walking

Jo’s Monday walk : Barragem de Beliche

A lingering rock cistus highlights the banks of the reservoir.  A couple of weeks ago I ventured up to Beliche, in part to check the water levels, but also because it’s a largely uninhabited area.  Or so I thought!  The car parking area alongside the dam surprised me.  Leathers and helmet clad bikers were thronging the space.  But they kept to themselves, and we duly distanced ourselves too.  As they pulled away we got a thumbs up and a cheery wave.  Life has to move forward, but you can choose your own pace.

Around here, you can imagine, it’s pretty slow.  April and early May saw a lot of rainfall.  A Godsend, because the reservoirs were dangerously low.  And also because the Portuguese really don’t like the rain, and were very happy to stay home and avoid it.  Fique em casa!  Stay at home.  Job done!

There were no tourists, so nobody to get upset but a handful of disgruntled expats who’ve chosen to live here.  Blue skies are theirs by right, aren’t they?  And eventually were restored, the timing being almost perfect, as beaches and beautiful countryside again became available.  With enormous gratitude for what we have, and not a little trepidation, we set out.

If anything could dispel doubt, it was the sparkling blue waters of the Beliche dam.  Such a relief to see water levels being restored, for summers here can be long and hot.  Bypassing the fearsome machinery, we climbed the hill to gaze back down at the dam.

I freely admit, not the most exciting walk we have ever undertaken, but just then it felt like giant steps into the unknown.  I delighted in the freshness of the air, and the soft sprinkling of lemon and lilac flowers dusting the hillside.

A cloud passed overhead, just as I was pausing to admire another solitary cistus.  And then drifted away to join its brothers, dreaming in the sky.

This circular walk is a little more than 6kms, sufficient in the mounting heat, and before long we were below the IC27, which runs north towards the Alentejo.  There are a couple of farms in the valley, and a donkey, who gave me rather a disdainful look.

Experience has taught me to be more wary of beehives!  And their aggressive inhabitants.

The map indicated a river flowing towards the dam, but it must long since have dried up.  The telltale reminder, an overgrown measure of depth, was just visible through the shrubs.  A gentle climb brought us back to the car park.  I’d love to share the lemon drizzle cake made by one of my companions, to celebrate our first visit since the onset of the virus.  But I devoured 2 pieces, and never even gave it a thought!  Next time…

walking logo

However, I’m more than willing to share some great walks.  Here we go!

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Always good to meet another Algarve blogger, and Tracy is also a published authoress :

Montes Mourinhos – Pera circular

Wouldn’t you just love to meet Sheetal here?  I know I would!

Dinner in Trastevere, Rome

Indra shares her memories of the natural beauty of Canada :

Summer of 2019: Waterton, Canada

While Janet improves my vocabulary, amidst the natural surroundings of Arizona :

The Riparian Preserve

Sharon is surrounded by some beautiful countryside too :

Caton Riverside Walk

And Susanne is simply happy to be outdoors again :

Back for a Walk at Coulon Park

An easy, unhurried style of life, with Drake :

Some even forget the mobile

And a poignant and personal post from Alice :

One Last Song

A poetic lady I know as ‘Heart to Heart’ (Dil se Dil tak… )  Such a lovely name for a blog, Rita :

The woods are lovely dark and deep…

There must be a history to this village name, Jonno?  Always smiling, these two!

Our Favourite Devon Walk to Heanton Punchardon

You can admire a little beauty with Rupali any time :

Wordless Wednesday Walk 2

While Anabel knows the way to my heart.  Via a drystone roundhouse is especially good :

Edin’s Hall Broch

Calling Becky, Debbie, Sue and Margaret- Ulli has found us some more goats!

Hidden Gem Downtown

That’s it for this week!  I’m going to put the brakes on for a little while.  It’s getting too hot to walk on a regular basis, though I did another 6kms yesterday to check out the larger dam at Odeleite.  Not looking too bad at present, but there’s a long way to go.  Take care all, and I’ll see you soon.

Jo’s Monday walk : Osmotherley and beyond

Shall we share some fresh moorland air today?  Many of you in the UK will be having one last summer jaunt over the Bank Holiday weekend.  I hope the weather holds fair.  It’s a week or two since I was up on the York Moors but the colours were those wonderful shades of rose and lilac that I love.  The village of Osmotherley is just a 40 minute drive from me, less with a tail wind.  You need only turn right at the crossroads and, a little way beyond the village, you can find some delightful walking.  Come to think of it, the same applies if you turn left, but then I cannot guarantee heather.

Follow the footpath sign opposite the cottage, where refreshments used to be provided in the summer.  Maybe business wasn’t so good, or maybe year on year of baking lost its charm.  It’s a shame because I know you would have appreciated a warm scone.  I hope you’ve got water and a little something in your backpack.  And don’t forget to close the gate!

In seconds you’re surrounded.  Leggy Rosebay Willowherb wafts on the breeze, while sturdy heather hugs the contours of these wild spaces.  Clouds sweep across, plunging the landscape into shadow.  Sunlight blazes ahead over the fields.

The path drops down towards woodland and I step aside to let a tractor trundle past.  The driver nods cheerfully.  My husband remarks that he was carrying a gun.  “Was he?” I ask.  “We’d best behave!”  Not that we wouldn’t.

We follow the path into the woods, through dappled shade.  As we start to climb back out again we encounter a group of lady dog walkers, perched on a bit of wall for a picnic.  We exchange the look that says ‘we forgot again!’ and carry on.  They had the perfect spot, overlooking the reservoir.

Over the bridge we go and up the other side, not too sure if this is the right direction.  ‘Of course it is- it’s upwards!’  We clamber up, glad of the stone slabs, and pausing often to admire far reaching views.  At our feet, tiny flowers nestle in crevices, ferns patterning the time-whorled stones.

A little puffing and panting later, and we’ve reached the top.  It strikes me that I would rather have come gently up than descend this footpath.  And then we’re back amongst the heather.  A curious sheep looks on as we rejoin the road and head back towards the cottage.

I’m starting to feel nostalgic for the beauty of the English countryside, and I haven’t even left it yet!  Thank you for joining me.  Link up any time here on Jo’s Monday walk.  I’m always glad of company.  Kettle on now, because it’s sharing time again.

I can always rely on Debs to lift my spirits, as well as my eye level :

Views over Nimes

Lady Lee shares another beautiful weekend away :

Our weekend in Das Kranzbach

Let’s finish off that lovely walk with Janet :

Monday walk…around the lake 2

What does Jackie do every morning?

Rise and Shine

Eunice likes to get out and about too- mostly in lovely countryside like this :

Firwood Fold’s hidden lake

Call me soft, if you like, but this one scares me!  No thanks, Alice!  🙂

Okefenokee Swamp, natures treasure chest

Much happier in Rupali’s tranquil garden :

A short visit to botanical garden

No better place to linger than a sunset with Irene :

A Walk at Sunset

But if you want a climb with stunning views, this is the one!

Hiking: Harry’s Ridge

Lisa shares 2000 years of history with us on a walk through the fascinating city of Acre :

The Port City of Acre 

Cathy has been keeping me company with some awesome walks this past few weeks.  This one is no exception.  Simply phenomenal!

The Grand View Overlook Trail in Canyonlands

Looking back to see what I’d posted about Osmotherley and surrounds, I came upon this walk, from the other side of the village.  Off to Guisborough with the group today.  Sunny, too!  Have a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Ma Shipton’s Cave, Knaresborough

No doubt about it- street art is alive and well in Knaresborough.  Perhaps you remember my interrupted visit earlier this year, when I discovered it’s many windows?  Recently I was able to return to collect a few more, determined to make it to the other bank of the River Nidd this time.  Leaving the town and castle perched high over the river, let’s get down to Waterside.  The weather isn’t any better than last time, but still it’s a beautiful scene.

Despite the dullness of the day, people are still messing about in boats, and marvelling at the antiquity of this town.  Did you read the Old Manor House plaque?  The chequerboard building is an extraordinary sight.

Let’s cross over High Bridge.  When compared with the Railway Viaduct, it isn’t very high at all.  On the far shore Knaresborough Forest once provided hunting grounds for royalty.  My target today is Ma Shipton’s Cave.  Open since 1630, this is said to be England’s oldest visitor attraction.

Past the ghouls and into the woodland we go, following a winding path.  Through the trees I can just make out the rushing weir, more audible than visible.  Once a mill wheel turned on the opposite bank, where today smart residences overlook the river.

I wondered why the tree was so sad.  Perhaps it was the youngsters hammering coins into the coin tree.  Or maybe it was missing former friends here on Beech Avenue, site of some of the tallest beech trees in the country, dating back to 1739.

As it’s school holidays I shouldn’t be surprised to find several characters awaiting me in the woods.  Maid Marian was particularly charming.  Not so sure about the Sheriff!  He seemed to be guarding the entrance to the cave and the petrifying well.  A strange place, if ever I saw one.

If you read the signboards you will realise what an extraordinary character was Mother Shipton.  Born in this cave in 1488, as she grew older her prophetic visions inspired awe and fear.  She foretold both the invasion and defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and the Great Fire of London in 1666.  The Petrifying Well is a unique geological phenomenon, where cascading water turns everyday objects into stone.  More details, including how to get here, can be found on www.mothershipton.co.uk.

There’s definitely an atmosphere in those woods and I felt lucky to escape the wrath of the Sheriff.  Happily there was a very nice establishment where I could get my breath back.  I hope you enjoyed walking with me.

Thanks for your company everyone.  Blue skies have definitely changed to grey here, but we’ll put the kettle on and keep smiling.  Lots of lovely walks to share this week.  Please do visit, especially if there’s someone you don’t know.  Join me anytime on Jo’s Monday walk.

Let’s start with Cathy, because I missed her out last week.  A sad story, but some stunning scenery :

Dead Horse Point State Park

Liz and I share a love of the Algarve, but here’s somewhere else we both know and like :

My Monday Walk in Ludlow

Eunice enjoys a blue sky walk in her local English countryside :

Repeating a Rivington ramble

Why not enjoy a relaxed lakeside stroll with Alice, in South Carolina?

Jarvis Creek Park

Or join Janet in the peace and beauty of her watery world :

Monday walk…the first lake

You know I love a sunrise.  Rupali watches it rise in a special place :

Sunrise over the Charles Bridge in Prague

While Artfulinguist lingers over sunset in the most beautiful of bays :

15 minutes at Sidney Pier

Lady Lee is off to the Philippines soon and will be so happy to be home with Mum :

Ten Things of Thankful

Colline joins us with a spectacular firework display from the Eiffel Tower- don’t miss it!

First Walk Down the Champs Elysees

While Geoff and Dog pace out the bridges of London.  An excellent way to exercise!

Bridging The Gap #walking#london#thames

Poor Mel has had a rough time up till now, but there’s finally a reward for all the effort :

Day 4 Via Francigena, Verres to Pont Saint Martin, 19km

More serious hikers, meet Patrick and Paige, and the butterfly socks!

Mount Assiniboine

Nadine gamely carries on, and reminds me what a very beautiful part of the world I live in :

Day Two on the Pennine Way : Torside to Standedge, 12miles

Finishing off with more rugged and beautiful terrain with our Cathy :

The Upheaval Dome Hike in Canyonlands

That’s it, folks!  Enjoy, and I’ll see you all next week.  Take care till then.  Almost forgot to link to Sami at Monday Mural!

Jo’s Monday walk : Cotherstone and the Teesdale Way

If you saw my shabby summerhouse last week, you’ll know that I’m a fan of the Open Garden scheme.  Sometimes it throws up a real jewel.  It’s a bit of a bus man’s holiday for my husband, but you can always get him to go and look at a garden.  Me, I’m just happy to go somewhere new.  Not that Cotherstone is new, exactly.  We’ve driven by this village en route to Teesdale and the falls beyond, and scarcely noticed it.  Discovering that the whole village opened its gardens for charity gave us a golden opportunity to explore.

Map in hand, off we went!  There were 15 or more gardens to delight in.  You’ll note that we didn’t get very far before the coffee stop, but we’d had a longish drive from home.  Looking over the garden wall of The Limes was just too tempting. (and the homemade rhubarb slice was tart and delicious!)  A perfect summer’s day, it was easy to sit in the sunshine and smile at the super keen youngsters of the household.  They were Sunday smart and performing waiting duties, with impeccable manners.

When I did stir myself, I was gifted a fine zucchini plant, much to my astonishment.  Never having mothered such a specimen before, I was a little anxious for its survival, but I’m happy to report that it has since thrived.

The Methodist Chapel was open and I paused long enough to admire the stained glass, and wonder briefly if I should turn my talents to rug making?  Back into the sunshine, I dodged a fearsome looking farm machine, before dipping into another garden.

Each garden had its own character.  Some manicured to within an inch of their life, others far more casual; one devoted to recycled goods, another fragrant with a nosegay of sweetpeas.  Their common factor?  A gardener with a smile, and time to chat.

Midway through the village a narrow lane led down towards a river I hadn’t even realised was there.  I was about to meet the River Balder, which joins the Tees at this point.  On the far shore, a river beach, perfectly sited for cooling tired feet.

It’s an enchanted piece of woodland, leaves dancing in dappled shade over russet waters.  The moss covered bridge must surely have been there in Merlin’s time.  I followed the Teesdale Way just far enough to satisfy my curiosity, and then retraced my steps.  A steep clamber up a stepped path brought us to the top of the village, and what was probably my favourite garden, Glensleigh.  Beautifully terraced, the views were far reaching, and the lovely Norwegian owner didn’t seem to mind in the least that a public right of way ran right through her garden.

A bee-keeping demonstration next, the lady keeper, outfitted like a spaceman, fearlessly handling the honeycomb.  A glance over the allotment walls- time is pressing on!  I’ve lost count of the number of gardens we’ve seen.

Back on the main street, we were offered a celebratory prosecco, and took 10 minutes to admire the owner’s beautifully presented patio.  I can’t say that this is common practise at Open Gardens, but it was very much appreciated on a warm day.

On the village green children were dangling toes in the stream and eating icecreams.  Just a few more visits.  Opposite the magnificent church an aged gentleman sat on a bench in his lovely small patch and exchanged pleasantries.  He’d never left his home county.  ‘Why would he?’ his gentle smile seemed to say.  In the stream at the bottom of his garden, two American crayfish seemed content to end their wanderings too.  Wouldn’t you?

While looking for a few facts about Cotherstone, I came upon this 6 mile circular walk from the Fox and Hounds at West Green.  It covers some of our outing today.  Next time I’ll go looking for the ‘fairy cupboards’.

Apologies to anyone whose walk I haven’t included here today.  I’ve scheduled the post because I’m up on the Northumbrian coast for our anniversary, and I haven’t got my laptop.  They’ll appear in next week’s walk- promise!  Meanwhile, please do read and enjoy….

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My nautical friend, Drake, shares a mutual passion – water!

Sailing

I can’t keep up with Jackie!  Can you?  Wonder what’s to eat?

Bed and Breakfast

How about Niagara, looking floral and lovely, with Alice :

Floral clock, Niagara Parks

Some very personal memories shared by Artfulinguist :

A UVic Stroll Down Memory Lane

Not something I associate with beautiful Norway, but Rupali has set me straight :

A tour to Norwegian cherry farm

Nowhere better than our very own Lake District, with Melodie :

Randonnee/Hike Nether Wasdale

I’m home at teatime (earlier if the weather misbehaves too badly  🙂  ) so I’ll catch up with you all then, if not sooner.  Have a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Cragside

I’m interrupting my Polish stories to take you briefly to Northumberland.  The reason being that it is rhododendron time of year at Cragside, and if we don’t go soon you’ll have missed them.  I managed to capture them in the last week of May, when they were looking truly fabulous.

Cragside is rightly famous for being the first home in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, and makes a fascinating tour.  My interest, however, lies in the acres of woodland walks and the formal gardens which surround the house.  Former owner, Lord Armstrong, is described as a landscape genius, and I saw nothing to make me dispute that claim.

To get the lie of the land you can take the 6 mile circular carriage drive around the estate.  On a sparkling blue sky day it is a sight to behold.  Within that there are a selection of waymarked trails and over 40 miles of signposted footpaths.  Enough, even for me?

As always I am magnetised by the water and my first stop is Nelly’s Moss, where there are two lakes to walk around.  Craggy boulders split the woods and some of the trail is made up of solid stone slabs.  No-one to disturb, but a curious duck or two.

No doubt you can tell I’m besotted by the rhododendrons, but the pleasures don’t end there.  In fact, they’re just beginning.  There’s even a Trim Trail, should you wish to test your fitness levels.  Perhaps I shouldn’t define that as a pleasure.  I’m content to drive back to the Visitor Centre, fronted by lovely Tumbleton Lake.  Parking and restaurant are close by, or you can simply picnic beside the lake.  Some folk like to travel in style.

The Armstrong Trail follows Debdon Burn, past the Archimedes Screw and the Pump House, through woodland leading to the Iron Bridge.  From here you can climb through the sea of azaleas and rhododendrons up to the house, or you can take a detour to the formal gardens.

I don’t remember these from my long ago visit, but the setting is superb.  On a truly radiant day, with the valley below rolling down to Rothbury in the distance, you just want to sit on a bench and breath deeply.  No such luxury for the gardening team, but they seem happy in their work, rooting out disobedient weeds.  I linger over tubs of tulips, beside a bedraggled rose and among the cool greys of the fernery.

Irridescent colours gleam at me, and it doesn’t really matter that many of the flowers are past their peak.  I can still luxuriate in their finery.

I hope you enjoyed sharing Cragside with me.  Full details are to be found on the website.  Meanwhile I’d like to share another great selection of walks.  It’s been a busy but wonderful couple of weeks and I won’t be posting a walk next week.  Instead I’ll be taking life a little more easily in the Algarve.  Among other things I have a wine tasting session that I need to attend.  Time to put the kettle on now, and settle in for a good read.

I always know it’s going to be a great week if it starts with a walk from Debbie :

Wandering around the park at Hellbrunn

Cheese anybody?  And don’t miss Jackie’s recipe for Slow Mongolian Beef :

Cheese platter

Let’s accompany Janet to the mall next, for some high end?

Monday walk…The Americana at Brand

Jesh is someone who doesn’t take beauty for granted, but often paints it, beautifully :

DON’T TAKE BEAUTY FOR GRANTED

And speaking of beauty, the happiest of memories brought back for me, from Lady Lee :

#SoCS June 9/18- “start with a noun”

Drake brought back more fond memories, of a long ago week at the Austrian lakes :

Idyllic Austrian colors

While Jaspa unintentionally brought back some not so happy memories of a Greek crisis for me :

Early Morning at The Parthenon, Athens

And Irene brought just a little more heavenly light :

Beams of Light

This post from Denzil gives you a choice of 4 walks and a lovely castle.  Not bad, hey?

Four walks starting from Horst Castle

Cathy hopes to be fit for the Camino in September, but meantime shares some fabulous views of her native America :

A hike above Wedding Canyon

As always, thanks to you all for walking with me and for sharing such wonderful companionship.  I need a little time out but I’ll be back as soon as I can.  Take good care till then.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Hetton Lyons Country Park

The choices this week were another boring beach walk in the sunny Algarve, or a quick romp in the frozen north east of England.  Well, it’s no contest, is it?  Grab your scarf and mittens, and no loitering, please!  Except to feed the swans.

There’s a crisp beauty to it, as the frost nibbles at your ears and glistens on grass and fences.  Distant dog walkers embrace the morning air.

Out past the barn, I head towards the windmills, on a narrow lane.  A public footpath crosses the fields, the frozen earth firm underfoot.  Patterns abound, all etched in white, whilst solid puddles of ice line the path.

Despite the sun, the ice persists, tingling the toes, yet some of the fields are surprisingly green.  The blades whirr noisily above my head.

Fronds of bracken huddle beneath the hedge, the occasional, lucky one gilded by sunlight.  A forbidding, firmly-locked gate denies access.  No matter, as the country park lies straight ahead, just beyond the farmhouse.

The small pond is frozen solid, but most of the lake is clear and sparkling.  A path skirts the shore and the swans glide hopefully forwards.

There is a small cafe if you need a warm up afterwards.  As we drove through Hetton I saw a sign for homemade broth.  Sounded like a good idea!

I think the sign was on Market Street, but I was distracted by the mural.  Hope you didn’t get too cold walking with me.  I still have a few warm Algarve images that I may get to share with you before I go, but this is my last walk for a couple of weeks.

Many thanks for all your wonderful shares.  Please take a little time to read the following walks, especially if it’s someone you don’t know.  You may find a new friend.  There are lots this week but I’ll be in the Algarve for a few weeks, so you can make them last.  Once I get settled I hope to be back out with you again.

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Let’s start with a little stunning alpine scenery from Drake :

From a peak

And here’s a fair bit of the white stuff from Anabel too!

The Birks of Aberfeldy (and other walks)

You birders will love this!  Take a walk in the wild with Lisa :

In Search of the Endangered Slaty Becard- (and finding so much more!)

Dom hosts a regular walk feature on Wandsworth Radio.  Why not have a listen?

Walking Wandsworth Episode 6- Battersea Arts Centre

And you could munch along with Jackie while you do :

Comfort foods

“One of the most glorious landscapes I’ve ever been fortunate to have hiked in”, says Nicole :

A Magical Hike in Chile’s Parque Andino Juncal

Kathrin’s in a very happy place and I think you’ll like it too :

Hopfen am See aka my Happy Place

‘There’s gold in them there hills!”  Well, there was once, wasn’t there, Carol?

The Ten Dollar Town

You can just picture Pauline and Jack, having fun with all these folks!

Meandering in Uki Market

Lady Lee is back from her holidays.  You might be jealous!

New Year’s Eve and Day in Manila

Cornwall can still compete with most places, if the weather behaves.  In French, and English :

Hike around Lizard Point, England

And while we’re down that way, a sort of revisit, from Jude :

Garden Portrait : The Lost Gardens of Heligan Part 1

This time last year I was getting very excited about a trip to Tuscany.  Thanks for the memories, Woolly!

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk49_Pisa

This year I’m just days away from an extended stay in the Algarve.  Thanks for a lovely reminder, Becky :

There’s a pig loose

And just to thoroughly spoil you, here’s that warm beach walk I know you fancied, courtesy of Meg :

An early morning walk and an act of gross disloyalty

Lovely skies here this morning but still slippy stuff on the ground.  Take care out there!  I’ll be keeping an eye an you, and I’ll let you know when I’m walking again.  Bye for now!

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Lisbon… one last time

“Let me take you by the hand, and lead you through the streets of…” Lisbon… one last time.  I’m sure Ralph Mctell won’t mind.  I’ve always loved this song but the YouTube video is harrowing.  There’s a dark side to cities that rarely appears on here, but I know you don’t have to wander far from tourist heaven to find it.

You can walk this walk from top to bottom, or bottom to top.  I’ve done it both ways.  I can only suggest that you take your time, and stop off for coffee whenever the fancy takes you.  And I can definitely promise you cake.

Here we are, at the top of Parque de Eduardo VII, looking down on the panorama of Lisbon.  Close by you will find the bus station, which was my final destination that day.  You have choices of where to linger.  I never did make it into the Calouste Gulbenkian museum, but I did let myself be sidetracked by the estufa fria (cold greenhouse) in Edward’s park.

I shan’t even attempt to name names, except for one specimen I received a cutting of from the family in Kraków.  It’s thriving still on my windowsill.

That last one is a Tradescantia Spathacea and it can be found in Belize, Guatemala and the south of Mexico.  And on my windowsill.

The simple joy of flowers.  So, we’re still at the top of the park but, if you should feel the need for a cuppa, I know the very place.  Linha d’Água.  Otherwise it’s a gentle stroll down through the park, pausing to admire the restored Pavilhão, and a few azulejos, of course.

Cross busy Praça do Marques de Pombal and you’re on the Avenida da Liberdade.  Follow the patterned pavements all the way down to Rossio, or Praça de Dom Pedro IV, as it’s properly known.  The whole character of the walk changes here as you are on the edge of the Baixa, the lower part of the city.  Its tall, narrow streets are named for the gold, silversmiths and other tradesfolk for whom this was once the commercial centre.

If you didn’t stop for a drink before, or even if you did, this is another good area.  A Brasileira and Café Nicola have both stood the test of time.

Refreshed, it’s time to go upwards a little.  If the queues aren’t too bad you might want to use Elevador de Santa Justa.  Otherwise it’s a steep climb up to Largo do Carmo and the beautiful ruined Convento.  Sadly, I had no time to enter.

The views out across the city, towards Castelo de São Jorge, are as good as any you’ll find in Lisbon.  You can make your way past the exit from the Elevador and down to a terrace full of recliners.  Not a bad place for a cocktail!  And an internal lift will carry you back down to street level.

Now I have to make my way all the way back to the bus station.  Better leave you with that promised cake, as I journey home to the Algarve.

It’s been a long series of posts, but I hope it’s given you some idea of how lovely a city Lisbon is.  I’m returning to the Algarve soon but I will share one more Monday walk before I go.  Not sure where it will be, just yet.

As usual I’d like to thank you all for your company and your contributions.  Please find a little time to read these.  I do appreciate it.  If you’d like to join me with a walk, next week will be your last chance for a while.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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Nothing like a bit of company to make a good walk great, is there, Jude?

Readymoney Cove to Fowey

Funnily enough this is somewhere Jude and I have been, together!  Thanks, Anabel!

Edinburgh: a Canongate walk

I’d like to introduce you to a lady called Martha.  She’s walking on one of my old stomping grounds :

Best walks in London : Thames Path west, Richmond to Hampton Court

That white stuff just won’t go away!  Pity poor Jackie in Toronto :

Les Feves Au Lard

And you can almost hear the ice crackling on Drake’s post!

Added white atmosphere

But of course it’s a very different story in Australia.  Let Pauline introduce you to the Scribbly Gum Moth.  Yes, really!

A walk round my patch

This is a very delightful photo walk with Aarti :

Photowalk in Bosque El Olivar

And who doesn’t love a walk with views like this?  Not Sunny Days in Seattle :

Hiking : Oyster Dome

Finally, something completely different, from Kat  :

In the Footsteps of the Samurai : Walking the Nakasendo Way

Good variety, I’m sure you’ll agree.  The forecast’s not good for this week but I hope to get out and about.  If not, I’ll be watching the Australian Open tennis.  Enjoy your week, however you spend it!

Jo’s Monday walk : Loving Lagos

It’s not often that I venture to the western end of the Algarve but, when I do, the city of Lagos is a particular favourite of mine. I knew that my daughter loved it too, from a fleeting visit about 10 years ago.  What better excuse did I need for a bit of footloose and fancy free?

The old side of town is a warren of twisting and turning switchback streets, with fleeting glimpses of interest as you whizz around a harepin bend.  Lisa commented that she was glad not to be in the driving seat, but we put our faith in my valiant other half, and eventually we found parking, way up beyond the castle walls.  I had not realised that they were so extensive.  Following our noses led us to an interesting wall or two of graffiti.

Truth be known, these days some of Lagos is a little bit tacky with touristy shops and restaurants- a victim of its own success and having some of the Algarve’s most inviting beaches.  But I can overlook a street or two that resembles Albufeira because this is a very engaging place.  It has history and beautiful churches, and it has character in spades, if you go looking.

Peeping between the narrow streets, the spires of several churches catch the eye.  I knew Santo Antonio by reputation, but was a little disappointed not to be able to share the astounding architecture and elaborately gilded wood with you.  Photographs were forbidden, but I did manage to find a link.  On the main square, Santa Maria was much less elaborate, but still beautiful.

Lagos has a history stretching back over 2000 years.  Originally a Celtic settlement, it was colonised by the Romans (as Lacobriga), valuable to them for its fine harbour.  When the Moors arrived in the 8th century, they added fortifications of castle and walls, and established trading with North Africa.  Henry the Navigator made Lagos the centre of Portuguese maritime explorations in the 15th century, the caravels venturing further and further south along the west coast of Africa, hoping to find a route to India.  In 1434 Gil Eanes succeeded in rounding the cape but sadly, within 10 years, the slave trade was established.  Lagos has the dubious distinction of having Europe’s first slave market.  Prince Henry received one fifth of the selling price of each slave, helping him to fund further expeditions.

With the death of Henry, Lagos continued to receive shipments of goods and slaves but its role was gradually eclipsed by the rising star of Lisbon.  A string of forts was constructed along the coast to defend from pirates and neighbouring Spain.  Among them, Ponta da Bandeira Fort, which sits so picturesquely on the headland.  From 1576 to 1755, Lagos was capital of the Algarve, but the earthquake of 1755 destroyed much of the old town.  Some of the castle walls remain but many of the current buildings date from 17th century.

Knowing my tendency to linger by the sea, I was allowed only the merest glimpse of the fort before being whisked away to lunch.  The lure of white sangria just about did the trick.  Over lunch we discussed ‘where next’ and Lisa made it a mission to find for me the landmark ‘green building’ which appears in many images of Lagos.  We were, of course, permitted to dawdle by the odd shop.  Ingenious use is being made of cork these days- everything from tiny purses to sandals, with jewellery and even clever fans.  Eye catching balustrades and tumbles of flowers were duly noted.

Lisa was following Google maps (isn’t technology a wonderful thing?) in a haphazard sort of way.  There were simply too many distractions.  Crossing Praça Gil Eanes I could see just a snippet of Ribeira Bensafrim, the river that pours out into the ocean.  We climbed gently and found ourselves in a square looking at a very colourful building, which proved to be the living science centre. ( Centro Ciência Viva de Lagos)

A restaurant terrace looked out onto the marina and busy river.  No sign of the desired ‘green building’ but, as we retraced our steps downhill, there it was in all its glory.  How had we missed it?  ‘Azulejos e postais‘- Tiles and postcards, as it is now known, on Praça de Luis Camoes.

Close up the tiles were very beautiful, and the owner was delighted to discuss the restoration of his building.  Mission accomplished, it remained to find our way back uphill to where we left the car.  I hope you loved Lagos too, and enjoyed our ramble together.

I’m back in the UK now, so hopefully ‘normal’ service will resume, but I may be a while catching up.  Thanks so much for your loyalty, and for staying with me.  Once again I have a bumper bundle of walks to share, so do please find time to visit these lovely folk.  And if you’d like to share a walk with me, just follow the logo.  Many thanks!

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Everybody should see this place once in their lifetime, so thanks, Lady Lee :

Santorini

While nobody does spectacular better than Debbie :

Slow and exposed walk along the Thames

Drake treated me to the warm glow of Autumn in a place that I love :

Colorful Autumn

And Elaine took me to her pretty home patch, too :

Early November walk by the canal

While Jill took me to a place that I’ve long wanted to visit :

Come explore Cadiz with me

And Cadyluck Leedy took me to an area that I don’t know at all!

Jo’s Monday Walk : Dinan, France

Liesbet has some spectacular photos, taken between house sits :

Southern Utah’s National Parks

And Violet takes me waterfalling

Inglis Falls

I did think Silly Back Lane an odd place name, but then I looked again.  Cheers, Jude!

Siblyback Lake

But then Woolly made me sad all over again :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk43_Gibraltar-Bunker

There’s something so distinctive about French windows and shutters.  And about Tobias; style :

Beynac, Part One

Beynac, Part Two

I’m really enjoying  Carol’s ‘close to home’ series, with their wonderful details.  Just look at these trees!

BYO Birdseed

Becky’s cheating a little bit with this one :

Glass, iron and steel at Kew

But on Friday morning I was sitting right here, waiting for the ferry to the Ilha.  Sunny memories :

A short stroll at Quatro Aguas

I have a gazillion photos to sort, including those from Lumiere in Durham last night.  Amazing stuff!  It’s forecast a damp week so it looks like I’ll have time to spare.  Whatever you get up to, I hope it’s a good week for you.  Take care!

 

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : A whizz around Beverley

Many of you had never heard of Beverley in East Yorkshire when I shared my recent visit to its magnificent Minster.  I’m back this morning to give you a whistlestop tour of the town.  Hold on to your hats!

It was another of those whims of mine that took me there on a coach trip one September day.  The journey seemed tortuous and I wondered why I was putting myself through it, but immediately I set foot inside the Minster I knew that it had been worthwhile.

I glimpsed the spires as we drove into town and as soon as the coach doors opened I was off and beelining for it.  I found the Tourist Information office on Butcher Row en route, and grabbed a map with details of the Beverley Town Trail.  Patience not being my middle name, when I realised that it gave a choice of 4 local walks I threw up my hands and just got on with the job.  Straight down Highgate brought me to the gates of the Minster.  It was a grey old sky, not bringing out the best of the old stone, yet the building had presence.

Bowled over by Beverley will take you inside, if you missed it.  Glancing at the map when I came out, I continued around the outside of the grounds to Minster Yard South.  I was quite surprised to find a grassy paddock with cows grazing contentedly, here in the middle of town.  I knew that it was a market town, but still, a little strange?  The white phonebox set a smile on my face as I continued onto Eastgate.

I detoured, as directed, on Friary Walk for a look at the former Friary, but this was planted firmly in the midst of a housing complex, and I did not loiter.  Back towards Wednesday Market- what an endearing name for the square, peaceful on a Thursday, with pavement cafes and coffee drinkers enjoying the mild temperatures.  On along Butcher Row, taking more notice this time of an interesting mix of shops and eating places.

I stopped occasionally to consult the trail guide, which was full of fascinating snippets of information.  Medieval Beverley was a wealthy town with a diverse population of skilled workers.  Carpenters, armourers, printers, locksmiths, weavers, hatters, brewers, ropemakers- the list is impressive and comprises 39 different medieval guilds.  Do you know what trade a fletcher pursued?  No- nor me! (He made arrows)  The trail encourages you to look for signs of each, but time was precious.  I was heading for Saturday Market and a handsome Market Cross.

It surprised me to read that Beverley was once the 10th largest town in England, and one of the richest, based on the wool industry and the pilgrims who came here to venerate its founder.  The town dates back to 700AD, when St. John of Beverley founded a monastery on the site of the Minster.

Market Cross sits most elegantly at the heart of the square known as Saturday Market, surrounded by attractive buildings.  Did you notice two more white telephone boxes?  Saturday is the main market day here and I can imagine traffic coming to a standstill.  Just beyond the square you can see the tower of St. Mary’s Church, and that’s where I headed next.  As luck would have it, closing was at 4, giving me half an hour to explore.

St. Mary’s was founded in 1120 and the foundations of the early Norman building are still visible in places.  A notable feature of the church are the stone carvings.  The Minstrel Pillar is shown below but I missed the carving of a rabbit dressed as a pilgrim, dated around 1330 and said to have been the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit.  (You can see him on this link)  The vestry ceiling is painted to represent a map of the heavens, and reminded me of Polish churches I’ve seen.

Amazing to have such a beautiful church and the Minster in one small town.  The ceiling of the chancel is quite breathtaking and I was thrilled to be able to get close to the 28 wonderfully carved misericords.  And who can resist that humble donkey, waiting in the wings?

Take a breath!  The misericords next…

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My time in Beverley was running out, and looking at the trail guide it seems I’d covered most of the 4 walks.  I was disappointed not to have found the Beck and its shipping heritage, but a bonus was the logically named North Bar Within and North Bar Without.  They sandwich North Bar, the earliest brick built town entrance in England.

Heading back to the coach, there was just time to stick my nose in the Coronation Garden, formerly owned by St. Mary’s Church, which explains the headstones.  The benches were empty but I couldn’t stop.

I grabbed a takeaway coffee and a few munchies and subsided onto the bus home, via the Humber Bridge.  But that will have to wait for another time.  I’m off to the Algarve on Wednesday and not sure exactly when I’ll be posting again.

Did you manage to keep up?  I hope you enjoyed it.  I’m onto my second cup of coffee and I’m hoping you’ll do the same.  Put the kettle on and have a good read.  All of these are worth it so please do visit them.  Thank you so much to everyone who’s taken part and kept me company all these weeks.  I’ll be popping in on you when I can.

Starting with an introduction- meet Nadja and her scene stealing photos of Austria :

The Maltese Valley

Fantastic memories of one lovely lady, from another!  Thanks so much, Becky :

An evening stroll for Jo

What would you expect to find at a zoo?  Violet had a bit of a surprise :

At the zoo

I adore dates, and here’s Jackie teasing me with date cake!

Matrimonial cake

Are you an early morning jogger?  Ju-Lyn has the nicest surrounds to tempt you out of bed :

Guess who I met at the Singapore Botanic Gardens?

Candy has some really lovely walks in Brittany.  This is just one of many :

A walk around Landerneau

Kathrin is determined to hike Half Dome one day, but this looks just as good!

North Dome Hike

Carol’s finally finished her English adventures.  What next?  I think I know :

The Last Afternoon

Woolly has a wonderful way with our feathered friends :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary-2

Bringing a bit of desert heat our way, I wish I was looking over Drake’s shoulder :

In the sand

And with even more sand in the picture, this is a real beauty from Karen, if a little strenuous!

The Three Beaches Walk

Putting up a gutsy performance and us dilettantes to shame, I’m ending on a real high with Lexie :

High Tatras High

Ending on a high is always a good way to go.  Take good care of yourselves, and I’ll be back before you know it.

Jo’s Monday walk : Yarn bombing in Yorkshire

I do love a bit of enthusiasm, don’t you?  Last year, when the Tour de Yorkshire came to Thirsk, the celebrations included a colorful yarn bombing of the market square.  Flushed with success, they did it all over again this year, for Yorkshire Day, on August 1st.

In all honesty, I’d quite forgotten about it.  I was merely entertaining myself with a bit of a walk, my husband being hard at work in nearby South Kilvington.  With a little more foresight I could have chosen one of a number of walks, available through Thirsk Tourist Information.  But, as often happens, I opted to follow my nose, in the rough direction of the town centre.

At a mini roundabout I chose Stammergate over Long Street, and the gentle curve of St. James Green.  A sign in the window, “If you want the best seat in the house- move the dog”, made me smile.  I followed the dog walker down a narrow path and found myself on the banks of Cod Beck.  The name derives from Cold Beck, a beck being smaller than a river, and it runs deep between the banks of the stream, so is always fairly cool.  It flows from Cod Beck Reservoir at Osmotherley, on the edge of the North York Moors, for 22 miles, passing through the centre of Thirsk and finally joining with the River Swale.

It’s unusual to find a young woman, fishing on her own.  Not so unusual to find a small girl entranced by the tumbling waters of the weir.  A signboard tells me that this area is known as The Holmes, where a grove of straight stemmed willows were once used for basket making.  I turned back at the weir, heading for 15th century St. Mary’s Church, opposite The Marage, the site of a former fishpond and recreational area.

Unfortunately there was a service in progress in the church, so I turned into Kirkgate, discovering my first hint of yarn bombing at Thirsk Hall.

Kirkgate is also home to the World of James Herriot.  You may remember the TV series ‘All creatures great and small’, based on the books by James Herriot about the life of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales.  Thomas Lord, founder of Lord’s Cricket Club in London, was born in 1755 in the house on Kirkgate that now houses Thirsk Museum.

Thirsk is built around a large medieval market square, established in 1145, and the market continues to function every Monday and Saturday. Today it’s enhanced by something warm and whimsical.  Sit back and enjoy!

Wonderful, aren’t they?  I expect I’ve missed a few, but traffic and awkward angles didn’t help. The Tourist Information office is in Market Place, but closed on Sundays.  I wandered round into Millgate and found myself surrounded by ducks as I admired the bridge.  Once a corn mill was sited here, fed by a mill race and regulated by sluice gates.  All that remains today is the weir we saw earlier.

But inevitably I’m drawn back to Market Place.  It’s time for a cuppa, don’t you think?

It’s an interesting place and I hope you enjoyed our wander.  Do you have anywhere nearby where the yarn bombers have been busy?  The first place I ever saw it was Hunstanton in Norfolk, but since then I’ve even seen it in the Algarve!  And, of course, my favourite little seaside town, Saltburn, dazzles every year.  Let’s pop the kettle on now!  Time for a read.

Thanks, everybody!  Once again I have some wonderful contributions.  You never let me down. Please try to find time to visit these lovely people. You won’t be disappointed.  And if you can join me next week, that’d be great too.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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Absolutely my kind of walk!  Hell, it certainly isn’t, Jude!

A Walk to Hell’s Mouth

And it’s heaven on the beach, with Meg this week.  Wordlessly!

Wordless walk : Potato Point Beach at sunrise

Who’d have thought inland Australia could look like this?  A truly fabulous post from Miriam!

The Rim of Life : King’s Canyon

Did you know Jesh runs a challenge?  Join in, if you’d like to :

September Changes

Jackie’s off on another jaunt!

Food, Fuel, Lodging, Attractions

I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite!  Marsha gives us a few tips on the National Parks :

What is One of the Most Popular Destinations in California?

And who hasn’t wanted to walk at least part of the Camino?  Andrew, I hope you’re paying attention?  Good luck to you, Jill!

Day five on the Camino de Santiago : Larrasoana to Cizur Menor

Liesbet gets into some strange places on this one!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Bandelier National Monument

Some folks are a bit lazy when it comes to walking.  Not you, Becky, of course!

A stroll between Lisbon’s three funiculars

Another post from Northumberland, by David.  And did you find that photo, Sue?

Craster- Dunstanburgh Castle- Embleton Bay & back again

Where’s Drake got to this week?  Take a look!

Down by the corner

Woolly brings us more heartbreak from France :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk36_Thiepval-2

And finally, are there any better cities for walking in?  Just ask Carol!

London Walking

That’s it for another week!  I’m off up to Durham with the group this morning.  Take care till next time!