skip to main content

Wandering the World

Stories and tips from around the world.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

An anniversary trip to see the stage play adaptation of Studio Ghibli's "Spirited Away" at the London Coliseum.

June 1, 2024

Guernsey Ultra 36 #GU36

The last time we went to Guernsey it hadn’t gone to plan for Carmen due to the eye infection leading to events that required her to pull out of the race early. I can’t imagine it had been an easy decision, but it had been a sensible one. It did however leave her with unfinished business, and the need to return again. I’d taken about twenty minutes off my time, and I was close to a sub-7 hour race. …

May 19, 2024

MK Half Marathon

The entire point of me entering this race again was to force me to run a half marathon between Boston Marathon and Guernsey Ultra 36. So in a way, this was like the first of two tapering runs from my long run at Boston, before my actual target race. With this in mind I didn't really have a target other than to finish the race. Ideally though, the time for doing so should be between 1hr30 and 1hr45 …

May 6, 2024

Boston Marathon

My first marathon of 2024. Would it also be my last one this year, or would I manage to fit a marathon into the autumn? I think this time around I started training far too late as I didn't have a good base to be working from after having had an easy summer following quite a few months of reduced training from other non-running issues. My half marathon at the end of December was so bad, I knew I'd …

April 28, 2024

Leicester's Big 10K

Two weeks out from the Boston Marathon (in Lincolnshire), and I should really be doing a marathon-paced half marathon as part of tapering. Instead, having not done a 10K race this year, and this race being one I often do, I decided I may as well do a 10K with about 80% effort. With a decent warm-up and cool-down alongside it; maybe it'd be similar effort to a slower half. At least, that was my rea …

April 14, 2024

Hillingdon 20

After running this race last year, I thought: "never again". Hilly by name, hilly by nature, and 20 miles of it was just more than I felt was needed. However, after deciding to do GU36 one more time, it turned out this would be the perfect training run for it. So that "never again" became "one more time".

March 24, 2024

High Performance London Half

For today’s race I would be a the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a RunThrough event, and that meant travelling across London from the west, and an outrageously early start to get there. When we got to Liverpool Street we found the Elizabeth line wasn’t running very well, so was then a 14 minute wait for a train to get us to Stratford. We thought the toilet queue in Westfields would be better a …

March 3, 2024

Bramley 20

Usually my first race of the year would be 10K, but I had a lot of work needed to get back up to longer distance running, and so I sacrificed that for getting in more long runs. I’d need to rely on mid-week speed work, and getting in fast park runs when I could in order to build up speed. Endurance needed to come first when the end goal is actually Guernsey Ultra 36, rather than a decent time at t …

February 11, 2024

The Lion King

My sister is a big fan of anything Disney, but specifically, The Lion King. So, my second visit to the Disney 100 exhibition was booked in to be with her on a cold January morning. Though for months before, until Christmas Day when I gave her the tickets, what she didn't realise was that we'd be going to see The Lion King stage play in the West End in the afternon after, with a short interlude at …

January 13, 2024

MK Winter Half Marathon

The Winter Half in Milton Keynes is quite often my final race of the year these days. I’d hoped I’d have done my 50th parkrun yesterday, and would be going to MK on the way home from London, but due to circumstances outside of our control that was not to be. I didn’t really feel like racing, but this one is one that I do like to do every year, so wasn’t going to miss it. I was up at 06:15 for br …

December 10, 2023

Danube and Hungarian Parliament

Hungary

Budapest is a city my sister has wanted to visit for several years as she thought "the buildings look cool". Having changed my mind about returning to Greece just yet, I decided this would be a good opportunity to go with her, and see some of Hungary - beyond just Budapest. Neither of us expected a visit to Slovakia though.

August 8, 2023 to August 23, 2023 | 7 posts

Nicosia border

Cyprus

My first trip to Cyprus had been for a half marathon race that never took place. It'd been postponed until 2022, but due to timings I decided to defer until the 2023 event as it'd work better that way for me, and it was still unclear what would happen with the pandemic. So once again I was going back, and would not just see the familiar sights of Limassol, but would see the unfamiliar sights of Leftkosia and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus - the occupied part of the country on the other side of the UN green line border.

February 28, 2023 to March 20, 2023 | 7 posts

The Treasury, Petra

Jordan

I've dreamt of visiting Petra since I'd learnt the place I'd seen watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was a real place, and located in Jordan. It wasn't used as Petra in the film, but was the location of the lost Holy Grail, guarded by an ancient Knight of the Temple of Soloman. I knew one day I wanted to return to Egypt to see what I'd missed and thought a few days extra to visit Petra could bolt onto that. So far though, I've not made it back to Egypt, but I did get an opportunity to spend some time in Jordan which would create a completely different adventure to the one I'd imagined.

November 15, 2022 to December 6, 2022 | 14 posts

Florence

Italy

“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” -- Orson Welles In 2009 as part of a short trip around Europe, I'd visited Italy and had seen the likes of Naples, Pompeii, Rome, and Venice. Thirteen years later I was now returning, this time with my sister in tow, to see some of the places I'd not seen. My sister's last overseas trip had been Croatia and Slovenia where she'd seen a lot of Venetian influence, now she'd get to see a more modern view of Italy. What had started off as an idea for seeing Milan soon expanded into a week long trip around the Lombardy and Tuscany regions of Italy.

August 30, 2022 to September 24, 2022 | 10 posts

Hauteville House

Guernsey

For my first trip of 2022, I was heading to the Bailiwick of Guernsey for a 36 mile ultra marathon around the island. As with any other trip to a new place, of course I'd try to get in as much tourism as I could whilst there as well. Unusually, I'd be flying in the afternoon before the race, and then flying home a few days later. It'd give me chance to spend a day cycling around the island, just so long as my legs were up for it after what was going to be one of the toughest ultra marathons I've done so far. === If you’ve enjoyed these posts you can also view the full photo album on Flickr.

May 3, 2022 to May 17, 2022 | 5 posts

Paphos - Tombs of the Kings

Cyprus

This country split into two by conflict is one which my trip would also be divided into two due to the pandemic. For my first part of the trip I would be there sightseeing as 2021 approaches it's end, and would be returning there at the start of 2022 for the race that has now been postponed three times. Sightseeing would no be straight forward though. Some places are temporarily closed, and most tours that I attempted to book were cancelled, including one into North Cyprus. It also didn't help that a major storm was on it's way in, just in time for my arrival… If you'd like to see more photographs from this trip, they're available to view on Flickr.

November 16, 2021 to December 11, 2021 | 10 posts

Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany

Twelve years ago, before the age of the smart phone, I visited Berlin at the start of my adventure spanning three European countries. I was younger then, and less experienced at travelling, and with a friend in tow, we had a tendency to get lost. Now I was returning to run the Berlin Marathon as the first part of a railway journey around Germany in a time when a global pandemic is at the forefront of everyone's minds. How would it affect this adventure, and what would be different? === The full photo album for this trip can be found on Flickr.

September 14, 2021 to October 8, 2021 | 14 posts

Zaanse Schans

Amsterdam

I have to mostly agree with Sir Terry - there are so many bikes in Amsterdam with lanes specifically for them. As long as you're alert it's not a problem. It's so different in some ways from other European cities, yet also strangely similar. It's also incredibly flat (if you ignore the bridges) so it sounded like it could be a good place to go PB chasing for a marathon. There was plenty of training; but poor planning meant this would be a challenge… “My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them.” -- Sir Terry Pratchett If you’ve enjoyed these posts you can also view the full photo album on Flickr.

October 18, 2019 to October 8, 2020 | 7 posts

Bag End, Hobbiton

New Zealand

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” -- J. R. R. Tolkien When I first visited New Zealand it was a very short trip, and a very unsuccessful one. Every sight I was hoping to see was fraught with problems caused by the weather. It was like we'd stumbled into Moria and awoken a Balrog that had followed us all the way to Mordor (or Tongariro rather). Nine years later it was time to make that long-expected return to the country that had doubled as Middle Earth. What would we face this time?

January 5, 2019 to February 17, 2019 | 18 posts

United Nations Office of Geneva with flags of member nations on flagpoles in front

Switzerland

A few days spent in Switzerland as 2019 began. I got to see the sights of Geneva and Zurich, and then experienced delay after delay trying to get home: snow, emergency ascents, baggage collection, and tube trains with technical difficulties… If you've enjoyed these posts you can also view the full photo album on Flickr.

December 30, 2018 to January 5, 2019 | 7 posts

Recent Trips

Hungary
Budapest is a city my sister has wanted to visit for several years as she thought "the buildings look cool". Having changed my mind about returning to Greece just yet, I decided this would be a good o…

Cyprus
My first trip to Cyprus had been for a half marathon race that never took place. It'd been postponed until 2022, but due to timings I decided to defer until the 2023 event as it'd work better that way…

Jordan
I've dreamt of visiting Petra since I'd learnt the place I'd seen watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was a real place, and located in Jordan. It wasn't used as Petra in the film, but was the …

Italy
> “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly lo…

Guernsey
For my first trip of 2022, I was heading to the Bailiwick of Guernsey for a 36 mile ultra marathon around the island. As with any other trip to a new place, of course I'd try to get in as much tourism…

More Trips…

Recent Races

Guernsey Ultra 36 #GU36

MK Half Marathon

Boston Marathon

Leicester's Big 10K

Hillingdon 20
After running this race last year, I thought: "never again". Hilly by name, hilly by nature, and 20 miles of it was just more than I felt was needed. However, after deciding to do GU36 one more time, …

More Running…


© David G. Paul