Last year, I went through Google Analytics to see what you liked best on Sophie’s World in 2011. Best of 2012 seemed a natural follow-up. Surprisingly, no less than three favourites from 2011 continue to be on the top 10 list. Let’s get right down to it.

Here are your 12 best of 2012:

12. Pyramiden, an Arctic ghost town

Google tells me this suddenly abandoned Russian coal mining community in Svalbard piqued your interest.

11. Urbino, a secret Italian hilltop town

This little town in Le Marche, less well-known than its sister hilltop towns in Tuscany and Umbria, caught your eye, too!

10. Dubai airport Terminal 2

Think Dubai airport resembles a glittering, luxurious shopping mall? Well, it does. Except Terminal 2. This is where flights leave for the world’s ‘bad’ places, like Baghdad and Kabul, and the unknown places, like Kish. I really enjoyed writing this short piece and love that you still find it, like it, and spread it around.

9. The Devil’s Wedding and Tallinn’s Cats

This little article about some of the many legends in the Estonian capital grabbed your attention (hint: top left window). Tallinn is my favourite Baltic capital, not least because of all the mystery and lore.

8. Dubai shopping

More Dubai. This futuristic gulf state continues to fascinate – especially the outrageous shopping malls.
7. The stairs of Girona

A few weeks before heading to Girona, I published this article on all the fabulous stairways I discovered on my last visit. I suspect many of the views came from fellow travel bloggers heading for the TBEX conference. Still…

6. Autumn leaves in Kew Gardens

The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This was last year’s favourite article here at Sophie’s World and continues to be very popular. What can I say: Kew is beatiful. Autumn is beautiful. Juliette Greco’s rendition of Les Feuilles Mortes is beautiful… Hope I’ve inspired some of you to stop by this little-known UNESCO World Heritage site next time you’re in London.

5. Friedrich Hundertwasser and his toilet

The little snippet about the eccentric Austrian architect and his quirky public toilet in New Zealand makes the top 10 list yet again.

4. The Hollywood Gang Hideaway

You liked this pink, kitsch hotel in the hills above Acapulco. So did I. In fact, it might be my favourite feature of this Pacific city.

3. Sunrise at Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal at sunrise

Taj Mahal: not much to say about this über-romantic architectural masterpiece. I love it. And so do you.

2. What to do in Kiev

I think it’s wonderful that so many of you keep coming back to read about the capital of Ukraine, about politics and shiny golden domes.

1. Ancient Street Art in the Arctic

You like street art. And you like the Arctic. Or perhaps it’s the combination. These Stone Age rock carvings were your absolute faves here on Sophie’s World in 2012. I like that.

Happy New Year, my lovelies.

Come on 2013: Let’s dance!