Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Day 23 - Walking around Jersey (Gorey to St Helier)

There was high cloud and mist this morning which kept temperatures cooler and made walking very enjoyable. We covered the SE corner, and it was very easy walking, with not a hill in sight.  We mostly walked beside roads or along the beach once the tide was out far enough.  It was a slightly shorter distance today too.  We got into St Helier early afternoon and browsed the shopping centre and waterfront.

Steam Clock, St Helier

Elizabeth Castle, St Helier

Monday, 29 September 2014

Day 22 - Walking around Jersey (Bouley Bay - Gorey)

We covered the north east corner today, and it was a slightly shorter walk, just under 18 km. The weather has continued to be kind and there was high cloud and a nice breeze most of the day.  The cloud burnt off late afternoon.

Our guide book described the first part of the walk as particularly winding and undulating, which wasn't wrong.  We finished with the cliff path early afternoon and then it was a mixture of paths and road.  We spent some time exploring Mont Orgueil Castle when we got to Gorey.

Looking back to Bouley Bay
It was just beside the path!!!
Gourley and Mont Orgueil Castle
From the top of the Castle

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Day 21 - Walking around Jersey (La Greve de Lecq - Bouley Bay)

It was a beautiful sunny day again today and very warm - 25 degrees.  We continued walking along the cliffs on the north coast and we covered just under 20 kms.   There were some steep stretches up and down.  It was the hardest day so far, and I must admit there may have been some muttering and moaning at points, but all in all a good day with beautiful scenery. It was a great relief to sit and have a cold drink before our pick up.

Our departure point for the day was the white building in the middle of the picture
Bonne Nuit Bay
Dating from 1830, the stone guardhouse at La Crete can now be rented as accommodation
Bouley Bay, today's destination.  The tide was out when we arrived
and it was a very pebbly beach

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Day 20 - Walking around Jersey (La Pulente - La Greve De Leeq)

It was cloudy today but still very nice for walking.  The tour includes a taxi pick up each afternoon from a designated point, and delivery back there next morning to continue our coastal walk.  The plus for me with this arrangement is that we also get to see inland Jersey.  It is quite scenic and many of the roads are very narrow, between hedges or stone walls.  We walked a similar distance to yesterday, and enjoyed it immensely.  We walked for about 8 kms along St Ouens Bay on the west coast and then walked along the cliff paths on the north west corner, the majority quite easy walking over heathland, which was lovely.  Our destination of La Greve De Lecq was a delightful little bay.

Ouens Bay
Le Grand Etacquerel
Remains of Grosnez Castle, built as a refuge for people in NWJersey in 14th Century

Today's destination - La Greve de Lecq

Friday, 26 September 2014

Day 19 - Walking around Jersey (St Aubin to La Pulente)

We had a perfect day for walking - blue skies, light breeze - and we actually got slightly pink.  We enjoyed our walk of just over 19 km.  We started out from our guest house and did the south west corner and were picked up late afternoon at La Pulente and transported back to our guest house.  We enjoyed lovely scenery, saw a lot of old German fortifications, climbed down and then climbed back up, tried to avoid gorse (very pickly), and walked across very wide beaches with the tide out.  We even walked past the Jersey Prison.  It is, of course, surrounded by hight wire fences, but also by gorse bushes which would put me off wanting to escape!!!  You are never more than 2 miles from the sea on Jersey, and you are very rarely out of sight of buildings.  A great day.

German fortifications
St Brelade's Bay

One of our ups 
Gorse encased in spiders' webs
La Corbiere Lighthouse - the first concrete lighthouse in the world, built 1873
La Rocco Tower, Ouen's Bay, built 1795
La Pulente Pub - our destination

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 18 - In transit - Berlin to Jersey

We have had one of those frustrating travelling days today when our total flight time over 2 flights was about 2 1/2 hours and we seemed to spend twice that in queues for various reasons.  And we came across an immigration officer at Gatwick least likely to win any awards for helpfulness and charm!!!  I was a bit concerned that she wouldn't let us in.

I sat next to Rainbow on our flight from Berlin to Gatwick.  She is a 69 yo kineologist from Perth and we had an interesting conversation.  She did offer me advice on how to speed my recovery from the upper respiratory tract infection that has been plaguing me, but the conversation about her travel angel was distinctly weird.

However it was exciting to fly over Jersey as we came in to land, and see how pretty it looks (and how populated).  We were met as arranged and transferred to our guest house in St Aubin.  We dumped our stuff and went for a little orientation walk and enjoyed the clean air and quiet after Berlin.

Our guesthouse,  built around 1640
View from our window 
Tides out

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 17 - Berlin

We went to the Pergamon Museum this morning, and it was amazing.  We got there just after 9.30 to be early in line for tickets for the 10.00 am opening (we have seen big queues there later in the day) and found we could get straight in, which was brilliant.  We were very impressed by the reconstructions of massive archaeological structures – the Pergamon Altar, Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and of Babylon, and the Mshatta Facade.  The Pergamon Altar is to be closed from the end of the month until 2020 so we are very fortunate to have seen it.

Ishtar Gate of Babylon
Miletus Gate

Pergamon Altar
Frieze from Pergamon Altar
Part of the Mshatta Facade from an enclosing wall decorated with reliefs from a Jordan desert castle
There were also other stunning exhibits, including islamic art.

We purchased a multiple museum pass, so then moved on to the Neues Museum, where we saw the Golden Hat and the bust of Nefertiti (no photos allowed), as well as other Egyptian artefacts, and then we moved onto the Altes Museum, which housed lovely Greek and Roman artefacts.  We were getting a bit museum-ed out by then so the exhibits maybe didn't get the attention they deserved.

In the Neues Museum
After we left Museum Island we wandered a bit further afield and found the Berlin Rathaus (Town Hall) and St Nicholas Church.
Berlin Rathaus
We were back beside the Spree River so continued on and found a lock being used by a couple of tourist boats.

We took a scenic route home (ie we got slightly lost) and came across the Australian embassy but, fortunately, we had sorted ourselves out by then and didn't need to ask for consular assistance.

The weather was quite cool today but at least it didn't rain.

All in all we have enjoyed Berlin and are now looking forward to the next part of our journey.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Day 16 - Berlin

We've had a "high" day today - we started out early and walked to the Reichstag Building were we had booked a tour of the Roof Terrace and Dome.  Quite spectacular, if a little chilly.  The weather really turned today and after quite mild weather it was quite cold - particularly on the Terrace.  The views from there were great, and we were very impressed with the construction.

Then we enjoyed a wander through the Tiergarten to the Victory Column, where we discovered that for 3 Euro we could climb 282 steps to the top, so of course we had to do that.  At least we got to the top of the Reichstag Building in a lift!!!

Carillon in Tiergarten
We walked back to our hotel on Friedrichstrasse beside the Spree River.  It was surprising to see how many tourist boats were on the river.  We found some interesting shops on the way - particularly the Gallery Lafayette, which was handy to visit when it started to rain.

We also visited the Checkpoint Charlie area where there is a lot of interesting information on the division of Berlin.

The water table in Berlin is very high and each construction site has a colourful network of pipes to remove the excess water.