Cycling around Jersey (2009)

Having somehow neglected to update this blog for five years, I decided to start writing again by publishing a post about Jersey, the biggest of the British Channel Islands, a place that I visited in the summer of 2009. This sort of as a warm-up for writing about upcoming travels.

Jersey is by no means a big travel destination, and I’ve heard very different opinions about it as a travel destination depending on whom I talk to. For me it was a really positive experience and a lot of the good memories came through exploring the island by bike. That is a much better option than renting a car, you don’t get the feel of the small country roads driving and the island is so small that you probably feel like having seen it all really fast behind the wheel.

Maybe the best way of presenting my view on what kind of people probably would enjoy people and what not is through a list:

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT

  1. If you are interested in history, you can see the traces of the WWII German occupation everywhere
  2. The Durrell Wildlife Park, one of the finest I’ve ever visited
  3. The ethnic mix of Jersey / British / Portuguese / French
  4. Wonderful island to explore by bike. Hilly, beautiful, no challenge to ride around the island in a day
  5. If you watched Bergerac

FIVE REASONS TO MAYBE SKIP IT

  1. Children will love the Wildlife park and maybe a beach. A week at Jersey could prove challenging.
  2. If you don’t want to be reminded of WWII in every corner (the island is really fortified)
  3. If you want to do long hikes without meeting people
  4. If you want to party party
  5. If you hated Bergerac
Flying dog
This dog knows how to levitate, but the owners aren’t impressed!
Fish Farm Bunker
Way’s of reusing the German bunkers part I: make it a Fish Farm
Bunker restaurant

Ways of reusing the German bunkers part II: Make it a cafeteria & restaurant
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German range-finding tower, strangely not re-used. Too much bother to tear down.
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German range-finding tower rebuilt first as a Maritime Traffic Control Tower but nowadays actually rented out as a very exotic hotel room.
Scooby Doo
Locals dressed up traditionally for a night out 🙂
Gorey Castle
Grouville Bay and Gorey Castle (“surprisingly” with German lookout-towers camouflaged on the roof)
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The cycling blogger happy after the first lap around Jersey
Elisabeth Castle
Elisabeth Castle outside of the main town St Helier can be accessed by foot on low tide
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The lazy way to get to Elisabeth Castle is to take the vehicle that fits all tides. Goes on wheels or as a boat.
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And what is this? Well, it is of course a snuff box, used by the good Officer’s at Elisabeth Castle. A must for every gentleman’s home.
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The Germans had made some range-finding listings for the coastal gun at the harbor entrance. It was never needed, Jersey was liberated only at the end of the war without fighting.
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This was what the islanders had to face after the bloodless occupation. Occupying some British territory was of course seen as very valuable propaganda.
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La Corbière is the famous lighthouse at the south-west tip of Jersey. Again reachable by low tide, but when the tide warning siren goes, you really have to walk back. It was amazing to witness how fast it again became surrounded by the sea.
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A happy lighthouse fanatic having seen yet another of his favorite lighthouses.
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Here comes the tide. A lighthouse keeper once drowned trying to save a tourist, who was to late walking back and caught by the tide.
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Some coastal gun saved from the sea and returned to the original position.
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Batman in Durrell Wildlife Foundation
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Mongoose guards at the Durrell Wildlife Foundation
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Gorilla feeding time coming up.
Celebes Crested Macaques
These nice creatures are Celebes Crested Macaques and it took me a while of searching to learn that fact.
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Nice chilling position for an Orangutang
Jersey War Tunnels
The Jersey War Tunnels is a huge underground WWII military hospital now turned into a museum
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All historical sites in Jersey are (thankfully) not connected to WWII. There are many 4-6000 year old Neolithic dolmens at the island. This one is La Pouquelaye de Faldouet in the Parish of St Martin.
Gorey Castle
Sunset at Gorey Castle
Jersey shoreline
Coastline on in the north close to Bonne Nuit Bay
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6 Comments

    1. I think the overall distance around on small roads was under 60 km, but I took a day stopping at interesting spots. I used mainly small country roads around the coast and rented a hybrid bike for it. You could probably do the ride in 3-4 hours, but then there is so much to see on the way.

      1. Thanks. After seeing your pictures, I do not think speed would be what I was going for. There is a lot to see and I wouldn’t want to just put my head down and blast right past it.

  1. Hello
    Your fotos remind me of a great holiday on Jersey 25 years ago. Is there any way I can get your permission to use the one with the range-finding tower “not re-used” on my Facebook profile?
    Best Regards
    Jørgen Gabel

  2. Hi Martin,

    Thank you very much. That’s extremely kind of you.
    I shall, of couse, link to your blog.
    These watchtowers almost took my breath away and reminded me of the statues on the Easter Islands.

    Best Regards,
    Jørgen

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