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.
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!
Top Tips for Visiting the Giant’s Causeway on a Budget
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.
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 Capri, Naples, Pompeii, The Amalfi Drive and Rome but these have only ever achieved a handful of hits between them.
Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi
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.
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.
Malta, Happiness and a Walk to Mellieha
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
Catalonia, In Search of Norman Lewis
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.
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
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.
Twelve Treasures of Spain – Seville Cathedral
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
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…
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…
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!