Another year is nearing its end; just seven hours until fireworks will dance across the winter sky, delighting children of all ages – and frightening dogs. True to tradition, I’ve had a look at Google Analytics to see what you enjoyed most this year. (Here are your faves in 2011, 2012 and 2013.)

Last year, I drew two conclusions about readers of Sophie’s World:

  1. You’re interested in places off the beaten path, especially in Eastern Europe. That’s as it should be – part of this blog’s focus is the world’s curious corners, and
  2. You’re interested in the Arctic.

The same definitely holds true in 2014. Also, again, some of the older articles do very well, with articles from as far back as 2010 making the cut.

Without further ado, here are

Your 14 best of 2014

14. World at a Glance: Butrint


With two posts on the most popular list, Albania was practically trending here on Sophie’s World this year: this little post on one of the country’s two World Heritage sites, and…

13. The Boy from Sarande

11 Albania, Sarande
…this one, one of my personal favourites, about a brief encounter I had with a young Albanian boy, back in 1992. Friends of the young boy (now a young man with a beautiful wife and daughter) recognized the photo and brought this little article to his attention. It was even featured on Albanian TV this year, as a retrospective glimpse of Albania of a different era.

12. Aachen Cathedral and Charlemagne’s BMI

Aachen Cathedral

I’m wondering if it’s the reference to BMI that is the reason for this post’s popularity…

11. Pyramiden, an Arctic Ghost Town

This article about a Russian ghost town on Svalbard continues to be popular; it has been on the list for 3 consecutive years now.

10. St Moritz in September

This post from 2011 hopped on the list this year; I’ve no idea why. Though I do adore Switzerland.

9. Barentsburg Highlights

This post about the last remaining Russian settlement in Arctic Svalbard is another steady list maker.

8. Friedrich Hundertwasser and his Toilet

259 Hundertwasser toilets, Kawakawa
The Hundertwasser toilet has been high on the most popular list every year since 2011! How wonderful is that… I absolutely love that you enjoy this quirky little place.

7. Svartisen Arctic Glacier

All about an Arctic road trip, a mighty glacier, and sprained ankles.

6. Republika Srpska: Pretty Trebinje

On the list this year as well as last, this post is my impression of a pretty little town in Srpska, the Serbian part of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

5. Things to do in Skopje

Another repeat performer. You really like the odd and interesting capital of Macedonia.

4. Hammerfest, the northernmost city in the world

More Arctic road tripping, this one complete with reindeer wandering in the city’s streets.

3. Cooking in Italy

Cooking, Italy, … popularity self-explanatory.

2. Europe by Train

This one as well: train, Europe…

1. St Conan’s Kirk: A Curious Scottish Church


The somewhat surprising winner in 2014 (published as late as in September no less) is an article about a curious little church on the west coast of Scotland. Alexandra was completely captivated.

Let’s make 2015 outrageous, everyone!