The number one highlight of Jersey is the War Tunnels built during the 5-year occupation by the Nazis during WWII. While the UK stood alone against the Nazis in the early stages of WWII, the let the Germans occupy the Channel Islands, as they had no military value, but the Germans built them up always thinking that the Allies would invade. The tunnels are very extensive, and it takes a good 2 hours to explore the underground and get a feel for the history. Even after D-Day, when the Allies invaded France, they bypassed the Channel Islands, even though the islanders heard the invasion and thought they were next to be liberated. In fact, they endured 5 years of occupation and were not liberated until May 9, 1945, so only when the war in Europe was over. The islanders endured starvation and other horrible events during the occupation and had to figure out how to survive, and many did not, being shipped to labor and concentration camps. Many left when they knew that they would be occupied and many tried to escape, but in the end, most of the people stayed and endured. The Nazis even changed the time zone to central European time zone, when they took over to match the time zones in France and Germany etc.
As I noted, Jersey is a hodgepodge and Visit Jersey says that it is Brit “ish”, so not quite, and very much a mix. I tried the Jersey ice cream, and it was good, but it does not beat the Italian gelato. I tried both soft serve and hard ice cream to give it a fair shot. Not bad, but not the best, sorry Jersey. I also saw two puffins along my travels, no not the real birds and there are apparently only a few nesting pairs here, but a giant statue built to try and support the return of the birds and trying to re-establish the population. Maybe they should try what Dr. Stephen Kress did and bring in a little decoy, but in the end, wandering around this island is wonderful to meet the people. I would not recommend renting a car, but using the public bus system which covers the island fairly well. Weekends offer less bus service, but it does operate, but timing is everything here. The island shuts down or should I say the stores do, not the restaurants, so if you are going to shop, do it on a weekday or a Saturday. Sundays, not much of anything is open.
The walk out to the Elizabeth Castle when the tide is out is very cool and if you get stuck when the tide comes in, fear not folks, they have a duck to take you back across, and it does run all day, land or sea. Other experiences include living history, a small zoo and if you want, you can do a rib seafari to see the islands from the water. I would have done it to see the seabirds, but there is only so much time. I wanted to thank Visit Jersey for the Island Pass, which I must acknowledge, as it allowed me into two of the castles, and the War Tunnels. I did pay for my bus pass, which for unlimited travel for 3 days, costs currently 22.50 pounds, so the more you travel around the island, the better the value and each ride with one transfer will run 2.50 I believe, so it depends on how much you want to explore. There are also many tour operators here that will provide tours of the island including a vintage train that takes you around, not a train on a track, but one on the streets. I would return and I would be better prepared. The flight from Heathrow is only an hour and there is a bus that takes you right from the airport to the city center Liberation Station bus terminal where you connect to all the other buses, or you can walk depending on the distance to your hotel.
So today, I end my time in Jersey and move on to Guernsey to meet their cows and people and see what life was like throughout its history. As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin