Sun-kissed evening walks in the hunt for Ready Salted Lays. Ice-cold, overpriced Fanta Lemon coursing through my veins. Even the dreaded thigh chaffing us girls with big thighs are far too familiar with. Wow, do I miss the sticky pleasure (of a holiday)! A bikini! All of it! While it currently seems extremely slim that I (we) in the UK will be jetting towards the sunshine anytime soon, there really isn’t any harm in manifesting/wistfully wishing my (our) life away…Is there?
Due to taking up running in Lockdown 1.0, I actually haven’t ever had a run anywhere other than in Manchester. Here, it is grey, usually cold, and features canals, basins, and rivers to chase That’s right, no crystal clear beach. Boo-hoo, indeed. Our flecks of green space are acceptable, but with the larger parks being cast out in the suburbs, it often takes a lot of planning to get to one. I must say that the only real perk of Manchester is that it is unbelievably flat. This fact is one which I thank my lucky stars for, every day. In short, I am truly craving a change of scenery away from the grey. Bring me the sunshine!
Ella misses her holidays and wants to run somewhere other than Manchester? Let’s then dive into a pot pick of dream European countries to run around.
Athens – Greece
A Greek Mythology adventure awaits in Athens. The National Gardens, Panathenaic Stadium, The Temple Of Zeus, Socrates Prison, the Acropolis and so much more all within a 10K run according to greatruns.com. Imagine wiping the sweat out of your eyes as you haul yourself around the Panathenaic Stadium, finishing off with a slice of that famed Mediterranean diet. Honestly, I would love nothing more than to run around the sites of Athens – the number one spot on my to-go list.
Not necessarily the first Spanish city that comes to mind where running is involved, but Madrid has made this list as I am irrevocably and intolerably in love with it. So much so, that I have basked in its glory on more than one occasion and wrote love letters to it here and here. While I have visited different pockets of Madrid various times, I am yet to run around the city in its burning heat. Imagine, rambling down one of the many side-streets by Antón Martín metro station and stumbling on something exciting. I would adore heading back to Madrid as soon as possible! Please world, make it happen!
Croatia has been on my hit-up list for 5+ years. The main reasons being: Game of Thrones and Music Festivals and now running. Turns out that Split, however – the countries capital – is the hub of Croatian sport. Beaches, parks, and race-tracks galore; Split has the views, space, and the weather to boot. I want to wake up and hit the beach for my morning jog before heading to a Croatian bakery for something sweet. God, a girl can dream!
I haven’t been to Austria before but from a quick, spontaneous (often/all-the-time) google search, the city really looks like it means business. A city that wouldn’t look out of place on a dairy product’s label, Vienna is a picturesque paradise I am dying to run around the streets of. City parks, a long, winding 21K river path, and a relatively flat terrain definitely tick all of my boxes. I am thinking a Mid-May holiday – when temperatures are often reaching 20 degrees? Yes, that would be totally fine with me.
So, four cities and a cornucopia of dreams – all we need now is the green light for travel outside of the UK. Let’s just say I am not expecting to go further than Google Images anytime soon.