum closed in November and won't open for the tourist season until April.

In Saint Ouen parish we stopped at Jersey Pearl for a lunch break.  They café was quite good and there was enough time for a short walk out to the beach.  

I didn't have any interest in buying pearls but one interesting thing was a replica of the pearl jacket and dress worn by Princess Diana which sold at a charity auction in 1996 for $151,000.   

After lunch it was on to Grosnez Castle on the north-west corner of the island.  It was built in 1330 to provide local farmers with protection fro the French at the start of the Hundred Years' War.  It has been in ruins since the mid-16th century.

At the St. Ouen parish church is a memorial for Louisa Gould who during the Nazi occupation, took in a hid an escaped Russian POW for 18 months.  

She was caught and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, 90 km (56 miles) north of Berlin.  She was gassed and died in 1945 just two months before the camp was liberated.

In 2010 she was posthumously honoured as a British Hero of the Holocaust.  Her story was the inspiration for the film Another Mother's Son.

We later stopped off at Gorey Harbour, in Saint Martin parish, for a tea break.  Above the village is the Mont Orgueil Castle, also simply called Gorey Castle, which was built from 1204 to 1450.  It was the island's main fortress until Elizabeth Castle was built in 1594.  

I suppose that no visit to Jersey is complete without coming across a Jersey cow.  This tour ticked that box too.

I was surprised that we got to see as much as we did.  There were a few times that the tour guide provided some cultural references which were lost on me.  

I did have to chuckle when one elderly English guy asked me what my native language is.  He seemed shocked when I said 'English'.  Good times.

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