After 6 years of blogging, we realize that when it comes to post popularity, there’s always the roulette effect: posts that we think will be popular aren’t, and vice versa. Well, the wheel has stopped spinning for 2016, our readers have placed their bets, and here are the 5 most popular posts for the year.
But we’re mixing it up a bit this year. Every reasonable gambler knows that the house has the advantage, so we’re making a few wagers and picking our personal top 5 posts as well.
1. Why Does Travel Make Us Smile? 5 Reasons. We love to welcome a new year with a conversation about where we’d like to go next. Last January we started brainstorming about destinations, and soon realized we were talking more about experiences we wanted to share – not cities to notch on our belts. So we asked ourselves, “What is it about travel that makes us smile?”
2. Bedazzling Bali. Bali is one of the most exotic destinations on earth. Whether it’s the mysterious tones of gamelan music, the sting of spicy sambal on your tongue, or the vision of graceful dancers moving with near-impossible gestures, you will be dazzled.
3. Upside-down Wedding Cakes and Gossip Rooms: Bulgarian Revival Houses. Plovdiv, Bulgaria was a delightful surprise for lots of reasons; one of which was the excellent collection of well-preserved mid-19th Century houses built in a style which was totally new to us.
4. Happy Independence Day! Or If You Prefer – Amexit. Frankly, we were proud of our clever play on words for this post, but what we enjoyed most was the chance to revisit our Roadside Americana series and reminisce about a few really fun road trips.
5. The Hard-Working Donkeys of Santorini. Visiting Santorini in the off season gave us an intriguing glimpse into the day-to-day challenges of renovating houses on the side of a steep cliff. The key to the whole process is donkeys!
6. Wild and World Class: Plovdiv’s Street Art. Street Art has gotten very popular, and for good reason. It’s a classic lemons-to-lemonade solution to what was, and is, a big problem in cities around the world. Plovdiv’s street art is the largest, highest quality collection that we’ve seen anywhere, and it was a joy to see and share.
7. Feasting in Bali: The Monsoon Spices It Up. We had an exciting travelers’ surprise on a stormy afternoon in Ubud, Bali when a local chef and Mother Nature transformed a simple meal into pure razzle-dazzle.
8. Hidden Hearts Around the World. Every February we have a Gallivance tradition: a photo safari hunting for hearts to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you … and we love the challenge of searching for the sneaky, subtle ones. This year we outdid ourselves
9. The Garden District vs. The French Quarter: A Clash of Cultures Preserved in Architecture. Once again, we fall back on our love of architecture. And for our money, there is no better collection of 19th Century homes anywhere in the US than New Orleans. We lived there for a couple of years and fell in love with its historic areas, but never really thought about the two very different cultures that made it happen.
10. Why Horses, Bourbon Drinkers, and Corvette Drivers Should Care More About Geology. Our tag line is “Travel Tales with a Twist.” If you visit Kentucky, hopefully, you’ll see beautiful thoroughbred horses and try a few top-shelf bourbons. And if you’re a muscle-car fan, a trip to Bowling Green will race you to Corvette heaven. But the twist in this post is geology, and it was just fun to write.
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So, that’s it for us this year. Did we miss any of your personal faves? Just let us know!
3. Yves Picq via Wikimedia Commons
11. PandamicPhoto.com via Wikimedia Commons