Thursday, 21 June 2018

Military Might and Orchids

We thought we should learn more aboutWWII The twins still have nightmares from an earlier visit to La Vallee Museum, based in a German Underground Hospital excavated by slave labour. So instead we cycled the German Occupation Museum and then to Pleinmont Observation Tower.

The man who admitted us to Pleinmont Observation Tower was the same person who had taken our money only hours earlier at the German Occupation Museum so I imagine WWII heritage is preserved by a small and dedicated band of people.  Locally this man was a star having produced the introduction to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie film which was out this year.  However, he did admit that it was only the Channel Islands version of the film which had his introduction.   

The tower itself had the purpose of monitoring plane and ship movements out to sea, although thrown up in a matter of months by the Germans and with an emphasis on being secure, even against gas attack, it was still an elegant example of brutalist architecture.  However, whether this souvenir of the Nazi occupation will ever be admired more than it is hated is hard to imagine.

In complete contrast to all this history of ruthless military aggression, there was something else I very much wanted to see.  Googling, Pascoe and I had discovered by chance that 1)There was a spectacular wild Guernsey orchid.  2) It was in bloom now, 3) There were some fields near the coast where it thrived.
It sounded like a potential wild goose chase to Nigel but I was determined, and we pedalled to the right area.
I eventually spotted the exotic purple flowers over a hedge and slammed my brakes on to much swearing behind me.  
The loveliness of these lush, flower-tapestry water meadows  was beyond me to describe.  Suffice it to say that there were four types of orchid including the loose-flowered Guernsey orchid, and also delicate ragged robin, yellow bartsia and yellow flag irises.  It is not promoted to tourists so, apart from one other equally astounded couple, we had the meadows to ourselves. Maybe Heaven will be a bit like that.

We ended the day by playing Frisbee on the beach then had a glass of Prosecco while the sun sank behind a rocky island.

At sunset, the tide had dropped enough to allow us to clamber across to the island, just in time to see the sea flush rose.


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