A Run around at the Thames
Last Monday I spent most of the day at Key Gardens in Richmond London to see the cherry trees blossom and what else they offered to see at the Royal Gardens. I will make a separate post on that later as it was an overwhelming sight. As a young Danish woman, I went to London as soon as I had the possibility and then I never thought of going to a Botanic Garden. Mondays are one of my five days of running exercises so coming home to the hotel before dusk; I did my running along both sides of the Thames. I was glad to meet many other runners, and I didn’t mind them being faster as I enjoyed the sights.
I want to share the pictures from that run as I paused whenever I found something worth remembering. Travelling to London when I was young I only have the memories without photos. I recall how I felt walking around for hours and hours to save money from transportation. Sometimes I was exhausted when I finally arrived at my destination like the British Museum and wasn’t able to see anything. At that time we never carried a bottle of water which would have helped me.
From the hotel in the Victoria area, the first bridge I crossed was Lambeth Bridge. Going north along the river I found a war memorial honouring the SOE (the Special Operation Executive) formed in secrecy to recruit agents, men and women of many nationalities who would volunteer to continue the fight for freedom by performing acts of sabotage in countries occupied by the enemy during the Second World War. The memorial is from 2009 and the first honouring the SOE. 117 out of 407 agents did not survive their missions in France. More about it in a London Blog called Exploring London.
In Denmark, we have several people who were trained by the SOE and played their role in the liberation whether they died during the fight or survived the war.
A little further on I caught sight of Westminster Abbey and the British Parliament. I was reminded of the painter Monet who liked to paint that motive in typical London Fog. The famous Big Ben clock is draped in scaffolding for much-needed repair.
Returning via the Westminster Bridge, I paused at Victoria Tower Garden at Westminster Abbey.
At the wall along the Thames was a plague I had never noticed before. The important inscription notes that Sir Thomas Peirson Frank (1881-1951), Chief Engineer for London County Council 1930-1946) Saved London from drowning during the blitz.
In the same Victoria Tower Garden is the Auguste Rodin group statue, The Burghers of Calais. Each character is dealing with his grief, anger or anxiety of facing his death sentence.
Rodin followed the recounting of Jean Froissart, a fourteenth-century French chronicler, who wrote of the war. According to Froissart, King Edward III made a deal with the citizens of Calais: if they wished to save their lives and their beloved city, then not only must they surrender the keys to the city, but six prominent members of the city council must volunteer to give up their lives.
At last, just before darkness, I passed two different bridges the Chelsea Bridge and Albert Bridge. I never felt alone as I still met many other evening runners.