Starting the day with a full English breakfast is always a treat. And so with a full stomach I vacated the room while M, recovering from a recent cold, remained behind to relax in bed in a room with curtains drawn tight and a Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the handle. Outside of the hotel I took a few moments to enjoy the view out over the St Brelades ‘ bay. For those with a love of sand and of heat – this indeed is a very worthy summer destination.
Crossing the road I was able to look back towards the hotel. A four star hotel owned by the chairman of a premier league football club and recently renovated and upgraded to include a health centre and an impressive swimming pool – I felt the booking, this time of the year, to be a bargain. A double room in a four star hotel for only 65 pounds a night including breakfast – yes that is value for money.
Saint Helier is the capital of Jersey with a population of 33,000 and it didn’t take more than ten minutes to arrive there in the Ford Fiesta. The difficulty, as is the case with most towns and cities of Europe on a Saturday morning, was to find somewhere to park the vehicle. Most of the car parks required a season ticket of some sort – not something your average tourist is going to have available. I found a multi-story, parked the car and proceeded to wander through the streets of the island’s capital. After the storms of the previous week I was happy to be able to walk and to observe a city without the rain and without the wind. The town didn’t seem remarkable in any way, except perhaps for the sense of class and order that will always percolate through the alleys and squares of any super wealthy town.
After paying the computer in the car park the required fee I drove back to the hotel to pick M up and begin out island tour. We headed east and parked the car on a coastal allotment that was a ten minute walk from Mont Orgueil castle. Built in the early 12th century the castle’s purpose was the defence of the island and it was later used as the Island’s prison. We gave consideration to a tour of the castle but a little cafe called Cafe Louise in Gorey village caught our attention. And so we sat down in the little cafe and ordered our soft drinks and also ordered a bite to eat.
We then took a walk through the village and a little art and craft shop caught our attention. This was artist Jane James’ second shop on the island. And so we entered the little shop and on this sunny and calm day a most extraordinary change in the weather occured. As quick as flipping a light switch the weather changed from bright and sunny to dark and gray and the village was a chorus of ice crystals as the hail fell from the skies.
Thankfully the artist allowed us to remain in the shop until the mini storm had passed. M bought some souvenirs in appreciation of the lady’s kindness and we recommenced our journey around the island. We decided to visit the Eric Young Orchid foundation. Neither of us has a particular passion for orchids – but there is no reason why vacant time, while away on tour, cannot be given to such an unusual attraction. For those with a passion for the orchid – this place would be a Disney Land of sorts to be sure.
Strong scents and stunning colours and beautiful designs of nature. Such variety and beauty awaits the visitor to this shrine of the orchid. M and I decided on a little photo competition. As we rotated from flower to flower taking photographs with our phones, I gave some reflection to our relationship. I had a love for her deep and mysterious, bright and sweet. I cared for her immensely and felt sure we could have a life together once our differences were resolved.
Finished with the orchids we drove back to St Brelades bay via St Heliers and continued past the hotel until we came to the Marquandeer Inn. It had been a busy day and so refreshments were ordered and we spent a good hour comparing our pics and deciding whose would be best. Ofcourse we each voted our own to be winners and so that was a bit of fun and a nice ending to the daylight hours of our Saturday in Jersey.