Monday 23 May 2011

Guernsey and Sark

During the night the MS FRAM was drifting nearby the Channel Island of Guernsey. The island is a British Crown Dependency in the English Channel off the cost of Normandy. The name of the Channel Island is of Viking origin. The second element of Guernsey `ey` is Old Norse for the Island, the first element is uncertain, traditionally meaning “green”, but perhaps rather representing a Viking personal name, possibly Grani`s. Today Guernsey lives off Financial services, such as banking, fund management, and insurance. Tourism, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, especially freesias, have been declining. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular offshore centre for Private equity funds.
At 8 am we started with the transfer from the ship to town. It was still windy but all passengers were brought safely to a floating bridge in the harbor of St. Peter Port, the main city of the island. To excursions were offered. One was a bus round tour mainly on the southern part of the island and the other one was a walking tour in the city of St. Peter Port and to the Castle Cornet. Both excursions took place in really good weather conditions.

In the afternoon just before 2 pm the MV FRAM reached the nearby tiny island of Sark. The island has a population of about 600. The economy depends primarily on tourism. Sark consists of two main parts, Greater Sark and Little Sark to the south. Again we had to use our fantastic Polar Cirkle Boats. The landing side is a tiny natural harbor with high cliffs to all sides. Tractor-busses drove the passengers up to the village. Many guests went aboard a horse drawn carriage for a tour of the island. There are no cars on the island, only superb scenery. Some guests enjoyed an independent cycle tour to see Sark`s parish church, the beautiful garden of Seigneurie and the spectacular coastal scenery with numerous bays .

It was a particulary nice visit on Guernsey and Sark.