Flying into Jersey
Jersey seemed like an interesting place to visit. Most tourist places are closed in winter (Mid-Oct to Mid-May) and peak season is July – August. I decided that if I did go, it’ll be in May or Oct to avoid any crowds. The only reason I would go in peak season would be for better chances of sun than on mainland UK.
For me, at the start/end of season is better as it means that the beaches were empty for long walks and I could feel the sand between my toes and not encountering hoards of tourists flocking. I could walk for a while without even having to open my eyes and feel the light wind against me, while hearing the splashes of the waves.
Jersey is a short – 35 minute flight from London – that’s half the time it takes me to get to work. Booking early, during off-peak season meant that it was cheaper than having to take the train to Portsmouth and a ship to Jersey – a very long trip. I was on a small plane with about 50 passengers on board. As the plane lifted, I could feel myself pressed in against the seat. As it approached Jersey head on, I could feel it turn left, and then right to align itself with the runway. The size of the Island was very visible. This is the first Island I was about to visit in my life.
The immigration was a breeze – I barely even remember anyone asking me for my passport on arrival – it was that quick. No fancy building, just get off the plane, walk through a small building to get luggage and you’re out. It kind of reminds me of traveling that I’ve read about in the 50s when flying was not complicated.
There is a main hub called St Helier where most of the people live and transportation on bus is limited to parts of the Island. But to see places quickly without having to spend extra days (hence more money on food and hotels) we decided to rent a car. In fact, we saw another couple had their rental car delivered to the hotel as they eventually realized they can’t get around easily or quickly and the island has much more to offer than can be explored on foot (or public transport). The parking is free during these off-peak periods and plentiful which is a big plus.
We took the car straight to St. Brelade’s Bay – the main beach, and it was nearly completely empty, hardly any tourists in sight! It was like my own private beach. The sun was out but not intense. I could feel the breeze pushing the sea water closer to my feet as I closed my eyes to feel the soothing waves.
I saw a flock of seagulls walking parallel to us in the water. I wanted nothing more than the day to go on just like this. I was happy, in a place where there was almost zero interaction needed- not that I mind people but a secluded and beautiful place like this you just want to be left alone lost in your thoughts, bare feet in perfect temperature of water walking along hubby. We spent the good part of afternoon there as neither of us wanted the day to end.
In the evening, we went for Halal food at – guess what it was …. DONER. There was a shop called Doner King in Cheapside, and an Indian restaurant called Mehmoods. We tried both during our trip- and thankfully at Doner King we had options of chicken burgers and pizzas as well. Vegetarian options are readily available around the Island, including more commercial places like Pizza Express – which I managed to avoid.
As sunset was approaching, my husbanded wanted to see if we could strike “Dark sky/Milky way”. I didn’t realise what it would entail. He found the most remote parking space he could find in the North – that meant driving in tight rough roads to arrive at Le Câtel De Rozel. It was site of a promontory Iron Age fort that now stood quiet and isolated, surrounded by the sea on three sides. As darkness approached it seemed like the entire island was about to be swallowed in darkness. There were no streetlights, the moon wasn’t visible, and it seemed like I could see death approaching. I had to use my nag card to call my husband back to the car and convince him with tears to get us back to civilization. The Dark Sky remains in the bucket list for now.