Guernsey, once the tip of a peninsula jutting into the English Channel, became an island many thousands of years ago and the history and treasures it holds go well back to that time. Close to the coast of France and in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, this area has long been a source of want and conflict. One of its more recent roles in history came during WW II when Hitler became obsessed with the idea the Allies would try to take the island. Thus the island is still home to many German fortifications that have survived the years, some of which are now on private property and others of which are open to the public. Languages spoken on the island reflect some of this tiny place s roller coaster history of occupation and control with English, French, Portugese and Guernesiais (dating back to Norman times) still in existence. The national animals of the island are the donkey and of course, the Guernsey cow. Don t be surprised if you hear this name bandied about a bit in unusual references. The people of Jersey have traditionally called natives of Guernsey donkeys while the folks of Jersey are often referred to as toads. It may not be advisable to use these yourself though in case the person you re speaking to isn t a native. While residing on the island famous author Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables. His home is now a museum administered by the City of Paris and just one of the interesting sites you ll want to visit. One of the island s best museums is housed inside Castle Cornet, which was built to guard against French invasion and is an interesting landmark in itself. The landscape of this tiny island has it all cliff paths, rural countryside, private gardens, nature reserves, secret coves and stunning beaches.
The island boasts that gardens are blooming all year long and once recorded 449 flowering plants in the month of January, just to prove the point. It is a destination rich in history, in nature and in a beauty you have to see to appreciate.