Walking the Isle of Jersey

By Dan Friesen on July 29, 2016

It’s been a fast-paced few days of planning here in France.

Looking over the English Channel from La Fret Pt

Looking over the English Channel from La Fret Pt

We have actually been on the island of Jersey, just off the coast of Normandy, for the past couple of days. Roger and I suspect that Jersey will become one of the unexpected jewels of this program.

Corbiere Lighthouse-start of rails to trails path

Corbiere Lighthouse-start of rails to trails path

Most Americans don’t know what to expect from the Channel Islands. Jersey is a protectorate of the UK, but just a few miles off the coast of France. Jersey and Guernsey are not part of the same political entity – both have separate governments. Though Jersey has its own completely autonomous government, it must provide 30 “volunteers” each year to serve in the British armed forces to quality for the “protectorate” status.

Panoramic view of St Brelade's beach

Panoramic view of St Brelade’s beach

They have been basically free and autonomous for 8 centuries, but are “loyal to the Duke of Normandy”, that is, whomever sits on the throne of England. Jersey has a higher per capital income than anywhere else in the UK. And it’s a place of rich surprises; dolmen tombs dating back 5,000 years, connections to Vikings, to William of Normandy – 7th Duke of Normandy, to our own state of New Jersey, and on and on and on.

Granite quarry en route to St Brelade's Bay

Granite quarry en route to St Brelade’s Bay

We spent much of the past two days with an enthusiastic local guide named Remi – a Jersey citizen through and through, and an unstoppable fount of fun and knowledge who filled us to the brim with a cornucopia of all things Jersey as we drove the island and scoped out 4 different walk possibilities.

All for tonight, but I hope to be posting more regularly going forward.

Signing off from the Channel Island of Jersey!