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“Postcards” from the cruise “Islands on the Edge”, May 2019

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    “Postcards” from the cruise “Islands on the Edge”, May 2019

    This is a 'companion' thread to those photos of and from the ship Serenissima which I'm posting in her own thread in the Maritime section (this cruise started here).

    I had assumed I would find appropriate existing threads in "The World - Pilot Guides", but soon ran into problems at the first port of call at the island of Guernsey! Confusingly there were several possible threads for Guernsey as well as the Channel Islands as a whole. Moreover none had much content following the unfortunate issues with sharing via Photobucket. I was also realising that there would be other problems ahead as the cruise continued into Ireland and Scotland, where many threads were specific to particular past years, or were personal trip reports.

    Yeapp I know I once included places visited in the ship's thread, but that was when I wanted to convey what the whole Serenissima/Noble Caledonia cruise experience was like on what I had supposed would be a 'one-off, trip of a lifetime' kind of thing! How way off was that! So now (for this 5th cruise!) I'm just going to post what I'm thinking of as picture 'postcards' from the places visited, with minimal description , thus avoiding both an unmanageably huge ship's thread, and a case of 'obligatory trip report syndrom'’

    The postcards may lag behind the ship photos, but then postcards take ages in the post don't they!

    ‘Postcards’ from Guernsey

    The sun came out at St. Peter Port. So I was glad the exursions and activities were delayed to the afternoon!
    Rather than the town walking tour and visit to castle Cornet, i've chosen a bus tour round the island. Excellent informative guide explained things as we were going along, and always welcomed questions at any time, so at the actual stops we were free to do our own thing - I liked this arrangement.



      I'm going anticlockwide around the island in this small bus - another bus goes clockwise, and this avoids overwhelming tourist invasion and a pleasenter experience at places of interest.
      First stop - Pembroke Bay. These Loop-holed towers were built in the 1770s to defend against French attacks after France allied with the rebels in the American War of Independence.

      When times and economic situations change and you think of former industries that employed people, you are probably more familiar with images of heavy industry wastelands ...but we drove past many commercial greenhouses in various stages of neglect and abandoment. Perhaps this one has fared better than many.



        Continuing to Fort Hommet headland which has Napoleonic era defences on a site of earlier fortifications. There is a Martello Tower from 1804 and other Victorian additions.

        Concrete structures from the WWII occupation included bunkers that were stripped of guns and fittings after the liberation, and buried to restore the landscape to pre-war appearance. However one casement was excavated in 1993 and turned into a museum.

        Loved the rocks and coastal scenery!



          At Pleinmont headland - battery Dolmann

          Some from the bus followed one of our own bird-watching experts, whilst others wandered off to see more German forifications - impressive massive concrete structures which I might have been drawn to explore with several days staying in the area - but I'd found a place to sit, absorb my surroundings, and attempt to capture the feeling of being there in a view looking out towards Les Hanois lighthouse.



            The bus turns inland - lots of cows and green pastures.



              Our last stop - The Little Chapel. For sure it would make a pretty postcard ...but here's another with someone for scale!

              Read more about it here:-


                A choice of three more postcards of the Little Chapel to finish with. It is adorned with pebbles and shells - and lots of broken china. I kept thinking "pakarang will be reminded of Wat Arun".

                Simply some steps.


                  What an amazing and truly interesting report from places I have never seen before. I have to agree with you that especially the rocks and coastal scenery is particularly wonderful. I can imagine myself sitting down there with a hot cup of coffee and a fresh croissant. Weather permitting naturally.

                  Old fortifications such as those above are always so exciting to explore, remembering them from my own childhood around Rørvik. Lots of them there, many places. My later brother loved scaring the be-Jesus out of me in them. He thought it was fun, me not so much.

                  The little chapel does indeed remind me about the composition of What Arun! The use of especially blue colour is especially pointing me towards Bangkok too.
                  With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

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                    Good concept for a new type of trip report! Postcard #3/2 interested me most and i found out that tomatos were for many years the most important economic factor in Guernsey. Today the competitors in Spain and Netherlands seem to be too strong and the business is shrinking. I found this one:

                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                    • Ralf__
                      Ralf__ commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Let me just comment my own post and excuse me, all my British friends, but i can't hold back this suggestion. If we will have a "Cold Brexit", this might be an opportunity to start a revival of the "Guernsey tom"!!

                    • Seagull
                      Seagull commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oh I'll go along with that Ralf, so it’s probably to Thijs you should be making your excuses! wasntme
                      Just one of the interesting snippets of information from that excellent local bus guide. It started me thinking about tomatoes in my childhood, for I can clearly recollect my Mum, serving sliced tomato with lettuce in a summer salad, EMPHASISING that they were GUERNSEY tomatoes - it was probably a special occasion and she'd probably paid more for them. By this time my deceased paternal grandfather's greenhouse retained only a couple of tomato plants and was more my exciting summer play place ...and rapidly starting to resemble some of those abandoned greenhouses I saw on Guernsey!

                    ‘Postcards’ from Tresco, Isles of Scilly

                    I couldn't resist making one of the photos I took in the gardens on Tresco look more like a postcard!

                    In Serenissima's thread you saw where the zodiacs landed, and this seat with beach view was nearby.

                    The walk towards the gardens passes the helicopter landing area.



                      It isn't only trees and flowers - the red squirrel was introduced to the island where it is free from mainland predators.

                      The golden pheasant, also called Chinese pheasant, had also been introduced to Tresco.



                        The sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Garden had been established in the 19th century by the then proprietor of the island, Augustus Smith, in the grounds of his house near the abbey ruins. The area was originally barren land.
                        On this my second visit, it was especially interesting to get a guided tour by the present Head Gardener, who was also a mine of information on the layout and historical development of the gardens (something which tends to interest me even more than individual plant species), as well as telling us about his own botanical expeditions abroad.

                        Being in a small goup at relaxed pace there was plenty of time to photograph plants I found visually appealing as we went along, leaving me more free time to explore and enjoy a coffee in the tea room later.



                          To end my visit on a more maritime topic, I returned to the Valhalla Museum of ship figureheads and other items, most of which came from vessels which were wrecked around the Isles of Scilly.