Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sark The Peaceful Isle

Island of Sark, Guernsey, Masterpiece Theatre, Channel Islands

There is a very special island which once was the last feudal state (ending in 2008 after 450 years) in all of Europe. All cars are banned and only horse drawn carriages and a few tractors are permitted.  All the roads are dirt and wind around ancient stone buildings hundreds of years old.  The people seem very happy and just amble along in a peaceful pace.  Is this some idyllic British TV show on Masterpiece Theatre? Actually it really exists and is only a 50 minute ferry ride from the Isle of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. Come along as we explore the Island of Sark.

St. Peter Port, Buernsey, Brecqhou, Barclay brothers

We take the morning ferry from St. Peter Port, Guernsey, for Sark. On the way we pass close by the private island of Brecqhou, owned by the very private identical twins, the Barclay brothers. They built a gigantic castle that is beyond amazing!

Marla Gentry, Sark

Marla and my nephew Steve’s wife, Karen, look excited for the adventure ahead. Since we can’t rent a car…we are going to rent bikes!
Greater Sark, Little Sark, La Coupee, German prisoners of war

Greater Sark is connected to Little Sark by a narrow isthmus called, “La Coupee.” There was no railing in the 19th century and children had to cross it on their hands and knees to prevent being blown over the ledge by the wind. Handrails and a cement roadway were built by German prisoners of war, after the liberation of the Channel Islands in 1945.  Today we are riding to Little Sark in search for the incredible “Sark Lobster.” I think I know where we can find some.

Marla Gentry, Sark

Marla passes my brother-in-law, Vic Richer, who decided to walk. We stopped for so many photos he almost beat us to the restaurant!

La Sablonnerie Hotel, Sark, restaurant

I reserved a beautiful outdoor table at “La Sablonnerie Hotel” which is part of a 400-year-old Sark farmhouse. It opened as a hotel and restaurant in 1948. It exudes a casual, but posh atmosphere with wonderful flower filled gardens.

Sark lobster

Someone had the “Sark Lobster” and it was fabulous! I wonder who that was?

Greater Sark

The views on the ride back to Greater Sark are mesmerizing!

La Coupee, Sark

La Coupee, Sark

We walk our bikes on the “La Coupee” as it is narrow with steep drop offs.

horse drawn carrage, La Sablonnerie, ferry

We have to back up as a horse drawn carriage is heading straight for us. It’s probably bringing luggage to La Sablonnerie from the ferry.

bikes, Marla Gentry, Sark

What a superb day! Time to bring the bikes back.

Sark, smooth seas

We had a magical combination of smooth seas, warm weather and bright blue skies!

Guernsey, German occupation, England

A small plaque on a harbor wall commemorates the people of Guernsey who lost their lives working in forced labor during the German occupation 1940-1945. My brother-in-law was evacuated for 6 years at the age of 4 with his siblings and mother to England. His father stayed behind and suffered terribly. 

I hope you enjoyed our trip to Sark as much as I did. I can’t wait to return someday. I can highly recommend The islands of Guernsey and Sark to be added to your travel bucket list!

Images: Dick Gentry & Steven Richer.

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