Now for a little departure (ha!) from my 10K/speedy summer training block. We were in Greece May 6-15 for our honeymoon (had a redeye on the 5th) and I walked a fair amount, plus got a few runs in.
After the first day exploring, I was more comfortable with my surroundings and could tell which neighborhoods had more tourists (certainly near the Acropolis) and which were more business-heavy. We cut through the National Gardens when walking to our hotel, the Royal Olympic Hotel, so I gave it a try for a run early the next morning before we flew to Santorini. The hotel had a gym but you had to reserve space in it (due to Covid) and I wanted to explore.
Good call. There was a running path along one side and going around the palace, Parliament, and gardens made for a perfect 1.3 mile loop. 7am was still mostly other runners and some dog walkers, so I felt like I could be in a city park anywhere, except for all the soldiers guarding the palace and historical sites, some in very traditional dress. I went again on the day we flew out of Athens, at 7am on the 15th. I fell in love with Athens in bloom; the scent of orange blossom trees (planted everywhere downtown but apparently their fruit isn’t as good as the ones meant for consumption in orchards) and honeysuckle combined together. I actually went on the hunt for a perfume of those two after I got back! May was such a good time to visit; temps were in the 60’s and 70’s and not too hot yet. I might do a separate post on dining because the food was incredible our whole tp.
I didn’t run in Santorini at all. Our boutique hotel didn’t have a gym and the cliff side hills are steep. There were either a ton of pedestrians out or very narrow shoulders/lack of sidewalks near where we stayed in Fira. But once we flew to Naxos, I decided to do a morning run our first full day there to the Temple of Apollo then to the Agios Georgios beach near our hotel.
We had an amazing breakfast awaiting us each morning at the hotel which I took full advantage of.
I didn’t see any other runners on Naxos (and only one in Santorini) but loved seeing so many others in Athens. Lots had different race shirts on and I wished I had worn a NYCM shirt (though they’re all long sleeve and this was definitely short sleeve/singlet weather). It’s fun to tap into the running community when traveling. My trip to London in 2014 was when I first reached 10K as a distance as part of a historic jogging tour – all my runs up until then had been under 5 miles.