Alderney, Oh Beautiful Alderney!
Where do I begin… You know when you visit a place that actually doesn’t remind you of any other place you’ve been to, and so it becomes so special. This is what Alderney has become to me, special. My husband D grew up there, it’s his home; we had our wedding reception there, it’s very special to me.
I have this tiny little guilt inside of me, I should have been writing about my Beautiful Beirut first, but I haven’t been there in over a year and I guess I need to visit again to get all those emotions shaking, it helps me write.
Now back to Alderney.
Alright, when I first met my husband D, I had never heard of The Channel Islands before, yes true story, and forgive me for this (this is what it feels when someone has never heard of Lebanon haha)! I remember google mapping it to know where it is exactly, and I thought it was quite exotic, an island! And it’s closer to France than it is to the UK! This whole island talk made D look a lot sexier 🙂
There it is:
When you think island, you think tropical, hot weather, a killer tan and a frozen daiquiri! Well, not quite, Alderney is about other things, real cool things, well and a killer tan too! 😉
I’ve just come back from a 5 week holiday there, that’s why I’ve been off the radar, and I must say we were lucky with the weather, it must have rained 4 or 5 days out of those 5 weeks, and also maybe had a few cold nights.
Yes, rain and cold is expected in British summers.
And what makes the weather even more relatable to Alderney is the ability or actually disability to fly in or out of it due to the F word, no… not that one, Fog.
In Alderney, the F word is Fog!
If it’s foggy, you’re stuck. Yes, stuck, as in airplanes don’t take off and don’t land. And fog can be quite thick and low and annoying! We have missed flights in the past, some of them were connecting, very annoying occurrence.
And I’m not done with the flying experience. If you haven’t been in a trislander (Pic 1) or a dornier (Pic 2), then you haven’t really experienced flying!
The first time D took me there, he had explained the Aurigny Airlines “airplane” to me, because I am not the biggest flying fan. When I saw the airplane, I had a panic attack, and I restored my faith in God, The Virgin Mary and Jesus, on one condition, to get me there and back alive!
Alderney weather… I am still not finished with it.
In Beirut, we show off with skiing and swimming in one day during the cold months, okay, it is true, and I do show off. But in Alderney, you wake up to the sound of thunder and rain, and start thinking of indoor plans for the day, by the time you get out of bed, the sun is shining, you hit the beach, go home and while you shower, clouds come back, sometimes with a vengeance, rains for an hour then we’re back on track! You experience many seasons in one day, literally.
And when it’s nice and warm, beach isn’t always the best or only thing to do, Alderney is amazing for renting a bike or going on long walks. Especially when you get to watch shirtless gardeners work their abs off around a hydrangea! Another true story, I wanted to take a picture, but I am a married woman and rumour travels very fast! Everybody knows everybody. It’s a good thing I guess, but sometimes, not so much.
Among the many lovely sights you enjoy during your walk, one thing grabbed my attention, it’s called an “Honest Box”, people literally sell things outside their homes, usually homemade food like jam or relish, or freshly cut flowers from their garden, etc… but they don’t sit and wait, they just leave it outside, priced, and you can buy whatever you want and leave the money! How cool is that! To trust people and visitors to this degree, it’s just amazing!
And then you reach Victoria Street, where it’s completely normal to see a Classic Convertible Triumph Herald parked to the side of the road, this street with all those lovely little shops like the charity shop where people come and buy the most incredible things other people didn’t need anymore…
And the restaurants! The food is always enjoyable on the island, especially at this little French restaurant called Le Pesked (which means Fish in Brittany, it’s where the chef is from), if you visit Alderney, you must eat there! I mean how often do you visit a restaurant and order all the appetisers!? (Pictured below), we did that twice now!
Other restaurants are great too, the crab cakes are a must at Braye Beach Hotel, and the Yum salad is a must at Mai Thai! And any pub you walk into, the atmosphere is always welcoming!
If you’re too tired to walk back, you call a cab, you hop in, and, hang on, where’s the seatbelt? Yes, no seatbelts are needed on the island! If feels quite sensational when you actually get to drive without a seatbelt, it’s not there, or wrapped around the back of your seat, so it is there, but you don’t need to wear it, the idea itself is just sensational! You feel you’re breaking the law, but you’re actually not, which is the cool part!
Among the things I recommend doing: visiting the lighthouse.
And taking the train ride toot toot… The wagons are old London underground wagons! Come on!!! Who wouldn’t want to take a ride in that!
And what does everybody do in summer, go to the beach! You have to try all the beaches! The endless beautiful beaches!
Saye Beach: people pronounce it “soy”, beats me. And the camp side is right behind it, perfect spot!
Braye Beach (at low tide)
And Corblets (My favourite)
There are a few others, yes, incredible for the size of the island right??
A good time to visit Alderney is during it’s famous one week long festival called “Alderney Week”, that usually starts on the first Saturday of August (better check their website for dates), it’s the best time of the year, the island is buzzing with tourists and people who visit their families, lots of activities to do around the island, for all ages! D and I, with the help of our friend, won the Scavenger Hunt! Of course, because I was driving!! Without my seatbelt!
And M won 2nd place at the arts and crafts! Her drawing…. let’s just call it art!
Alderney week is always known for specific events like the cavalcade day, it happens on the first Monday, where a procession of floats and walkers start on High Street, all the way down Victoria Street and reach the Butes!
The man powered flights, where people build things that could maybe fly, and they compete one after the other to see whose “thing” flies further away from the edge. I must admit it’s a fun show. They all land in water and usually no one ever really flies. D and his friends have won it in the past, he reckons he can beat his own record one day! One would hope!
The Draft Raft Race, where people build rafts and compete to finish the course! Some rafts were ridiculously funny!
The famous Torchlight Procession
And of course, the grand finale: Fireworks!
But if I close my eyes and think of Alderney, I think of 2 things :
And the infinite amount of stars you see at night when you look up, no camera of mine could capture that, you have to go and see for yourself 🙂
I hope one day you get the chance to visit and I hope you find it as special as I do!