August 19, 2012

Liblog: Jersey and Guernsey pt 1

“Far away”…well not really
We said our goodbyes, and boarded our plane to the island of Jersey. The flight was only short (unusually), and so we were checked in to our hotel in no time.
Despite being so close to home, not many of us had ever been to Jersey. We didn’t really know what to expect, although it was really welcoming. And it didn’t even require a currency change: hooray!
We had a few free days before we had to perform. After some rehearsals to make sure our voices were in check, we took a walk to the nearby beach, and got the general idea of what was around our area. We did a lot of walking, being the carbon-friendly people we are. The next day we watched Disney’s “The Lorax”, and spent most of it relaxing.

As well as relaxing though, we were mainly preparing for our first appearance in Jersey: to sing in the beautiful St. Thomas’s church.It was a very nice acoustic, echoing our sounds, and also making it fun to listen to our own voices. We sang the mass on Sunday morning and after the service we managed to snack on some refreshments laid out kindly by the church-folk. C’est supercool! (oh, and we’ve been practicing some nearby language). 
As well as that, we even did something totally unimaginable. We got our robes dirty handing out leaflets in a nearby shopping centre. It was very interesting really, having a little competition on who could give out the most leaflets. After we’d been run dry of all our leaflets, we headed back.

A few swims later, as well as some free time, it was time to perform. We woke up, the lovely weather blinding us through the window, and made our way to the main venue in Jersey – the Opera House. Today was a concert day. We bypassed the sea and entered in the bright blue “stage door” - after spending some time looking for it – before rushing in to get ready.
The first night went well, with lots of boys doing new solos and harmony parts – so we were all raring to go for the next one the day after which also ran smoothly,

We decided the next day to take a trip to Jersey’s best aMaizin Adventure park!  We had fun with the mini golf, the various bikes and tractors we could ride on, even the huge “Big Drop” and “Jumping Pillow”. We then had a go at the amazing aMaizin Maze!
After that we tucked into lunch, then had a go at the “Water Warriors”. That was fun too, drenching people with hosed guns whilst you ducked for cover. A quick trip to the gift shop, and then it was time to go back home. Well, “back to our hotel anyway”.
We were now ending our first part of the tour. As well as being a tour though, it was still our holiday too: and so we began packing for our next hotel, which wasn’t a hotel, but actually a hostel packed with all kinds of fun.
A short drive (and I mean short) across Jersey passed, and we arrived. The sea in the distance, bedrooms of 8, the clear skies: we were sure this was going to be a great part of the tour. We hauled our suitcases up the stairs, unlocked the doors and lobbed our suitcases inside.. The food was nice too, and there was plenty of room in the nearby field for games.

On the first day, we began our free time in the games room. We played board games, cards, table tennis and whatnot. Then we went for a walk, again seeing around our area. It was very nice, being high on a hill, and interesting castle to our left and the lovely sea to our right. We were out of breath as we came back for dinner, and ended our first day with a movie night in, watching Disney’s Coraline.
The next day began with a wonderful continental breakfast, complete with boiled eggs and cereal. Then came a catch up on the Olympics afterwards, as we gathered round the TV in the games room. Various cheers for various countries, all sorts. Afterwards though, was the best aspect of the day by far: a trip to the Jersey-famous Durrell zoo.

We arrived there, and were privileged to listen to Lee Durrell, wife of Gerald Durrel (who of course founded the whole place) talk about the park and its main aim: ‘saving species from extinction’. We saw all sorts of animals, from Bears to Bats, Lemurs to Lizards, Chameleons to Chimpanzees, some animals we’d never even heard of! All in all it was an amazing day out. Then came the gift shop afterwards. Some of us even adopted some animals, giving money to a good cause, whilst others bought the most adorable looking cuddly toys, like bright purple snakes and orange frogs. We came back, and ended the day with another film: The Adventures of Tintin.
We decided to spend the last day with a long day at the beach. We went on another walk, hauling all sorts of beach toys and equipments down the road. The sand was crisp and soft, the tide was going out, and more importantly the Speedboat rides were open. That was great fun.
The rest of the day was spent mainly building sandcastles: or in our case, sand villages, complete with a church that had mass at 11:30 and a farm. Others began digging water systems with the water left at low tide. More importantly though, we dug holes and buried many people with just their heads above the sand. Ah, we didn’t want to leave the beach.
But unfortunately all good things come to an end, including our visit to Jersey. One movie night later (watching Madagascar 2) and we woke up packing. It was finally time to leave.
We left to the port and boarded our ferry to the next chapter of our journey: Guernsey. It’s time to go now though, so more on that next time.