Monday, June 11, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 – St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, England – Mostly Cloudy 62F

Southampton England to St. Peter Port, Channel Islands: 101 Nautical Miles

Can’t explain it but no sleep last night.

We have a tour today: “Medieval St. Peter Port and Castle Cornet” at 10:45 and 11:00 PM.  It is a walking tour covering about 3-4 miles.

The Guernsey Islands have a population of about 60,000 and St. Peter Port is the largest city. 

 St. Peter Port, Guernsey (Small)

St. Peter Port from the Journey

This is a tender port so the ship will be using its lifeboats to ferry passengers to the town and back.

Tenders on their way (Small) One our way (Small) Lighthouse St. Peter Port (Small) UK Naval Ship (Small) Cornet Castle from tender (Small)

Views from the tender (five pictures above)

Before our tours, we explored the waterfront a bit.  We found free WiFi in the Tourist Information Office.

E at St Peter Port (Small)

Our tour assembled on the pier and soon we were on our way.  The tour took us through the waterfront area and then on to Castle Cornet (a 13th century structure now hosting a number of museums).  Elizabeth, our guide from Scotland, pointed out that there were 80,000 cars on the islands. 

There are a number of monuments and memorials on the waterfront.  The structure below – The Liberation Monument - is an elaborate granite sundial.  Every year on May 19, the shadow of the sundial lands on the various seat areas describing the liberation of the island from Nazi occupation.

Liberation Sundial (Small)

The Liberation Monument Sundial

The Holocaust Memorial commemorates the deaths of three women deported to Auschwitz.  The women were not from the island but were visiting to assist during the occupation.

Holocaust Memorial (Small)

Holocaust Memorial

The Deportation Monument commemorates the fact that 1003 islanders were deported to camps in France and Germany (13 died) during the occupation.

Deportation Monument (Small)

Deportation Monument

A German air raid killed 34 individuals who were part of a truck convoy transporting tomatoes to the island (picture below).

Monument for those Tomato truckers (Small) 

Thirteen islanders also perished in the Titanic disaster in 1912.  Their names are inscribed in the 13-sided plaque below.

Titanic Memorial (Small)

Titanic Memorial and me 1 (Small)

Titanic Memorial and me 2 (Small)

The Titanic Memorial (top three pictures)

Castle Cornet is on the other side of the starting point of our walking tour but can be seen across the harbor (below).

 Cornet Castle from waterfront (Small) 

Castle Cornet

Guernsey operates an ambulance boat.  This yellow boat (below) is quiet famous in the islands and will represent Guernsey in London (on the Thames) during the Queen’s Jubilee next week.

Guernsey Water Ambulalnce 1 (Small)

Our walking tour took us throw the streets bordering the waterfront.  The guide pointed out that today’s waterfront is on reclaimed land.   The picture below shows a town marker (marks the border) from Medieval times.

Medieval town marker (Small)

 St Peter Port Church (Small)  

The town church

The building in the center below currently is home to an indoor market.  The market was originally set up in the courtyard of the building but was eventually moved inside.

Not a church but a markeplace inside (Small) 

Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria, and Prince Albert all have Marinas named for them.  Prince Albert also has a statue (below)

Prince Albert Statue (Small)

Prince Albert Statue

The town has a number of public swimming pools situated at the foot of the hills in the picture below.  Not all of them are functional at the moment.

 Beverly Hills of St Peter Port (Small)

Swimming Pools at base of hills (center)

Victor Hugo lived in St. Peter Port while writing Les Miserables.  His home is at the top of the bill behind the city.

Victor Hugo House (Small)

Victor Hugo house (highest house in picture)

The last stop on our tour was the Castle Cornet – a fortification built by King John to protect the city from attacks from the sea.  The Castle was later used by the Germans during the occupation to fire on approaching vessels and planes.

Cornet Castle 1 (Small) Cornet Castle 2 (Small)

Approaching the Castle

Cornet Castle Canon (Small)

Cannons at the ready

Journey and Navy ship from Castle (Small) 

The Journey (and a British warship) from the Castle

 St Peter Port from Castle (Small)

St. Peter Port from the Castle

Journey and Ambulance Boat (Small)

The Journey and Ambulance Boat from the Castle

The tour wrapped up with refreshments in the Castle.  We had diet cokes and currant bread slathered with butter (naturally, this being the UK).  It was pretty good.  From there, we checked out the town a bit more and then headed back on the tender.  I got what will no doubt be the cover shot on my next photo album as we approached the Azamara Journey.

Returning to Journey on tender (Small) 

We had the evening mostly to ourselves.  After a great dinner (the gnocchi was sinfully good), we read (I am reading a mash-up of Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper) and relaxed. I also went to Melvyn’s second talk (slides were working this time).

We did not attend the show (we have seen Mac Frampton several times) but instead hung out in the Mosaic Cafe.  Jeff started his set pretty late so we could not stay too long – still we did catch some classic Barry Manilow tunes. 

Seas are a little choppy.

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