This Runner’s View of London

After having such a nice run in Madrid, I felt brave enough to give it another go – this time in London.

I am in town for a Climate Change Conference called “Planet Under Pressure” and decided to arrive a couple of days early to sightsee, shop, and drink tea. So for the first two days I was staying at the apartment flat of a girl I went to high school with. Actually, we hadn’t spoken or even seen each other in close to 9 years, but both of us clearly had fond enough memories of the other that she was kind enough to let me stay, and we parted with promises for her to stay with me whenever she felt like popping over to Berlin! I love how Europe makes the world feel small…and so does growing up in a small town in NY!

So anyway, her flat is in a part of London known as Chelsea, somewhat near the South Kensington Underground (tube) stop. When I first exited the tube (late at night after what should have been a much shorter trip from Berlin to London…but London tends to like to complicate simple things, I find!) I was impressed by how beautiful the neighborhood is! There are a number of lovely bakeries and cafes and restaurants and shops lining the streets. Not to mention the abundance of trees coming into bloom!

When I finally made it to her apartment, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of relaxation and happiness. Her flat is on a gorgeous side street of a very busy Fulham Road (complete with bakeries and restaurants galore!) and her big comfy bed was calling my name! I had grand plans of getting dolled up (do people even know what that means anymore?) and hitting one of the many bars lining the block, but found that exhaustion prevailed and I was forced to succumb.

It was not without a positive benefit, however, as I was up with the sun the next morning, (thank you, mailman who could not fit my friend’s packages through the slot in the front door, for waking me at 8:45 am!) So I took the opportunity to look at and to put on my sneakers for a morning run. I headed north towards Kensington Gardens to get the chance for a run in some greenery, only getting mildly lost detoured along the way.

My biggest obstacle along the way was remembering that traffic flows in the opposite direction from (almost) everywhere else in the world and so I kept looking both directions at least 3 times before crossing any streets. It must have taken up an additional 10 minutes of my run, just making sure I wouldn’t be that girl who gets hit by a bus while looking left and stepping into the road.

I managed to squeeze in 45 minutes of solid running, (probably about an hour including all the interruptions due to traffic lights, checking for cars, and stopping to take photos along the way,) but overall it felt great to be out and running in another new city. As I said in my previous post, it really is the best way to get to know a new city, and to see a different side of things. Plus I got to feel very cultured saying that I ran through the Queen’s Gate to Kensington Gardens!


4 responses to “This Runner’s View of London

  1. It looks so gorgeous there with everything blooming. Your friend’s neighborhood seems lovely! Glad you looked right.

  2. What beautiful photos and a lovely visit…wish I was there, but glad to not be running……

    • Haha – well when you come visit we can do plenty of walking, (no running, I promise!) Better start practicing now, the endless walking is often the biggest complaint I hear!

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