Picture the scene, it’s a gloomy afternoon and you are staring at your computer screen, transfixed by the jumbled letters and numbers that swirl before your eyes in a chaotic mess. Writers block has slithered it’s way into your mind and as much as you try you can’t form coherent sentences,drunk on exhaustion that has sapped away your strength to the point of no return. The children, your lovable babes seem to be having a competition to see who can ‘scream the loudest’ and despite your attempts to meditate, all you can hear is your beloved children telling each other to f**k off. If you weren’t so God damn exhausted you would be more inclined to be shocked at the profanities spilling out of their mouths, but somehow you don’t care, all you crave is a silent oasis away from the noise, where time stands still and you bathe in the tranquility of silence. An ad hovers across your screen, as though it had read your mind and offered its own version of a digital antidote; a weekend break in Guernsey it reads nonchalantly, framed by a visual of stunning blue waters, a mermaids paradise, the sand silky soft. Your eyes light up for the first time that evening, sprawling through archives dedicated to Guernsey, where the pirates roam among the mermaids and the puffins waddle through the quaint harbor towns. A lightbulb goes off in your mind and you realize that this is the sweet release that you had been craving, an adventure where a part mermaid and a unicorn at weekends could be free to live the best colourful version of herself in an ‘unspoiled paradise’.
You bundle the children in the car, excited by the premise of a weekend break in Guernsey. The drive to Condor Ferries is an adrenaline filled rush, as you race to be aboard the ferry that will smooth away your worries and strife, your tension dissipates. You almost laugh incredulously as you kick back and relax, the children surprisingly quiet for once, munching on their vegetarian paninis and slurping on their orange juices. You drink a mojito , sipping delicately by the open waters, as you look out at the navy blue waters that the ferry skims through at ease. And when the ferry lands at it’s destination, your eyes almost pop out of their sockets, as you greedily take in your very own treasure island, where the unicorns dance in the hidden coves until sunrise and the sirens sing from below the sea. They lure you into their aquatic kingdom with their tales of rainbow fish swishing through the expanse of coral, into a world where only happiness survives. Inky darkness is locked in a cage and thrown into a vault, and happy sprinkles take its place, an explosion of rainbow delight that makes you forget about the bills that are stacked up on your desk at home.
Your weekend break in Guernsey starts with a trip to Vazon Bay, which the locals call the land of the ‘sun worshipers’, where the tourists bathe in the warm golden glow of the sun beaming down upon them, overlooking the adventure seekers testing their mettle out at sea. There are the windsurfers waving at the people canyoning across the jagged rocks, while the kayakers are searching for puffins alongside the rocky coastline, oh but the sea is a tempestuous seductress. You weave in and out of the rocks, kids in tow as you play a game of hide and seek in the coves nearby, marveling at the beautiful puffins, a monochromatic delight. But it is your visit later that day to Candie Gardens that takes your breath away, a Victorian public flower garden, a green oasis of horticultural divinity, it soothes you. You wander into the Priaulx Library at the top of the gardens, home to an extensive collections of books, maps and documents, particularly relating to local history, it blows your mind. You lose yourself for hours in literary galore, the smell of old books is like lavender, it lulls you into peacefulness. Still you and the children are famished after all that exploring and you head into Nellie Gray’s Indian Restaurant, a plethora of spices and textures that come alive in your mouth. You have an egg and vegetable Birayani, a vegetarian classic that you wolf down with gluttonous hunger, it tastes like a slice of heaven.
Your hunger dissipates and your stomach gurgles with contentment as your bucket list continues; Castle Cornet is next, it has guarded the harbor for 800 years, protecting its love, the sea, from being bespoiled by rampant pirates pillaging the seas. The pirates still exist of course but they are jaded warriors, content to live out the rest of their days sipping beers by the beach and watching their loved ones dance in the sea in a choreographed water dance, amusing yet endearing at the same time. You explore the castle grounds with wonder, entranced by the feel of the rough ancient walls, abrasive yet majestic against your fingertips, while the puffins waddle nearby, chattering among themselves. The castle might be 800 years old but you are excited to find that your weekend break in Guernsey will continue to showcase historic delights as you are told that there is burial sites and ruins dating back to the Neolithic period, which followed the Paleolithic Period and preceded the Bronze Age.
10,000 years ago there were no mobile phones, no laptops, no electricity, it was simpler back then, but our ancestors brimmed with intelligence and bright ideas. As you delicately wander through the burial sites you learn how the Neolithic Age was characterized by the beginning of farming, the domestication of animals, the development of crafts such as pottery and weaving, and the making of polished stone tools, the remnants of which lie in open graves. You wander what it would have been like to live back then, without all your home comforts that you have taken for granted all your life. What would you have done for fun? How would you have gone on dates without swiping left and right? You shake the clouds of the past away and step into the present, as you make your way to your hotel room for the weekend, a luxurious paradise. The walls are rich tapestries of artistic presence and you imagine the artists who painted them, long fingered shaggy haired men, piercing green eyes, women with almond eyes and mocha skin, beautiful pearly white teeth, it brings a smile to your mind.
The weekend break in Guernsey flies by before you know it, a whirlwind of walking tours across the magnificent coastline, drinking the finest wines and eating all the vegetarian gastronomic specialities that you can find. You feel more alive than ever, invigorated by the mermaid kingdom and her surrounding castles, where history and the future collide in one magical island, you can taste the salt on your lips. The children are sated, calm at last, curly hair bunched up in scruffy buns, sand between their toes. You make angels in the sand, rough sketches in time, a tribute to the beautiful angels that long went to sleep, you remember them all. Together you hold hands and close your eyes, until the weekend is over and you are back home once more, an office drone who knew what it felt like to truly live again. You remember that moment and you hold it close to your chest, it gets you through the evening.
Have You Ever Been To Guernsey Before?
Please note this is a collaborative post with Condor Ferries but all thoughts (or should I say fictionalized stories) are my own. Also exciting news for my readers, you can get half price foot passenger day trips using my code DAYOUT2018 and you can find all the T&Cs here