Last weekend I returned to Alderney, the island of my original inspiration for The Riduna Series. I’m always excited and rarely sleep well the night before a visit. We arrived alongside another couple for whom the experience was a new one and I couldn’t help but feel a trifle concerned for them as we stepped down from Joey, the Aurigny Trilander, to be greeted by strong gusts of icy wind. In fact, by the time we had reached The Harbour Lights Hotel and ventured out for our first stroll, the air was filled with sleety snow. brrrrrr (Even Alderney has not been spared from this severe and enduring winter)
First we trudged down to Braye Beach and breathed in the sea air, or at least tried to as it rushed through us, but the beauty of the bay surmounted the weather and we were still glad to be back. Next we headed up to the town of St Anne and after browsing along the shop fronts and into the Information Centre we bumped into an old friend, who suggested we acted more sensibly and retreat into The Georgian. Once in the warmth of the pub, a bubbling hub of island life, we relaxed and caught up on all the news and gossip, meeting another friend on her way out, too.
That evening we dined at The Harbour Lights. The duck I had was divine. My husband had onion soup followed by Gnocci, which he enjoyed too, although he was amused by the name. Compliments to the chef!
We slept soundly, but our hopes for better weather were dashed by warnings of gale force winds. Actually the
se didn’t materialise, but it was certainly very windy. Not being people to be put off by inclement weather (once we spend a week camping in the Cornish rain in August and on another occasion paddled in Wellington Boots in a February Yorkshire sea) we donned an extra layer under our waterproofs, though it barely rained as it happened, and headed towards the old harbour, walking along Crabby Bay, through to Platte Saline and up the road beside Fort Tourgis.
It wasn’t hard to imagine ship wrecks on the treacherous rocks surrounding the island of Burhou, the puffin sanctuary to our left. We had hoped to take a boat trip around the island. Maybe next time. We took the long route, passed the path to Fort Clonque (a place a group can hire as an unusual tidal holiday home) and round by the airport, before pausing for lunch at The Marais Hall, where the fish soup is an institution..a must at some point during our stay. Delicious!
It was Friday and an island friend had booked a meal at The Braye Chippy two weeks in advance, the best fish and chips anywhere in the world and certainly the most ambient atmosphere, served with a smile. Unfortunately this thriving business is now up for sale, a gold mine to the person who snaps it up, because the ladies, who have run it so smoothly in recent years, are moving on to pastures new. Anyone interested?
There’s a video on Diana Jackson’s Author page on Facebook. Why don’t you pop over and say hello:-)
Monday’s post ~ Here Comes the Sun:-)