Infinity Bridge

Six word Saturday

A turn of the Archimedes Screw

Sometimes everyday moments can be extraordinary.  Patti shared some beautiful sights from Vancouver.  I’m pushing my luck a bit but I should just make the deadline.  Are you following the Lens Artists?  And surely you can find Six Words for Debbie!  She’s climbed all those stairs.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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!

Jo’s Monday walk : to Infinity and beyond!

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

One of the hardest things about my Monday walks is deciding where to take you next.  I have easy access to both coast and countryside where I live in the north east of England.  Add in a healthy dose of curiosity and restlessness and the sky’s the limit!

Last week’s visit to the Glass Centre is a hard act to follow, but I’m going to take you a little way south of me today, to the River Tees. The lovely curves of the Infinity Bridge have added grace and beauty to another quite industrial part of my world.  This weekend the Stockton Riverside Festival was taking place.  I hope a deluge or two didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the music.

Our start point will be the parking lot behind the White Water Centre.  We’ve walked around the Tees Barrage before but this time we’ll be heading towards Stockton-on-Tees.

The White Water Centre and cafe

The White Water Centre, and cafe

There are usually canoes taking to the water

There are usually canoes taking to the water.  Tees Barrage is in the distance

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

And underneath!  Don't worry- we'll come back to it.

And underneath! Don’t worry- we’ll come back to it.

It’s a popular cycle track too, so you’ll need to be alert.  Some cyclists sound their bell in warning, but more often they just loom up.  You don’t want to drop your camera!

Stockton is an Anglo-Saxon name, the ending ‘ton’ meaning farm or homestead.  There is little in the way of agriculture to be seen on this stretch of the River Tees.  The town used to have a thriving outdoor market where fresh produce was readily and cheaply available.   The life and character that this brought has sadly vanished.

Stockton’s main claim to fame is tied to the advent of steam travel in 1822.  The first rail of George Stephenson’s Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid locally, on Bridge Rd.  Stephenson drove Locomotion no.1 himself on its first journey, on 27th September 1825.  In recent years the riverside has been developed to make a focal point for the town.

George Stephenson's Locomotion

A tribute to George Stephenson’s Locomotion no.1

The riverside and Teesside Millenium Bridge

The riverside and Teesquay Millenium Footbridge

Have you spotted something beyond the bridge?  Something with tall masts?  My main reason for walking this way, and one of my favourite things.  Wait just a moment.

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

And here we have it!

And here we have it!

Isn't she a beauty?

Isn’t she a beauty?

Here's a small clue

Here’s a small clue

I love these tall masted beauties!

I love these tall masted beauties!

James Cook was a local lad and is widely feted in this part of the world.  HM Bark Endeavour took him on the first of three voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean.  He sailed thousands of miles of largely uncharted waters, mapping New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii for the British Navy.  He died in Hawaii in 1779, leaving behind a huge legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge.

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

And a whole load of swans!

And a whole load of swans!

So hard to resist boat shots!

So hard to resist boat shots!

Not so sure about the mural

There’s a mural disguising the multi-storey car park

But now it's time to cross over the bridge

But now it’s time to cross over the Millenium bridge

Looking back at the boats and Thornaby railway bridge

Looking back- the Princess river cruiser and Thornaby railway bridge

Those clouds are still lurking!

While the clouds lurk overhead!

We’re heading back towards the Infinity Bridge.  On the far shore of the Tees there are numerous office complexes and we thread our way through them, passing poorly maintained canals.

Under bridges and over bridges

Under bridges and over bridges

And here we are again

Till we burst into the light again!

You could play with the angles all day

You could play with the angles all day

But look behind you.  A storm's a-brewing!

But look behind you. A storm’s a-brewing!

One last look to the heavens

One last look to the heavens

And it's time to quickly cross!

And it’s time to quickly cross!

You know your way back from here, don’t you, and it’s not far.  Maybe a coffee in the White Water Centre, or there’s a pub along at the Tees Barrage.  The easiest access is undoubtedly by car, but you could do the walk from Stockton, which is well served by buses and trains.

I’m not going to be walking with you next week.  I hope to be on a different riverbank- the Seine. I could schedule a walk but I prefer not to.  The joy in my Monday feature comes from sharing, and responding to your lovely comments, and I won’t have time to do that in Paris.  Feel free to explore a little without me, but report back, won’t you?

Two more things before I go.  I noticed that my friend Marianne, from East of Malaga, is featuring Bridges in her CBBH challenge this month.  We’ve been friends for the longest time but I seldom have time to visit.  I’m hoping she won’t mind if I include a link to my walk this week.  It certainly features bridges, doesn’t it?  A condition of the CBBH challenge is to introduce 2 of your friends to Marianne.  I will certainly do that with my links below.

Speaking of friends, and I’ve made so many of you on here, I know that I will be walking in the footsteps of Christine at least some of the time next week.  I couldn’t go without one last tribute.

 

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I hope you’ll find some time to visit my lovely walking friends now.  Put that kettle on!

Jude has found me a mill and a lovely public garden in Gatehouse of Fleet   :

The Gatehouse of Fleet

The Travel Bunny, Suzanne, has gelato on her mind.  It must be the weather!  :

Pisa- Much more than a Leaning Tower

Drake found some long haired cattle to walk with us this week.  He always has fun!  :

On the West  (not the Wild West!)

It will be very tempting to sit down on Amy’s walk this week, but you might need a cushion  :

Spanish tiles

That’s it for now!  See you in two weeks time.  Happy walking!

From a bridge, to a barrage.

A completely different bridge

The bridge at the Whitewater Rafting Centre

If you saw my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, you might just have wondered what you would find if you crossed over that bridge. Come with me, and I’ll satisfy your curiosity.

You may remember that we started with this remarkable bridge

You may remember , I started with this remarkable bridge

The Infinity Bridge was constructed across the River Tees, at a cost of £15 million, and opened on 14th May 2009.  It was part of a massive regeneration project linking the river banks and providing a very pleasant environment for walking and cycling.  Full details are in the enclosed Wikipedia link, but a rather special feature is the sensory lighting system, which illuminates the bridge at night.  I have yet to play with this!

Footpaths stretch along both banks, leading in one direction to the town of Stockton.  The opposite direction leads to the Tees Barrage and eventually out to sea.  It can be quite an interesting bit of shoreline.  The Tees Barrage is used to control the flow of the river and to prevent flooding.  The waters beyond the barrage are permanently held at the level of an average high tide.   The Barrage, which opened on 22nd April, 1995, has a design life of 120 years!  It also incorporates a white water course,  a real crowd pleaser if an event coincides with a sunny day.

And looking back from the Barrage, what can you see?

The Infiniity Bridge, of course

The Infinity Bridge, on the skyline, of course

Just look at that blue sky!

And just look at that blue sky!

Today all is calm on the White Water course

Today all is calm on the White Water course
Not a ripple disturbs the water.

Barely a ripple disturbs the water

But sometimes the Fire Brigade provide a little sport

But sometimes the Fire Brigade provide a little sport!

If nothing is happening on the white water, you can often find entertainment from the antics of the seals in the River Tees.  They seem as interested in the Barrage as are humans.  There is also a small nature trail, for a close up on the wildlife.  It can be a breezy spot though, so don’t forget to wear your warm jacket.  I did!

An object of great beauty

The Infinity Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees

The Infinity Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees

An object that tells a story was what Cheri asked for on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.  I hadn’t intended to take part this week but, returning from a flying visit to a retail park this afternoon, I caught a glimpse of one of my favourite bridges, silhouetted against a wonderful sky.  “Can we stop for just a minute?”  I asked, and was off like a whirlwind, clutching the camera.

The “story” for me is always what is on the opposite shore.  I love the “invitation to cross” that a bridge always provides.  How about you?

And again

Again

And again!

And again!

Have you entered yet?  I’m off to read some of the other “stories”.

Six word Saturday

These boots are made for walking!

Saltwick Nab from the cliff top

Looking back at Whitby harbour

As usual, my week included its fair share of walking.  It’s been muggy, stormy and grey much of the week but, undeterred, the boots have come out.

A little closer to the Nab

On around the bay

Whitby is a little tacky, like many a tourist town, but it has an endearing quality, and is everybody’s choice of the place to go for fish and chips.

The catch has gone- straight to “the chippy”!

Harbour trips, just £2.50 a go!

You can take a Vintage Steam Bus tour, or sample some of the quirky shops.

Whitby ducks- one of my earliest memories!

Love a bit of fudge.

All kinds of “glam” at The Shepherd’s Purse

Yes, please!

You can’t leave without buying some Whitby Jet!

A look back at the Abbey, and it’s time to go.

Now you might think the boots would be tired, but my Thursday Nordic walking group think differently.  By complete contrast, we’re off to the Tees Barrage next.

The Barrage dams the River Tees, and there’s often a playful seal in the water, looking for company. This morning, the White Water facility is in use by the lads from the fire brigade, doing their fitness training.  After a pause to admire, we follow the river bank to the Infinity Bridge.  There are foot and cycle tracks on both sides of the river, and damp runners and cyclists pass us by. (just a bit more rain)

Isn’t this bridge just magical?

End on a high- my favourite shot!

Time to hang up my boots for another week.  Come out with me next time?  I’m sure Cate, of Show My Face, will be my generous hostess again on Six Word Saturday.  Follow the links to join in, or view my previous posts on the button.