Trace the French 'Family' Connection

Trip Start Oct 29, 2012
Trip End Nov 27, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Channel Islands,
Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 1 Jersey, Channel Islands

We arrive in Jersey to an island that has an interesting history of invasion from the Vikings, French and English. Today street signs are in both French and English and many of the locals speak both languages.

Jersey is home to Mark's maternal ancestors for some 500 years. We do a bit of digging around and come across the AMY surname in an old menswear shop that is named Amy & Son established 1880. Whilst a rare surname in Australia, Amy is in fact very common throughout Jersey.

Most of our day is spent in the ancient shopping precinct and the marvelous Vegetable & Flower market. Many people come from London, Paris and beyond each weekend to shop in Jersey (due to low taxes and no GST), so there are shoppers everywhere. The locals are keen to chat and many do not expect to see/hear Australians in this part of the world. The weather is bizarre with heavy showers mixed throughout the day with sunshine. We drop into a little French patisserie only to be great by a one minute hailstorm show.

The colour of the market with its somewhat unusual flowers and fruits is a sight to behold. We had the feeling of being in a medieval European city with people trading their wears in the busy market atmosphere - a simple yet highlight if the Jersey trip.

Dinner was great. Obviously seafood was called for with even Mark partaking in some local fish. Of course the highlight was the dessert menu! What a great finish to our first day in the Channel Islands.

Day 2

Despite the weather turning for the worse, we head on down to the pier to capture the Elizabeth Fort in all it's glory. Built as a garrison, this huge fort is built on a massive rock slab out in the beachfront. Photos were at a premium The wind was so strong that it nearly blew us off the pier.

A visit to the Jersey Museum was well worth the effort. The story of Nazi Occupation and the aforementioned historic battles for this island, is well documented. The highlight was the Jersey's proclamation to support Oliver Cromwell during the Reformation with the latter's signature. Further, proclamations with King Charles II and Queen Victoria's signatures is on display behind bullet-proof glass: Fascinating!

Our two day trip to Jersey comes to an end. Despite the strange weather a most enjoyable experience all round.
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