Jo’s Monday walk : A crisp day at Stockton Riverside

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Subtitled, a bevy of swans.  Recovering from a back problem, I needed a gentle, level walk. The Riverside, at nearby Stockton-on-Tees, seemed a likely candidate.  The sun was bright in the sky but the temperature skimming zero, so strolling really wasn’t an option.  Semi-briskly, let’s go!

It’s surprising the variety you can find within a short distance along this river bank.  A replica of ‘The Endeavour’, a glut of bridges and an impressive whiteness of swans. Today, rivaled by the whiteness of frost on decaying timbers.

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As an extra treat, the Teesside Princess comes chugging towards us from her dock on the quayside.  Party time upstream, maybe?

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Aren’t they lovely creatures?  I don’t know when I ever saw so many, even in a nature reserve, and this is anything but.  I did wonder if the local council arranged for them to be fed.  We’re now at the back of Stockton High Street and approaching a retail park, so it’s a good time to cross over the Victoria Bridge to the opposite bank of the Tees.

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The path continues alongside newish flats, and a spattering of call centres.  Not a bad working environment, and there are benches for a lunchtime sandwich.  Even in thick tights, you’d think twice today.  Look out for the glimmer of ice on the water as we follow the man-made canals.

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Passing below the Millenium Bridge, the footpath weaves around the canals in a slightly frustrating manner.  Ahead and around the next bend awaits the showstopper bridge, her graceful arcs skimming the blue.

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Intriguingly there are goalposts suspended above the water.  Evidence of summer excitement!  The university buildings back onto this stretch, and the youngsters will row and kayak with enthusiasm.  More sedately, I’m content just to admire the slender lines before me.

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A grand finale, isn’t she?  Crossing over the Infinity Bridge and I gaze skywards, spellbound as ever by her beauty.

The riverside path leads back to our beginning.  You can pop through to the High Street if you’re needing sustenance, and you might catch Locomotion no 1 in action.  Here’s a little bit of bridge history for those who are interested.

Apologies for taking you back to familiar territory, but I know you love a bright walk and this was such a lovely, albeit nippy, day.  I still have some walks to share from earlier in the year and it’s a perpetual dilemma which to choose. Perhaps I’ll have to let a little cloud in next week.  Grab that cuppa, won’t you, and we’ll settle in for a read.

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Thanks all you lovely people.  I so look forward to your company on Mondays.  I have some of the most fabulous shares again this week.  Feel free to join me anytime.  You’ll always be welcome.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.

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Lady Lee has been making me envious again.  Such a nice place to have family!

Singapore

If you’re a fan of ‘dressing up’ you’ll like Jackie’s post, with a nice dollop of history :

Day 7- Williamsburg

Jude takes me back to a place where I have fond memories of duck pate sandwiches, Guinness and rain!

Bury St. Edmunds

While Sherri took me back to the sunshine of my halcyon Lake Garda days :

An Italian Journey : Writing and Healing

A good ramble and a yarn from Tish Farrell always brings a huge smile to my face :

Rambling Yesterday On Wenlock Edge ~ “The Holly and the Power Station” 

A smile and a song!  Those are Drake’s specialities too :

Smile for awhile

Or you can have a little birdsong with your stroll, over at Denzil’s place :

3 walks on Mechelse Heide 

Biti can show you lots of Rome’s splendour :

Rome beautiful churches

And poor Carol has a dilemma on her hands on the rugged south coast of England :

Which Shoes to Choose

They’re brilliant, aren’t they?  I have a crispy pink and white sunrise dawning outside my window.  Soon be time to get walking.  Take good care and I’ll see you all next week!

122 comments

    1. The back’s about normal again now, hon. The week before we walked in the other direction. Good bridges but the greyest of skies 😦 Speaking of which, has your weather picked up again?

  1. To walk with you … means always blue sky .. and even it isn’t – you make it blue. Amazing … your story telling. It’s like I’m walking next to you and see the world around us as you do. Brilliant.
    You have become an expert on getting fantastic photo angles on bridges … the bridge is beautiful in its modern style. What a pleasure.

    1. Hello darlin! 🙂 What an evening I’m having! Trying to talk to the daughter on the phone and operate 2 laptops as well! One old and grumpy and one new and head strong! I sympathise with the old grumpy one, but it’s on a go slow. Nightmare! And an army of comments 🙂 🙂 Running around hugging everybody. What else can I do? Love you, sweetheart!

      1. Jesus … Girlfriend. Put the old one to the side .. get to know the new – then .. you try to transfer and move between them both.
        You take it easy … the laptops are not going anywhere. And if you want to know how to do things .. look at youtube. There you find all tips and instructions. One step at the time, Jo! ITHug!

  2. Thanks for this exhilarating walk, Jo. Gorgeous photos, such a clean and crisp look, and fun to have so many swans in our midst. I liked all the bridges, the Victoria Bridge is really beautiful…and the Infinity Bridge is, as you say, a show-stopper. Wow! What an elegant, curvy bridge; I have never seen anything like it.

  3. Love that Infinity Bridge. Looks amazing framed with that blue sky. The swans are gorgeous and it looks like a really nice walk

  4. Jo, hope your back is better and very wise with a ‘gentler’ walk. The Inifinity Bridge is glorious, such beautiful design and I think it is just a footbridge? An inspiration to make the everyday interesting, unusual. As for the swans, wow, I bet you you dawdled near them for ages admiring their majestic gathering! Breathtaking! 😀😀

    1. The back is lots better thanks, Annika. 🙂 Today’s challenge is the Internet 🙂 And it’s grey and foggy outside so I’m feeling a bit sorry for those swans. Yes- a beautiful foot bridge!

  5. Glad to escape the humidity here in Malaysia and take a walk with you in the cool, crisp day. Love the blue skies, the reflections, the silhouette of the girl with the watering can, and that magnificent Infiniti bridge! Want to take a ride on the Teesside Princess! Hope your back feels better soon.

    1. Hi Lisa! 🙂 Apart from the heat how are things? The back’s good again now, thanks. Struggling to remember what heat feels like though 🙂 It’s not yet light here and the fog is swirling beyond the windows.

      1. Glad to hear the back is better! Things ‘okay’ here. Job search sloooowwww. Captain recovering from double hernia surgery. We are missing the sea. Sending you warmth.

  6. Beautiful and atmospheric photos Jo! I can sense how cold it is in spite of the blue skies and sun …brrr I’d be absolutely freezing!! Lovely pictures of the swans – they are beautiful creatures hope they are being fed in this cold weather! The bridge is magnificent – hope your back is feeling much better now and have a lovely week 🙂 Ps love your “snow effects” on the screen!

    1. I love the WP snow too, Rosemay! I had to switch it off for my sunny Tavira posts but it’s here to stay now till after Christmas. I think someone must be feeding them because they all looked very healthy. 🙂

  7. Jo, that bridge is amazing, especially against the stunning blue sky. I’m pleased to hear your back is feeling better. I laughed at your definition of your walk as semi-briskly. From personal experience, I imagine you were still going pretty fast. 🙂 I wonder if the replica Endeavour is the one that was built here or if there is more than one. The one that was built here is Young Endeavour and is mostly used for training young people.

    1. I’m not too sure about Endeavour, Carol. I remember looking it up for the related post a year or 2 ago but I have the memory span of a newt these days 🙂 🙂 Thanks for striding along with me. 🙂

  8. Swans ! lovely graceful creatures , although their manners are rather lacking where food is concerned at times ! Glad the back is improving Jo there’s bound to be a party dance you want to do any day soon 😉 Lovely captures of the bright weather we’ve all the pleasure of recently .

    1. I can do a Snoopy happy dance for your delectation, Poppy? 🙂 Cathy compared the swan necks to the Infinity Bridge, rather poetically I thought. \\wishing you a wonderful week!

      1. Liking the sound of that Jo … ha I used to love drawing Snoopy with his head thrown back and ears all a flap lol funny how you just stirred that memory 🙂 Very poetic of Cathy indeed ! You have great one too Jo .We’re off to Oxford a morrow for a catch up with old friends a VERY relaxed lunchtime methinks as we’re taking the train … say no more 😉

  9. I’m very fond of swans, i like how they are so protective of their babies, even if it makes them scarey! This is a lovely walk and I don’t remember tagging along before. The infinity bridge is very sleek and elegant. We have a very similar millennium bridge, they must have built a job lot that year 🙂 and the blue bridge, bus and sky, gorgeous. So glad you’re mending babe, I am too and could probably keep up with you now, but not once you’re 100%. Happy days sweetheart 🙂

    1. I’ll slow down for you, darlin. 🙂 🙂 I didn’t put a link in to the previous post but it must be a couple of years ago, Gilly. Nothing like so sunny (or cold! 🙂 ) I don’t think, but this was a perfect photography day. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t need to slow down. You’d keep tripping over me as I stooped to get at the reflections. 🙂 Love you, hon. Take good care!

  10. I see you found the water again. 🙂 Infinity Bridge, what a great name for this beautiful creature. Mark and I always make our lunch when we go on day trips, and you are right, in winter, eating the sandwiches outside becomes a little challenging. Luckily, we had a relatively nice and sunny day on Saturday. Still a tad chilly, but doable. It is starting to pay off to come all the way to California. 🙂

    1. You’ve caught me out, Liesbet! 🙂 I thought to myself ‘another watery post!’ and I do try for variety, but the cloudier one I was going to post was on canals. More water! 🙂 🙂

  11. Wow! What a gorgeous walk, Jo! I love how the graceful curves of the swans’ necks are echoed in the graceful lines of the Infinity Bridge. Man and nature mimicking one another. What a clear day; I can only imagine the chill of zero degrees! Hope you managed to find some warmth at the end, and kept your back in line. 🙂

    1. How very poetic of you, Cathy! Yes they do ‘reflect’ one another. 🙂 🙂 I hopped straight back in the car and home, though I was tempted to go to the High St. to see the Locomotion sculpture. It starts to hiss and chuff at midday and I’ve never seen it in action. Another time! The back’s fine again now. We just had a last short walk with our group before we ‘break up’ for Christmas. Coffee and cheese scone afterwards. Very nice 🙂

  12. On a somewhat cloudy day here it has been lovely to walk with you along the river in the sunshine. A blue sky is always welcome at this time of year. Your fingers must have been frozen though taking all these lovely photos. I want a pair of those fingerless gloves with the little flaps you can pull over! The curvy bridge and the elegant swans – I have seen swans like this on the Thames at Reading. They are a sight to behold. I hope the body is behaving itself now!!

    Another city for you and one you know well I think: https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/norwich-part-i-history-and-architecture/
    Have a lovely day Jo. Speak soon 🙂

    1. I do have some of those wrap around gloves, Jude, but I can’t remember if I had them on that day. Lovely and crisp with beautiful frosty leaves for our short walk this morning. The back’s fine again but I had to keep scooting to catch up. 🙂 For some reason I thought your Garden challenge this month was a ‘free for all’. Oh well- I’ll just have to improvise, for a change 🙂 🙂
      Thanks a lot! I love Norwich 🙂

      1. It is a free for all on the fountain challenge. I’m still making you all think 😀 but you must have some photos of urban gardens or hanging baskets with all your gallivanting. Actually that would have been a good name for the blog “The Gallivanting Gardener”

  13. Oh Jo, reading your energising and vibrant post with the blog snow falling makes me want to wrap up and take a walk right now, but there are no crisp blue skies and the sun is hidden behind heavy, grey clouds, so I’ll stay here with you instead 🙂 Your ‘slender lines’ are beautifully captured, what a beautiful bridge. And thanks so much for adding my post…I do enjoy walking with you, not done enough of it this year, but always time for a fresh start isn’t there? I hope your back is feeling much better…gentle hugs to you lovely lady.. 🙂 xxx

    1. Feeling good at the minute, Sherri, thanks! We did a fairly short walk (lots of pretty frosty leaves though 🙂 )this morning and stopped off for coffee and a cheese scone. There were even reindeer at the coffee shop/garden centre. Something tells me it’s almost Christmas 🙂 🙂

  14. So much lovely blue, Jo. But you’ve captured the chill along with the brightness too. Fabulous bridge and beautiful swans. Hope the back is feeling improved. And thank you for the very nice link. Smile all round this a.m. 🙂

    1. Back’s pretty good again, for an old codger, Tish. 🙂 Short, frosty walk with crispy leaves this morning. Cheese scone, and real live reindeer to get me in Christmas mode. I shall be sparkling soon!

  15. The famous writer George Orwell (who was born in India) lived in this area – there’s so much fascinating atmosphere up there – really worth a walk and in your company an inspiring walk – very well captured, really enjoyed this walk… 🙂

  16. What a flotilla of swans. But why are they white??? That bridge is indeed a symphony of grace, and so little of it. I hope your back is better, but I too was glad of a level walk. We just skated to preschool on unaccustomed icy footpaths. Take a week’s supply of hugs fro. Somewhat chilly arms. Supposed to go down to -7 this week.

    1. Awwh! 🙂 Just about to look out my thermals. It’s just a quick walk (our last group one 🙂 ) followed by coffee/cake/whatever this morning but it’s very frosty here. Fleecy hugs! Back much better thanks. Will come visit you this afternoon. 🙂

  17. Elegant bridges, water, and some Wood structures – I too would have made ample use of my camera. Wonderful, walk, Jo. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Lovely trip in the sunshine Jo. That’s quite some bridge! Is it only for pedestrians and cyclists, or is it wide enough for cars too? It looks quite close to the Milennium Bridge, but I guess the level of traffic deemed another one necessary. I’ve also seen a group of swans referred to as a herd, but I much prefer a bevy. Cows and elephants are in herds, not graceful swans.

    1. The Infinity and the Millenium are foot and cyclists only, Denzil, but there are any number of road bridges over the Tees. The ‘history’ link gives all the details. Thanks for your company 🙂

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