Jim White and Alastair Symondson nipped over to Guernsey in May to sample the delights and check out the cricket scene.
RAIN!!! What a start to our visit to Guernsey. Thankfully it was (initially) restricted to the East Midlands airport and we were on board a turbo-prop flight with Aurigny, now flying direct to Guernsey.
A short but essential briefing from the Hertz representataive allowed us to head off along some surprisingly narrow lanes. We were due to visit three cricket grounds as well as use the opportunity to take in some of the many sights the island has to offer. Soon we checked in to the superb Cobo Bay Hotel with the most fantastic view of the beach and ocean before heading straight off to the welcome reception for all six teams in the ICC Pepsi World Division 7 at the quite splendid 13th century Castle Cornet. We even received a potted history of the island, economically and historically from the taxi driver!
A wonderful castle steeped in history and well preserved for tourists allowed the teams to mingle and after the welcome speeches and photos with the legendary umpire Steve Bucknor, we head into town to sample some local pubs along the front. A popular stretch for going out, it caters for most tastes and the view out towards the castle is quite stunning. A nightcap at the hotel and we were ready for the cricket.
However, the rain and wind had followed us and day 1 was all but abandoned and I did learn a few more roads, regularly passing the Telephone Museum as a point of reference. The weather did not suit the Nigerian and Surinamese cricket teams as they shivered at the Port Soif cricket ground, just along the coast. We made our introductions and learnt a little more about cricket in both their countries. We then took local directions to the main cricket ground on the island at KGV. “Just down there, a right and a left” we were told………
|Japan and NIgeria Flags||Bahrain take it easy||Bahrain and Gibraltar face off|
Eventually, we arrived to see Bahrain and Gibraltar attempting some play as were the hosts Guernsey at College Field in the middle of the island who were playing Japan. Both games were also abandoned and our cricket and sightseeing trip was in danger of being washed out! We retired back to the hotel for a quiet drink to reflect on day 1, only to meet the landlord Dave Nussbaumer who promptly invited us to join him and seven others for dinner. The food was quite superb, as was the company and many a cricket story told.
We repeated our journey over the next two days to all grounds, and the Indoor Cricket School, via many a narrow road and active and inactive greenhouses from the tomato growing days of old. In between were able to visit the fascinating Fort Grey Shipwreck museum and learn more about the island from most of the people we met!
|The Nigerians stayed 'Cool'||Alex and Japan get Jim's support||Suriname hit 300 for the first time!|
Wonderful coast lines and stunning views are part and parcel of being in Guernsey and the people make it hard to leave, so much so that landlord David Nussbaumer had insisted I return the next weekend, which I duly did, to see the climax of the cricket.
The Pepsi ICC World Division 7 competition was heating up and all matches held much importance fpor all six teams. The hosts lost narrowly to Bahrain in the final but all the teams remarked what a wonderful time they had had and were keen to return.
The St. Pierre Park Hotel had hosted all the teams and the awards dinner on the Sunday evening provided a chance for players and officials to mix and exchange stories of their week.
Bank Holiday Monday brought the best out of the island as a family party day including the local game of Crown and Anchor and running under a hosepipe! A whole multitude of cars, karts, bike and inventions were street racing up the hill on the front at St. Peter Port as well as ‘Eric Clapton’ providing a street concert from the balcony of MY room at the Cobo Bay Hotel for hundreds of people below in the street and next door at the Rockmount Bar.
To cap it off with more live music, the ‘Foo Fighters’ performed at the Doghouse Bar and Restaurant providing great entertainment for cricketers, tourists and locals alike.
A clever ploy by the airport firefighters kept me for an extra day which allowed for a visit to the German occupation museum and working from my hotel room with a view of the ocean, I still can’t think of a better place to be!
A huge thank you to all those that made this trip possible – we will not be too long in going back – but especially Dave and his family, the Guernsey Cricket Board and the Guernsey Tourist Board – so if you fancy a quick trip over or even a cricket or golf tour on this beautiful island contact the following.......
The Guernsey Tourist Board www.VisitGuernsey.com
Accommodation from Cobo Bay Hotel www.cobobayhotel.com
Car Hire by Hertz Cars www.hertzci.com/location/Guernsey
Flights by Aurigny.com www.aurigny.com
Trip organised by Charisma PR www.charismapr.com