Jersey – Pearl in the Ocean, 7+ facts of the island

Photos and text: Adrián Szász dr.

Jersey – not to be confused with New Jersey, NY, USA – is one of the Channel Islands, the second-closest to France, located near the coast of Normandy. It has a population of about 100 000, its official language is English and has its own currency: Jersey pound. Most of its inhabitants (46%) were born on the island – they call themselves ‘Jersey bean’ that comes from the traditional Jersey bean and vegetable dish ‘bean crock’ -, the second-largest ethnic group is British (33%). The island is only 15 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide, with altitude of about 140 meters above sea level. The journey to Jersey by ferry takes one and a half hours from St. Malo, France and four and a half hours from Poole, England (the flight from London is 45 mins). 7 more interesting facts of Jersey can be read in the post – let’s check it! 😉

1.Gerald Durrell British zoologist-writer who born in India (died in 1995) opened his zoo in Jersey in 1959 (it’s still operating). His foundation helps to protect endangered species around the world. The Jersey Zoo’s symbol has also became the symbol of species have been killed by humans: the Dodo bird (Jersey has a Dodo-statue, too).

2. Victor Hugo also lived on the island in the 1850s and he was completely captivated by photography there. However, Jersey is not only a paradise of photography-lovers but nowadays it’s also considered a tax haven. Celebrities – such as Mark Knopfler or Mel Gibson – gladly invest in Jersey-based companies.

3. If we believe in fairy tales it was always a ‘rich area’. According to legends many ships disappeared along the rocky shores of Jersey, so the depths of the sea can hide treasures here. And the place is rich in peace and love, as well. Someone describes it as ‘Island of Serenity’, and sellers welcome us in certain shops with the greeting ‘Hello, my love’ (or something similar).

4. But it also has a so called dark side: Jersey War Tunnels is a World War II tunnel system below the island. Hitler – who took Jersey (as the only one part of the British Empire he could occupy) under his control for a while – would have turned it into a fortress system. About a kilometer long section of the tunnel he created is still accessible today as some kind of museum.

5. Another museum of the island is in connection with motor sports. Nigel Mansell Formula One world champion – who also lived and still has a property in Jersey – holds a collection of his career relics on the island that’s open for the public. And one more (not only) local hero: Jersey’s Superman, the actor Henry Cavill was born and raised in Saint Helier, the largest (and only) town of the island.

6. Good news for food-lovers: premium cream, ice cream and craft cheese is made from the creamy textured milk of Jersey cow. All registered cows (about three thousand) on the island are proven to be descended from Jersey ancestors for two hundred years. Jersey Black Butter also comes from this place – it’s not a diary product but a sweet and sour apple-cinnamon jam with pastries and cakes.

7. Still for the stomach: you can see local potatoes, the Jersey Royal everywhere along your way through the island. There are months when up to 1500 tonnes are exported of them! And you must have heard of the textile material known as jersey worldwide: it was originally a thick sweater handmade of wool for fishermen in Jersey. As the island’s weather is capricious they come in handy sometimes! 🙂

More photos attached to my Hungarian article and a video can be seen here:

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