Six word Saturday

 

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A refugee on my bathroom windowsill!

A tiny leaf

A tiny leaf, wrenched away from its bigger brothers and sisters

Pretty, aren't they?

Pretty, aren’t they?

I like this shadow almost as much as the leaf

I think I like this shadow as much as the leaf itself!

The holly and the ivy

Can it be holly and ivy time already?

Conkers, anyone?

The conkers have already fallen

But how delicious are these?

But how delicious are these?

Are you enjoying this lovely Autumn season?  It passes all too quickly.  Come and share in the festival of leaves this weekend.  I’m sharing mine on Six Word Saturday.  I know Cate won’t mind.

What will you be sharing?  Whatever it is, I hope you have a joyful weekend.

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1 Day 1 World Project : 11.00- 12.00

Crimdon beach

Crimdon beach

Thursday is usually my Nordic walking day.  Sometimes there are just a few of us, like the happy band above.  The others missed a treat last week because, for a short while, the sun beamed and winked in the puddles left by the retreating tide.

I love the ruggedness of the landscape

Don’t you love the ruggedness of this landscape?

And the murky reflections

And the murky reflections that it creates

The strange shapes of the cliffs

The strange shapes of the cliffs

And the rocks beneath

The rocks below

With their seaweed frocks

In their seaweed frocks

And crooked seams

With slightly crooked seams!

I thought I had a good subject here for Lisa’s 1 Day 1 World Project.  We start walking around 10.30am, and I intended to use the photos in last week’s 10.00- 11.00 time slot.  When I uploaded them, I realised I hadn’t started taking the shots till after 11.00!  Too busy Nordic walking, and talking. (naturally!)  Well, I guess that’s what we’re there for.

It’s sad to see this project come to an end.  Even though I haven’t managed to take part each week, I’ve followed it’s progress.  Lisa promises one last round up next week, and as a grand finale I really have to have one more play with Lunapic.  Don’t I?

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And because Thursday’s Special, and Paula’s home, I’m linking up there too.  She has the most delicious night time shot and if you have some spare time you can even enrol in her Portuguese classes too- for free!

Jo’s Monday walk : Leeds Waterfront

The Trans Pennine Trail

The Trans Pennine Trail at Leeds

When National Express changed my itinerary, giving me a 3 hour stopover in Leeds on my way home from Nottingham, they did me a big favour.  They gave me just enough time to explore Leeds Waterfront.  I’d done a tiny bit of research so I knew there was plenty to see.  I hope you like looking at canal boats and reflections?  There are rather a lot of them here.

I grabbed a sandwich as I whistled through the bus station, turned right at the doors, crossed over the road, and there I was, practically on the canal bank.  The weather forecast had predicted rain and the coach had passed through some heavy showers, but my luck was in.  Starved, because I hadn’t eaten breakfast, I found myself a seat by Clarence Dock and plonked myself down for 10 minutes, to munch and look at these beauties.

I'm never alone with a canal boat or two

I’m never alone with a canal boat or two

I don’t know whether you’re familiar with the Royal Armouries museum?  It’s the kind of place where you can lose a day quite easily.  Have a browse at the website.  You might want to make time to come back.  No spare time for me that day.  I had much exploring to do.

A raft of offices, restaurants and apartments surround the dock.  I had tried to memorise a route along the towpath but I did what I always do, which is to follow my nose.  This usually results in a few false starts and some day I will have to invest in technology so I can summon up the genie in the iPhone.  If you look at the Leeds Waterfront map it shows you quite clearly which paths are ‘navigable’.  Meantime I blunder on!

Time to leave Clarence Dock

Time to leave Clarence Dock

Looking back at the Royal Armouries museum

Looking back towards Royal Armouries and the lock

I stayed on the left bank of the River Aire, stopping for a look at Crown Point Bridge.  Opened in 1842, this was a toll bridge until 1868.  The towpath takes you past Brewery Wharf to Centenary Bridge, built in 1992 to celebrate 100 years of Leeds acquiring city status.  The views across to The Calls make this one of the most attractive stretches of the waterfront.

Bridge detail

Bridge detail

Underneath Crown Point Bridge

Crown Point Bridge x 2

At this point the towpath ceases for a short distance and you have to thread your way through Bridge End Apartments, where I found a delightful surprise.  The wooden bridge was under repair but, lying in the water beneath, bright jewels clustered on the lily pads.

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More by luck than skill, I found myself at Leeds Bridge.  Dating back to the 14th century, this bridge, originally made from stone, was for 500 years the main crossing point on the river.  The medieval bridge was demolished in 1871, when it could no longer cope with the volume of traffic, and the existing cast iron bridge was constructed by 1873.  A distinctive looking bridge, it was the setting for the world’s first moving pictures.  In 1888, Louis Le Prince filmed horse-drawn traffic on the bridge, showing it in his nearby workplace, which became the world’s first cinema.

Crossing over Leeds Bridge, the path then hugs the backs of stylish hotels around to Victoria Bridge.  The site of a ferry crossing and then a wooden footbridge washed away by floods, the Victoria Bridge was carved from local stone and completed in 1839, soon after the coronation of Queen Victoria.  Just beyond this point the River Aire meets the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Granary Wharf, loftily overlooked by the railway.

Victoria Bridge

Victoria Bridge

The canal continues out of the city and into the countryside, but I had run out of time to follow it any further.  There are 127 miles of the Leeds and Liverpool canal- enough walking even for me! I would have liked to explore Holbeck Urban Village with its iconic Italianate towers, but it was time to turn back.  I looped round into Water Lane and headed back up Neville Street, curious to see the light installation under the railway bridge.

Passing south of Trinity Church and the impressive looking shopping plaza, I chanced upon the Corn Exchange.  Anyone remember Donovan? Apparently he strummed along here before he was famous.  A striking mural caught my eye, then I was back at Kirkgate and the Leeds City Market. It’s a regular stop off for me if I’m passing through the city.  Both the food stalls and the architecture are unbeatable.  A friendly local informed me that I should come along on Halloween, when they open the top gallery for a ‘Spooky walk’.  Sounds like fun?

I hope I haven’t worn you out too much this week, but it’s been interesting, hasn’t it?  To join in my Monday walks click on the logo below and it will give you the details.  I’ve got the kettle on for what comes next- a visit to some wonderful friends.  Please do join me.

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Cardinal has a very individual style.  Let’s accompany him to Jerusalem  :

Jerusalem 9930

Violet Sky joins us again this week for a walk in the park  :

A walk in the park

Amy’s photography is an absolute joy  :

Where have all the flowers gone?

I really must visit Liverpool soon.  Drake’s colours sing!  :

Seeking out the colours

Meet Shan and her lovely family and go apple picking  :

Coffee and Conversation

And a huge welcome to Tish Farrell!  Her evocative writing style and photos makes me want to head for Wales right now  :

Now that Summer’s done, we take the Dol Idris path

Come and get a bit damp on the prom with me and Jude!  :

Reculver Towers and Roman Fort

And speaking of proms, how does New Zealand grab you?  Jill is very persuasive  :

Wellington on a good day

And just ‘up the road’, Rosemay takes us for a jaunt on the Perth coast  :

A walk with Winston

Staying ‘down under’, Pauline invites us for a beach walk.  It reminds me of Christine.  Where does the time go?

Beach walk

And lastly. our lovely Yvette is taking us to a ‘beautiful river’  :

Beautiful waterfront- Buffalo NY

Many thanks to you all for your company and warm support.  Happy walking!

Six word Saturday

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Does anyone out there like owls?

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I have a lovely friend who likes owls.  I can understand that.  There is something very appealing about the little guys.  Funny thing is, I seem to see them everywhere I go these days.  

Don't forget the baby!

But don’t forget the baby!

Had any good owl sightings lately?  You’ll probably find some when you’re out Saturday shopping.

Enjoy your Saturday, whatever you plan to do.  My first job is always Six word Saturday.  Cate at Show My Face has been running this challenge for the longest time.  Join in if you’d like.

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A Lingering Look at windows : week 41

Any guesses where?

Any guesses where?

It seems so long since we were there, yet it’s barely two months.  I suspect it’s much longer than that since I took part in Dawn’s Lingering Look at windows, so I thought that I’d bring the two together this week.

Come and press your nose up against a few windows with me.  Click on a photo to start the gallery and look for clues.

But just in case you haven't guessed

But just in case you haven’t guessed

It’s Paris, of course!  One of my many wonderful memories this year.

Dawn keeps finding interesting windows, week after week.  Maybe you have some you’d like to share?  Click on this link to visit the challenge.

Jo’s Monday walk : Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

The lovely ruins of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

The lovely ruins of Fountains Abbey

Classic English beauty combines with a watery world for this week’s walk at Studley Royal, in Yorkshire.  I’ve been there several times and always been cursed with dismal weather.  The balmy Autumn that we’ve been experiencing was just perfect for this visit.  A Cistercian Abbey, water gardens and a deer park- irresistible?  I think so!  But don’t forget to take your purse.  Being a National Trust property, it doesn’t come cheap. (currently £10.50- no concessions, unless you are a National Trust member)

Some things don’t change.  The monks who came here in 1132 were pretty good at amassing money too.  Thirteen Benedictine monks left St. Mary’s Abbey in York to found a Cistercian Abbey in this valley.  It became one of the richest in Europe.  Something that has changed, since my last visit, is the approach to the park.  You used to be able to drive into the estate through the deer park, but traffic now is all routed via the Visitor Centre.  Pick up a map at reception, and let’s go.

It's not long before you catch your first sight of the Abbey

It’s not long before you catch your first sight of the Abbey

The ruins are extensive and Fountains Abbey Mill is the only 12th century Cistercian cornmill left in the UK.  It was in continuous use until 1927, and today houses an interactive exhibition and the water wheel, which can still grind corn.

If you’ve never been here before, you will almost certainly be impressed with what comes next. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the Abbey buildings and over 500 acres of land were sold by the Crown.  The property was passed down through several generations until it was inherited by John Aislabie, in 1693.  He was a socially and politically ambitious man and became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1718, but his involvement in the South Sea Bubble financial scandal had him expelled from Parliament.  On his return to Yorkshire, he turned the wooded valley of the River Skell into one of England’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens.

A basin of water opens up before you

A basin of water opens up before you

The reflections in the lily pond are lovely

Reflections sparkle in the lily pond

With more sculptures

Yet more sculptures rough and tumble

A group of volunteer gardeners are raking pond weed from the canals- a pleasant enough occupation on such a sunny afternoon.  The curve of the Moon Pond stretches ahead, the pillars of the Temple of Piety a focal point on the far side.  Originally the Temple of Hercules, it is believed to have been renamed when John Aislabie’s son, William, commissioned a bas relief wall sculpture inside the temple, after his father’s death.

The Temple of Piety beyond the Moon Pond

The Temple of Piety, beyond the Moon Pond

You need to walk along the canal and cross over a narrow bridge to reach the Temple of Piety. From the bridge there’s a good view across the lake to the deer park.  I didn’t spot any deer at that distance, but was diverted by one of the park’s follies, the Octagon Tower.  A neo-Gothic castle, it looked to me very inviting, but sadly I couldn’t climb it.  Beneath it lies a Serpentine Tunnel, originally designed to give people a bit of a fright at garden parties.

The lake and deer park in the distance

The lake, with the deer park in the distance

The Octagon Tower, nestling in the trees

The Octagon Tower, nestling in the trees

I'm not sure what she was holding?

I’m not sure what she was holding?

It's a beautiful watery world

In her beautiful watery world

I couldn’t climb the tower, but I did find somewhere to look down onto the park.  A sign directing me to Anne Boleyn’s Seat and Surprise View could not be ignored.  I’ll spare you the climb because it was pretty steep, but I think you’d like the view.  You will have an advantage over Anne Boleyn, who never actually saw it.  That’s not because she didn’t have a head, but the name does come from a headless statue.

Back on the path, you can return along the opposite side of the canal, steadily approaching the Abbey.  There you will have a number of diversions.  You can visit the Mill or the tea rooms, and Fountains Hall is a stately exhibition space. (with holiday flats to let!)  Any children with you will love the interpretation centre at the Porter’s Lodge. (I did too!)  And if you have time and energy to spare, there’s the Gothic extravagance of St. Mary’s Church and a stroll round the deer park.

Don’t take my word for all this.  The National Trust website will tell you the whole story and provide instructions on how to get there.  I think that you would enjoy this World Heritage Site.  I know I did.  And now it really must be time to put the kettle on, don’t you think?

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Click on the logo to visit my Jo’s Monday walk page for details on how to join in.  As always we have a wonderful variety of walks to share.

How about a sample of Finnish nature with Vasilis?  I hope you’ve met before?  And the lingonberry tart looks so good! :

Finnish nature

Yvette’s taking street portraits and searching for a missing lady. Please share this one :

Street photos from Charlottesville, VA

Join Drake, very thoughtfully making war on waste  :

Escape from the Cityscape

Making people happy in Jerusalem- that’s Cardinal this week  :

Street Portrait : The Photographer

Amy has been having some more fun with her bird friends  :

Yoga on Water

And Jude has the most delicious selection of Michaelmas Daisies you ever saw!  :

Celebrating Saint Michael

Welcome a Blogspotter please!  Violet Sky has a very fun post to add to the collection.  Do go and say ‘hello’.  :

Lost and found

Pauline is in transit again, but has been kind enough to share a trip ‘over the border’ to New South Wales.  Safe travels, Pauline and Jack!  :

Lingering look at Heritage windows

That’s it for this week.  It just remains to wish you all ‘happy walking!’

 

 

A festival of damp leaves

My Virginia Creeper- clinging on!

My Virginia Creeper- clinging on!

I’m being a little bit naughty this morning, but hey, it’s Sunday!  I’m allowed?  I just have time to squeeze in two challenges before I go walking again tomorrow.  The forecast is wet so I’ll have to take the sunshine with me.

An abandoned leaf- but it's still green!

An abandoned leaf- but it’s still green!

This one's properly 'washed out'

This one’s properly ‘washed out’

And this one- a brittle brown

And this one- a brittle brown

But I do find colour hard to resist

But I do find colour hard to resist

Do you have a favourite?  Or some leaves to share?

I’m contributing to Festival of leaves- week 3 and also squeezing in a last minute entry to 1 Day 1 World Project 9:00 to 10:00.  I should just get away with the latter because Lisa is all the way over in Seattle so way behind the UK in hours. I’ve been meaning to rejoin her challenge for weeks and time is just slipping away.  I took these yesterday morning, on my way to zumba, in the rain.

If you can squeeze some time, please join in with either or both of these challenges.  They’re so worthwhile.  Happy weekend!

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Didn’t we have a lovely time…

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The White Rabbit Teahouse, in Nottingham, was just one of the many places I visited with my daughter last weekend.  We did, indeed, have a lovely time…  Click on the gallery to see it in detail.

Hope you have a nice weekend planned.  Don’t forget to share it on Six word Saturday.  Cate at Show My Face will show you how it’s done.

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Festival of leaves- week 2

Solitary on an Algarve bench

Solitary on an Algarve bench

Or an Algarve beach

Or even on an Algarve beach

Have you seen any lovely leaves lately?  This is an Autumn challenge I discovered just last week. Rather nice, isn’t it?  Just click on the link to start those leaves falling.  I was out kicking the English leaves about today.  Just as beautiful!  Join me next week and see.

Tavira House Hotel

The lounge with its extraordinary ceiling

The ballroom, with its extraordinary ceiling

Having a home in Tavira, in the Eastern Algarve, I don’t normally devote space to local hotel reviews.  But there’s always an exception, isn’t there, and this is it.

I was leafing through the East Algarve Magazine when an article on Tavira House Hotel caught my eye.  I didn’t recollect seeing it and no address was supplied, but it was stated to be within the old castle walls of the town.  It looked very beautiful and my curiosity was piqued.  A stroll through Tavira is never a hardship, especially one with a purpose, and the hotel wasn’t too very difficult to find.

The front door was closed and I stood gazing up at the balcony, trying to get some impression of the inside.  Rather taking me by surprise, a young man appeared at the window.  “Would you like to come up?” he enquired.  I couldn’t have been more delighted!

The reality was beautiful

The reality was beautiful

And the gilded swans, a complete masterpiece

And the gilded swans, a complete masterpiece

Casa Alice, as the house was originally called, was built in 1860 for a high-ranking Portuguese army officer.  It was a maze of corridors and false walls, allegedly for hiding his many mistresses. When it was purchased by the present owner it had been uninhabited for 20 years and was in a poor state of repair.  By 2006 permission had been obtained to renovate this listed and protected building.  The work, over 8 years, was laborious but the finished result is a triumph.

Nuno Reis, the young hotel manager, was extremely pleasant and happy for me to look around and take photos.  The only exception was the bedrooms, because the hotel was fully occupied, but an offer was extended for me to come and view one the following week.  The Mediterranean Diet Fair was in full swing in the town, and the 9 bedrooms were all needed.

The folk troupe, in 'full swing'

The folk troupe, in ‘full swing’!

Being fully engaged in the fair, I never managed a return, but the website gives a very good impression of the bedrooms, and I’m sure they’ll be of a standard with the rest of this immaculate building.  They are named for flowers that grow locally and range from a small double, accented in gold, the Mimosa, to the Geranium suite at the top of the house.  Beamed ceilings and a view over the rooftops of Tavira makes the latter rather special.

Spend a little time on the website.  It will tell you about the preservation of the Algarvian arched walls and the painstaking reconstruction of the unique ballroom ceiling.  In the ‘Explore Tavira’ section, there’s also a link to an engaging Daily Telegraph article about the town.  You don’t just have to take my word for it- it’s a beautiful place!  And I would be more than happy to stay at Tavira House Hotel.