Officially Jersey belongs to the Duchy of Normandy (The Queen of England), in an ancient settlement stemming way back from the 13th Century when the King of England controlled the Norman region of France. Jersey is formally a “British Crown Dependency”, an independent self-governing democracy and is autonomous from The United Kingdom in every way apart from military defence. The Bailiwick of Jersey, as it is officially titled, like its neighbouring Channel Islands; The Bailiwick of Guernsey, Sark and Alderney, are not in any way governed by the United Kingdom or Great Britain. The islands relationship is a special one, with their only tie being the Duchy of Normandy, The Queen, “The Crown in right of Jersey”.
To call Iain “English” would be an insult. If you were to ask a local they would say “I’m a Jerseyman, I am not English”. Despite their nationality being British, Jerseymen and women are proud to say they are something else entirely, completely unique from the Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Even the culture here is different. With its close proximity to France – you can pop over for dinner if you are fortunate enough to have a boat – the culture here is a fusion of French and English in a much more idyllic location, with a relaxed seaside vibe and an incredibly diverse mix of friendly smiling people; farmers, bankers, fishermen even surfers!
Time with Mel and Chris is all about indulging in our families favourite past time: food. So we ensured their bellies were always full of Jersey’s finest cuisine. Being surrounded by water it is no wonder that Jersey is pretty good at Seafood, like delicious Thai infused whole Black Bream at the popular Barking Dog Café by the sea in St. Aubins, fish and chips at the Crab Shack or fresh Mackerel personally caught and cooked by yours truly.
The best way to understand the incredible tides here is by taking a walk out to Seymour Tower with experienced guide Andrew Syvret, a local geologist whose enthusiasm and knowledge of the island is astounding. Due to the fast moving nature of the tides walking out to the tower on your own is reckless and dangerous, with many people becoming trapped as the water quickly surges around them. Not even horses can outrun the water as two riders realised when they timed their visit wrong. Stricken for safe high-ground they marooned themselves on Seymour Tower; it then took the emergency service two days to get the horses down after they became too frightened to descend over the rocks. We learnt so much about the ecology and geology of the sea on this walk and were able to see the island from a whole new perspective amidst the mars-like rock formations, seaweed and oyster beds, almost two kilometres from the urban shoreline where the sea should be.
After spending five weeks in Jersey Treeny quickly realized why the government has created such complex rules: Jersey is just so darn beautiful and such a desirable place to have a family. Who wouldn’t want to live and grow up where the climate is warmer and drier than England; there is a small town feel with a cosmopolitan vibe; everything is “just around the corner”; and most attractive of all the sea and the beach are only a stones throw away.
Next stop we catch a ferry over to Europe to explore the French countryside in Brittany…
Click here to view our photos of the beautiful island of Jersey.
FUN FACT: The land area of Jersey is a teeny 119.5km². To give you an idea of just how small it is, you could fit the island 101 times into the area of Sydney, 1091 times into England and a whopping 64,368 times into Australia!!
Leiana and Danny's Wedding
Also, a big thanks to Mel and Chris for hosting us again!