Top Ten Posts of 2018

As we leave 2018, please excuse my annual self-indulgent post to begin the new year as I peer through the keyhole to look back over the last one.

Ireland Inch Beach

The top ten most visited posts on my Travel Blog always surprise me but then I don’t pretend to understand how search engines work.  I say visited pages rather than read because I am neither so conceited or sufficiently naive to claim that a visit equals a read.  I know that a lot of people will arrive here by mistake and swiftly reverse back out via the escape button!

No. 1

Top Tips for Visiting the Giant’s Causeway on a Budget

Giant's Causeway Northern Ireland

With 1,790 hits this post remains at the no. 1 position in my top ten for the third straight year.  I am always reluctant to do posts with travel tips because it is difficult to find something to say that hasn’t already been said several times by others.

At the Giant’s Causeway I was astonished at the cost of the entrance and car parking charges so I put these tips together on how to visit for free.

No. 2

Mount Vesuvius

Naples and Vesuvius

I first posted this in March 2010 so this one has been around a while and with 1,375 hits and a ninth year in the Top Ten is becoming a stubborn stayer.  A bit of a surprise to me really because this is the account of a day trip to Mount Vesuvius whilst on a holiday to Sorrento in 1976 with my dad.  From my memories of the same holiday I posted several blogs about visits to CapriNaplesPompeiiThe Amalfi Drive and Rome but these have only ever achieved a handful of hits between them.

No. 3

Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Gaudi and me

This is the fifth successive year in my top ten for my post about the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.  After I had taken a look at the official Twelve Treasures of Spain I thought it might be fun to draw up my own personal alternative list.  I included Antoni Gaudi in a general rather than a specific way.  I posted this in March 2013 and this year with 1,314 visits it has risen one place to number three.

No. 4

Royal Garden Party

Cakes at Royal Garden Party

First posted in June 2009 the post has1,210 hits in 2018, almost double the previous year and staying in the Top Ten for the tenth successive year which by that measure makes it my most successful post.

In total it has 21,900 visits which makes all time second after my post about  Norway, Haugesund and the Vikings at 24,675.  This one has been around for a long time ( since June 2009) and has always been popular especially around the Spring and Summer when invitations to the Royal Garden Party are going out and when people are wondering how to get one or what to wear if they have one.

No. 5

Malta, Happiness and a Walk to Mellieha

Mellieha Malta Postcard

I have written several posts about my visits to the island of Malta, I consider some of them much more interesting than this one but where they have sunk without trace, this one just keeps on attracting hits.  850 hits in 2018 and third successive year in the top ten

No. 6

Catalonia, In Search of Norman Lewis

Guardamar Storm

I must confess that I am rather pleased about this one.

I posted this in July 2013 and it first made the top ten in 2015 before dropping out the following year so I am glad to see it back again.

There are some posts that I have written that I would like people to read and this is one of few that have achieved that. Before visiting Catalonia in 2013 I read the book ‘Voices of the Old Sea’ by Norman Lewis which is an account of the Costa Brava in the 1940s and the approach of mass tourism.  In this post I attempted some research and some interpretation of the book and the area.  It has recorded 515 visits and in this case I like to think that this is because of the subject rather than the pictures.


Ireland, Ring of Kerry and I Temporarily Overcome My Fear of Dogs.

Angry Man Skelligs Viewpoint Kerry Ireland

Also returning in 2018 after a two year absence with a surprising 435 visits and no convincing explanation as to why that should be.

I visited Southern Ireland in June 2014 and wrote several posts that I personally would consider more interesting than this encounter with a grumpy street entertainer and a worn out old collie dog.  Once again, and rather disappointingly, I suspect it isn’t the words but the picture that grabs attention.  It was a map of the Ring of Kerry which I noticed displayed on the front of a shop.


Every Picture Tells a Story – Benidorm c1960

Benidorm Bar 1960?

I posted this in March 2010 and it finally made the top ten in 2014 it has remained there ever since. It has stayed in this year with 420 visits.   It is actually one of my personal favourites  and is a story about the Spanish seaside resort of  Benidorm inspired by some photographs that I came across of my grandparents on holiday there in about 1960.

No. 9

Twelve Treasures of Spain – Seville Cathedral

Seville Street Musicians

At no. 9 for the second year with 382 visits is a post another of my Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain and is about my visit to the Spanish City of Seville.  I have written posts about several Spanish cities but it is only this one that gets the hits.


Poland (Wroclaw), The Anonymous Pedestrians

Anonymous Pedestrians Wroclaw Poland

A new entry and this is another post that I am happy to see in the top ten with 360 visits.  I wrote this in March 2014 after visiting the Polish city of Wroclaw and finding the street statues of the Anonymous Pedestrians.

The statues are a memorial to the introduction of martial law in Poland on December 13th 1981 and the thousands of people who disappeared (‘went underground’) in the middle of the night courtesy of the militia. In a symbolic statement the fourteen statues were erected in the middle of the night in 2005 on the twenty-fourth anniversary of the introduction of martial law.

Dropping out of the Top Ten this year are:  Catalonia, Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi after four years and Malta, The Silent City of Mdina after only two.

If you have read one of these posts or any of the 2,390 others on my site ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’then thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I guess it proves that George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) was right when he said: “The three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.”  

Total visits in 2018 – 71,420 (nearly 200 a day)

Total visits all time – 947,600

Countries where most visitors come from – UK, USA, Australia, Spain and Canada

Most viewed picture in 2018…

A little disappointing, I like to think I have posted one or two good pictures of my own during the year but most clicked is a postcard map of Gran Canaria that I scanned in from my collection…

Gran Canaria Island Map postcard

To make matters worse, the most clicked picture that I have taken myself and posted is of a tea towel with a map on it…

Puglia T Towel Map

Maybe I should just do a blog about maps!

I would be interested to know about other people’s most popular posts in 2018 and the possible explanations why?  Comment and let me know.  I’m a sucker for statistics!

49 responses to “Top Ten Posts of 2018

  1. Four of my top ten 2018 posts are about Firefly . . . The top three are Firefly-related. I’ll do a post soon, but my guess is that Firefly fandom is still going strong.


      • You mean “why is fandom still going strong?”

        Because it was (is) a great show with great characters, great writing, and . . . well, it was great.

        I’ve written a lot about it and I’ve collected a fair amount of merchandise related to the series. Considering the original series only had 14 episodes before being brutally canceled by Fox, and considering that was 2002, that’s something that you can still draw people to conventions with Firefly actors and panels.

        . . . a search for Firefly on my blog should turn up a lot of stuff. Suffice it to say that at one time I judged people solely by whether they liked the series. Not liking the series points to a lack of character, a lack of good taste, a lack of humor, and laking in everything that turns human beings likable beings.

        These days, I’m a bit more generous. I just assume some sort of short in the brain causes some people to not love the series and the characters. It’s not their fault; their parents probably drank too much or did drugs during gestation. Perhaps they were dropped on their heads a few times while they were babies. At least, that’s the only explanation I can think of . . . the only charitable explanation.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. A blog about tea towels. Now there’s a thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea you could access these stats so I’ve had a quick peek at my own. A pale shadow of your own as expected, but my top hits post was A Nuclear Poem from Norman Nicholson who was a Cumbrian poet who lived near where I grew up. This poem was about the nuclear disaster at Sellafield in the 1950s when beef and local milk was banned for quite some time. No idea of the reason for its popularity compared to all of the other masterpieces I write!


  4. It’s intriguing isn’t it how some just stay in there year after year . . . .been pondering whether to do the same myself, maybe I will after reading this delightful piece 🙂


  5. Wow Andrew, that’s some impressive hit stats. You must be doing something right. Sadly you are correct regarding hits not equalling reads. The featured image is all a lot of people look at and then like accordingly. I love your content but to be honest your blog is one of the few that I have time to read. Best pics being a postcard and a tea towel is hilarious! You do indeed have some great photos on your site. If you get the chance take a look at my travel review of places visited in 2019. I dream of getting your hit numbers!


  6. I stop doing that and even earlier wordpress will send you an annual look back, they apparently stop last year .However, my top ever most visited site was the Churches of Versailles , which is far from the best posted in my opinion. And the top country post was Nigeria lol! Go figure about people….Cheers


  7. Pretty impressive figures, Andrew. I don’t know how too go about analysing mine


  8. Never look at mine!


  9. i love how you’ve reflected on this and put it all together. funny about the tea towel popularity! i’ve come to the conclusion with my own posts, that there is no rhyme of reason why some are more popular than others )


  10. An interesting list! I used to do a Top 5 of posts written that year when WordPress helpfully prompted you with their fireworks display. This year I just looked for the top post written in 2018 and was surprised how mundane it was (coming up tomorrow in my December Gallivanting post).


  11. I don’t think I dare look at mine after reading this. 🙂 🙂


  12. These stats are fun! My most popular post is about Neiman’s Fortnight – a Dallas shopping extravaganza that has gone by the wayside in these days of corporate decision-making. The guy who decided to get rid of them is probably too young to have ever attended one and is most likely not from Dallas. I love to travel, but globalization is not among my favorite things.


  13. Fun, Andrew. It is always interesting to see what draws and what doesn’t. Often it’s the placement by Google! Our lives are run by algorithms. One of my most popular posts ever was about a hamburger joint in Idaho. Go figure. Thanks for sharing. –Curt


  14. So, people like tea towels…


    It just goes to show that you never can tell what may happen. 🙂


  15. Sorry, Andrew… I tend to go more for pictures than narratives, though I’ll admit to reading your adventures fairly often. To be honest, I rarely, if ever, look at my stats. I haven’t a clue what my most popular posts have been. When I posted a review of the past year, I was picking my favorites. Can’t account for anyone else out there.
    Of the ones you posted here, my favorite was the people rising out of the sidewalks. The waves licking at the structures in Catalonia was another.
    Despite a rather deficient memory, I actually seem to remember quite a few of these.
    It occurs to me that WordPress sent some sort of notification that my post about a camper I encountered along the highway was doing a brisk business… if I were to look, I bet that one would rate pretty high. I’m guessing it might be that people googled “gypsy wagon” or something like it. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of that one.


  16. I’m definitely going to read No. 6 on Catalonia now, since you like that one. I know how it is to particularly like a post, so I want to see what you like about your own work! Funny how those search engines work. I, too, am baffled by the process by which posts get many hits or are ignored.

    I don’t boast as many readers as you, nor am I as active, both of which should keep my numbers down, but my #1 has been #1 since I posted in December 2010. “Seven Color Crystal Boll!” is a silly post with very poor quality photos and is my investigation of a tiny mysterious toy gift package. It received 2,318 hits in 2018 and 16,226 all time. That’s amazing! My #2 for 2018 is much more representative of my actual stats, with 613 views for 2018, on my post about visiting Butchart Gardens in the off-season.

    I’m also going to read up on everything you’ve said about Ireland, since Tara and I are headed there in April for the first time.


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