Friday, 26 January 2007

Best jogging tracks

One of the things I like doing if I'm travelling is looking for a good jogging track. If I've got my running shoes, I'm off - before breakfast, perhaps, or late in the evening. It's a different way to see a place, and it helps keep me fit and use a few muscles that sight-seeing doesn't.

My big favourite has to be Bruges. It's flat, and that helps! You can run most of the way round the outer ring canal; that's about 8 kilometres.  I haven't done it all yet, but one day, I might.

Paris: the walkway from Bastille? Well maybe, and I've seen a lot of joggers on it, but you get your aerobic exercise with this one: lots of steps up and down. I prefer the Ile Saint Louis; the leafy, aristocratic quais tend to be quiet (by Paris standards) and the views across the Seine are fine.

I like running beside water, too. So another Paris favourite could easily be the tow path by the Canal de l'Ourcq - a very urban experience from Parc de la Villette and a contrast to the gentility of the Ile Saint Louis. But there are too many bicycles going too fast for my jogging pleasure.

Norwich. Well, this is my usual run when I'm at home in the city. All the way round the Wensum, round the cathedral close, and back to the Adam and Eve pub. That's a mile and a half, and you can do it twice. There's the river; there are swans; there are boys from Norwich School playing football or rugby on the fields by the river; there may be sculls on the water; and there's a big fat cat who sits on the bench in Lower Close and waits for me to pass, and stop for minute to fuss over him.

Last time I went, I'd gone about a hundred yards when I looked back, and he'd already found another foolish human being to tickle him behind the ears. What a tart!

Venice. Definitely the Giudecca. One long quay, with the finest views in the city. The way is flat, of course - you get your exercise on the bridges though.  I haven't measured this one (half an hour or so? I seem to remember.) And no crowds to push your way through.

I saw a jogger out in Cannaregio, by the Scuola della Misericordia. That's a quiet place, with long quaysides.

Rome. Don't even try. I suppose the Pincian hill, maybe, or the park on the Janicolo. But the Tiber banks are just disgustingly full of traffic. And there's nowhere in the centre. Perhaps, one early morning, about 7 am, I might try jogging Piazza Navona in the cart-tracks of the Roman charioteers who ran races here. But no. Rome is just not jogging city - unless anyone knows otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Venice:
    The jogger in Cannaregio did the Fondamente Nove, I guess, and started off or finished at the Scuola della Misericordia. Right now it's difficult though because they are restauring the fondamente between the Sacca della Misericordia and the vaporetto station at Algiubagio.
    You can also run the Giardini very well. And the Zattere as well, but not during daytime, too busy then.