Tuesday, the 10th of May, was going to be our "Town Day". We took an early bus from Bouley Bay into St. Helier (only 7 km apart - see map -, but the bus of course takes in many tiny settlements and villages along the way, making the trip about half an hour long) and walked around the city for some time.
When the clock struck 12, the figures on the facade of Rivoli Jewellers began to move, and there were at least two different scenes - I was too slow to capture them on camera in time. The one you see here was accompanied by bells ringing out the tune of "Who Wants To Be a Milliionaire":
This toad does not always carry a seagull on its head:
The following pictures are all O.K.'s, and I am glad I am allowed to use them here!
As you can see, the tide was out when we arrived. It is a little odd to see all these boats grounded, but of course they don't stay like this all the time.
There was more water in a different part of the harbour:
It's not all picturesque little fishing boats and rich folks' yachts there. This is very much a working harbour:
We did a little bit of shopping (mostly of the window type). St. Helier's centre is not unlike many other towns and cities I have visited in the UK, with the familiar high street names present, such as M&S, Costa Coffee, Jo Malone, Molton Brown, Boots, Monsoon, Dorothy Perkins, Waterstone's, WHSmith and so on. There are maybe a few more glossy boutiques and plenty more jewellers than what you'd find in an average town of the same size (roughly 35.000 inhabitants) elsewhere, but this is Jersey for you - its special administrative and political situation makes it particularly attractive for People With Money.
Later, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Marks & Spencers. The food and drink was alright, but I was not impressed with the upkeep and general atmosphere of the restaurant - it wasn't very clean, and it was rather noisy (which is of course not really the restaurant's fault). Still, we needed something to eat, and sitting down for a few minutes was welcome, too - there was quite a bit of walking in store for us in the afternoon, when we went around the harbour area and across the sands to Elizabeth Castle.
That, however, will be the subject of another post.