July – August 2004
In 2004, I decided I was going to check something crazy off my bucket list (and no, I’m not talking about going to Russia) – I committed to training for and running a marathon! And I’m not even a runner! So from July to December 2004, I embarked on a rigorous weekly training schedule in San Francisco, led by the National AIDS Marathon Training Program – for whom I raised $3000, thanks to many supporters! All of a sudden, I now had plans every Saturday in San Francisco for 6 months. But… what about traveling?
Since not traveling wasn’t an option, and not training wasn’t an option…. I just moved my training over the Atlantic for a few weeks! My training schedule now included, in this order: a 10-mile run in Moscow; two mid-week 3-milers in Saint Petersburg and Helsinki; a brisk 12-mile run in Stockholm (almost a half-marathon!); two more 3-milers in Oslo and Reykjavik; and finally a 6-mile run in Copenhagen. Running around a city is a completely new way to see things, PLUS you can cover significantly more ground in less time — though admittedly, it’s a lot harder to take pictures!
In between these ‘sightseeing runs’ in Russia’s and Scandinavia’s most famous cities, I spent a few days exploring three very interesting and little-visited ‘countries’. I sampled the ‘Åland Pancake’, a delicious local specialty served with plum jam and whipped
cream in Mariehamn, capital of the Åland Islands, and gawked at the natural beauty and distinctive grass-roof architecture of Torshavn, capital of the Faeroe Islands.
The third ‘country’, which officially belongs to Denmark, isn’t even in Europe! Greenland, more white than green, is technically part of the North American continent, and its iceberg-strewn waters and colossal glaciers (not to mention the 5-hour flight) remind you that you’re definitely not in Copenhagen anymore. The quaint village of Tasiilaq in eastern Greenland is still one of my favorite travel destinations of all time. It’s simple, colorful, and surrounded by incredible beauty – a place that should absolutely be enjoyed leisurely and peacefully… and not while running!
|1||Frankfurt, Germany||July 29, 2004||July 29, 2004|
|2||Moscow, Russia||July 29, 2004||August 2, 2004|
|3||Saint Petersburg, Russia||August 2, 2004||August 4, 2004|
|4||Helsinki, Finland||August 4, 2004||August 5, 2004|
|5||Tallinn, Estonia||August 5, 2004||August 5, 2004|
|6||Helsinki, Finland||August 5, 2004||August 6, 2004|
|7||Turku, Finland||August 6, 2004||August 6, 2004|
|8||Mariehamn, Aland Islands||August 6, 2004||August 7, 2004|
|9||Stockholm, Sweden||August 7, 2004||August 9, 2004|
|10||Oslo, Norway||August 9, 2004||August 11, 2004|
|11||Copenhagen, Denmark||August 11, 2004||August 11, 2004|
|12||Reykjavik, Iceland||August 11, 2004||August 12, 2004|
|13||Kulusuk, Greenland||August 12, 2004||August 12, 2004|
|14||Tasiilaq, Greenland||August 12, 2004||August 13, 2004|
|15||Kulusuk, Greenland||August 13, 2004||August 13, 2004|
|16||Reykjavik, Iceland||August 13, 2004||August 13, 2004|
|17||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||August 13, 2004||August 14, 2004|
|18||Copenhagen, Denmark||August 14, 2004||August 16, 2004|
|19||Hillerød, Denmark||August 16, 2004||August 16, 2004|
|20||Copenhagen, Denmark||August 16, 2004||August 17, 2004|
|21||Brussels, Belgium||August 17, 2004||August 17, 2004|
|22||Frankfurt, Germany||August 17, 2004||August 17, 2004|