11 Aug 2015
Although we were moored at Guernsey today, we opted to visit the Isle of Sark simply for a relaxing, beautiful day. They have no cars, no streetlights, and sightseeing is by a romantic horse and carriage ride.
Boy was that a bust. They crammed us into a tender boat, a bus, a ferry, another bus, and finally to uncomfortable open-air carriages with no cover at all. On a seven-hour tour we got zero information or food or drink. That is unheard of. Plus it rained the entire time.
However, we try to be cognizant that our worst day often is better than many other people’s best day.
The smile is because Allyn made me.
10 Aug 2015
We have spent the last couple of days in Honfleur, in Northern France. It is a beautiful, quaint, seaside town on the English Channel. This whole area is about tourism, centering on Normandy and WW II.
There are many museums and galleries here because for centuries painters have settled here to paint the local beauty.
If you like mussels, this is the spot for you.
07 Aug 2015
Finally, on the last day of segment one, we had a beautiful day. Jersey is a beautiful island with lots of history and quite a unique political situation.
It is independent, being a British Crown possession, called a Baliwick. It has open trade with the EU, but is not a member of the EU.
Nor is it a member of the UK, but uses their currency and passports. If it needs defense, Britain protects them.
The largest of the Channel Islands, it is closer to France than England. It has significant French customs and names, yet 90% of the people here have British background and only 1% French.
Our guide Michelle Hervieu was terrfic. Here she is explaining La Pouquelqaye de Faldouet a 6,000 year old grave sight.
This is the path to La Pouquelqaye de Faldouet.
Even the market is lovely here.
06 Aug 2015
I, for one, never heard of Portland, England before this trip. Today we docked there. It is located on the south coast of Great Britain towards the middle. I was thinking of investing in a bus company.
We took a car around a visited the countryside with its pastoral views.
There were several old, charming towns; quaint, but quiet.
The beach reminded me more of New Jersey and Brooklyn than Europe.
We’re going to miss Arlene. She seems to be picking up some of Allyn’s habits.
03 Aug 2015
Belfast is by far the most walled segregated city in the world. They have 45-foot “peace” walls all over town (Berlin was 14 feet) to keep people out not fence them in.
The “Troubles” lasted for about 30 years starting in the late 1960s. Many people (mainly Irish Catholics) in Northern Ireland wanted to end British rule and join the Republic of Ireland.
Over 3,500 people were killed during that period. An uneasy truce came about with major compromise on both sides – but the killing did stop. Much of the hatred did not, to this day.
Most of Northern Ireland Catholics didn’t move though because economic life is better being part of the UK.
Over 90% of the kids attend segregated schools and cannot even play together in the park. Catholics and Protestants don’t even know each other.
Allyn writes "Shalom" on the wall - Legally.
The problems started in 1553 when Henry VIII taking over Catholic Ireland and gave Protestant privilege. It has always been more about community and privilege than religious observation.