Next morning we arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey, about 7am. We had to be transferred by ship’s tender to the shore from our anchorage point.

ST Peter Port from the sea

ST Peter Port from the sea

We had booked a tour of the island, so were off the ship quite early and found our coach and driver/guide, Graham waiting for us.  He was an excellent guide who not only showed us the interesting sights but told us about the history and customs of the island and the notable families who lived there.

Many of the older houses were built in the old farmhouse style with a central front door, five windows upstairs and three downstairs and the fronts clad in stone. Originally the farms had lean-to glass houses in which they grew grapes and figs, some for export. In the 1950s and 1960s tomato growing was very productive and large glass houses were built to accomodate them. When the UK joined the Common Market in the 1970s, the main customers for their crops, the super markets,  started buying the cheaper (subsidised) crops from the EU and it was no longer viable for them to compete with the higher shipping costs and no subsidies. The Channel Isles are not in the EU.

There are strict rules on house buying. Some houses are only for sale to Islanders, these are at the “cheaper” end of the market, about £400,000 for a three bedroom semi!  Non Islanders pay from £1million upwards.

First stop was “the little church” which was built by monks.

The Little Church

The Little Church

The altar in the little church

The altar in the little church

The mosaic decoration is made from broken ceramics provided by Wedgewood.

Next stop was at Pearl bay where they served refreshments and sold souvenirs, pearls, Guernsey sweaaters etc .

Our final stop was on the cliff top where we saw a replica gun emplacements and tunnels used by the Occupying forces during WW2. Everywhere there were reminders of that sad time, memorials to those killed, Islanders, Jews and foreign nationals, the deportees and celebration memorials to Liberation Day.

It is a green and pleasant land and plenty more places to visit on a longer stay.

I looked in a supermarket and found prices more expensive for everyday items, but cheaper on luxury goods (no VAT)

There is no road tax, instead they add tax to petrol, but it is still cheaper than in UK mainland. There is a speed limit on all roads of 35 mph for private vehicles and 25mph for commercial vehicles. All vehicles have to display insurance details on the windscreen.

We returned to the ship for lunch and then had a quiet meander along the sea front before returning to get ready for the Captains welcome party and the formal dinner.

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