I’ve just returned from two weeks in Europe. The first in various places with work (incentive trip – i.e. all expenses paid holiday with nearly the entire company. I’ve never heard of it until now, but it is apparently fairly common with companies here) and the second in Spain having a brilliant time with one of my bestest friends.
Spurred on by these two guys from work, we started to run every morning before breakfast. Sometimes a random workmate would feel inspired enough to join us. Even after everyone had given up, I kept on setting the alarm for 6.45am, suddenly determined to run in every city or town we stayed in.
I realise it’s probably one of the best ideas ever on a holiday. You are out when everyone is still in bed. The streets are empty. You run pass empty churches, squares, cathedrals, beaches, and lakes that are normally packed with tourists. You get all the sights to yourself. You see places you would otherwise not go. You discover places you would otherwise not find.
I learned to take my camera with me. That and my hotel room key. And then I just ran. I had no route. Just an approximate time I needed to be back for, and the aim to run at least half an hour or 5km. Sometimes I enjoyed the peace and quiet so much I stayed out longer. You see another side to these towns and it still amazes me, the brilliant light of the early morning, the crisp chilly air, the serene stillness of places normally thronged by masses of tourists. This is one tradition I hope to bring with me on my future travels.
At times when I’m alone and no one is around to take a photo of me, I started taking photos of other people running. And when by chance I came across this poster advertising a race, I started taking photos of all things running related that I come across on my runs. Somehow I see them as evidence that I did actually run!