Beaumont, Jersey (La Ruelle es Ruaux)
Today I am leaving for Jersey, the largest of the channel islands and a self-governing dependency of the United Kingdom. I will visit both Jersey and Guernsey, another nearby channel island, over the next few days. My plane is scheduled to leave at 12:10 from Gatwick and I need to leave the flat no later than 10:00 in order to have enough time to make this flight.
As I was getting ready to leave I realized that I was going to be cutting it close to be on schedule. After I managed to get my new (smaller) suitcase closed, I realized that I still needed to make more room so zipping up the suitcase wouldn’t be an issue. Then I had to reopen the suitcase because I left one set of the flat’s keys in a pocket of a coat. By this time I was sweating up a storm and wishing I got an earlier start.
Somehow I managed to catch the next underground train to Blackfriars station where I would board a train to Gatwick airport. I didn’t allow time for any delays. I was fortunate that all the trains were on time and I was on my way to the airport and on schedule. When I arrived at the airport I could see that the flight was scheduled to take off in an hour, but the good people at British Air put me at the front of the line to get my suitcase checked in. Then found out at check-in that my flight was delayed by at least 15 minutes. My rule of thumb is that if you have several connections, you should anticipate that one of the connections might be late. In this case it worked to my advantage.
The flight to Jersey took about an hour and I was soon waiting in the baggage area at the Jersey airport waiting for my suitcase. I had to keep in mind that I had a new suitcase and to not look for my large dark red suitcase. I had taken it to the trash room where I was staying and left it there and I left for the underground. It was in pretty poor shape so it wasn’t worth trying to find a new owner for it.
Getting a taxi at the airport was easy. However, there was some confusion with the driver when I gave him the address. All I had was the name of the street. I called the Airbnb host and she talked to the driver to give him better instructions. It didn’t occur to me that the address was incomplete. But the host (Susie) was waiting for me at the place where she asked the driver to take me so all was well.
The flat turned out to be much better than I anticipated. The Airbnb reviews were outstanding and I could see why. I even had food for breakfast. Quite a difference from what I had been staying in London.
I mentioned to Susie that I was looking for someone to take me around the island tomorrow. She thought for a moment and went to ask her husband if he would be willing. I met him and we came up with a deal that worked for both of us. I’ve enjoyed having someone local to show me around rather than try to get around by myself. We will start out at 10:00 tomorrow and drive around for 4 – 5 hours with him as my tour guide.
The flat is a studio but a very large studio. I couldn’t believe how well stocked it was. Probably one of the best I’ve stayed in. I’m going to like it here.
I had trouble falling asleep last night and was very tired, so I took a nap so after I arrived. Actually two naps because after I got up from the first I decided I needed more sleep. When I felt like I was awake enough I went to the local store and bought a sandwich for dinner, scones, cheese, apples, and beer.
After writing my blog update, eating dinner, texting and calling friends, and catching up on email, it was time for bed. For a bedtime snack I made some toast, but some Jersey butter on it and some raspberry jam that Susie left in the refrigerator. How did she know I liked raspberry jam?
Tomorrow I tour the island. I’m looking forward to learning more about this interesting island and understanding what its like to be a self-governing part of the U.K.