Delving into Google Analytics has become a fun little exercise this time of year. As always, I’m a bit baffled at which articles do well, and yet again, some of the older articles do very well. From this, I can draw two conclusions about readers of Sophie’s World:

  • 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.
  • You’re interested in the Arctic.

Let’s get on with it.

Your 13 best of 2013

13. Svalbard – polar bear country

Best of 2013
The Svalbard archipelago continues to fascinate. At number 13, this post about Longyearbyen – at 78°, the most northerly town in the world – remains popular also in 2013.

12. Barentsburg highlights

Barentsburg, Svalbard

… just barely surpassed by this article of the only remaining Russian settlement in the Arctic, also in Svalbard.

11. Things to do in Skopje

Old Bazaar, Skopje
Moving on to the world’s curious corners, the capital of Macedonia drew readers’ attention and interest.

10. Road trip in Arctic Norway

IMG_1873
Back in the northern world – albeit only as far north as at the Arctic Circle this time, you seemed to enjoy my summery road trip in Northern Norway. I was quite taken back myself at the beautiful scenery I encountered every step of the way. It would have been practically impossible to take bad photos.

9. Pizza night in the Italian countryside

Pizza night at La Tavola Marche
Curious corners and the Arctic aside, you’re interested in Italy. And food.

8. What to do in Kiev

Cathedral of the Dormition, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra – Monastery of the Caves, Kiev

Back to the quirkier corners of Eastern Europe, another article that remains popular is about what to do if you – for some peculiar reason – have only 24 hours in the capital of Ukraine. I want to see more of Kiev and surrounds, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a Ukrainian opportunity showed up in 2014.

7. Pyramiden, an Arctic ghost town

The school in the abandoned mining town Pyramiden, Svalbard
Another Svalbard article that also did well in 2012, is this one on Pyramiden, the Russian Arctic mining town that was suddenly abandoned in 1998, leaving so much behind it feels as if the inhabitants just stepped out for a minute.

6. 12 best of 2012

Oddly, the equivalent post to this one – with readers’ favourite posts in 2012 – clocks in at number 6. Maybe it’s a question of numbers…

5. Auckland harbour bridge

Auckland Harbour Bridge, seen from Northcote Point
From the Arctic, we’re taking a detour to the other end of the world. Oddly (again), this little Sunday photo of the harbour bridge in Auckland proved popular.

4. Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his toilet

Hundertwasser toilets, Kawakawa

Remaining in the land of the long white cloud, readers continue to be fascinated by this toilet in Kawakawa on the North Island. Not so odd, perhaps – I was fascinated, too. So unexpected. So cool.

3. Republika Srpska: Pretty Trebinje

Trebinje, Republika Srpska, B&H
Moving back to Europe, another lesser-known part of Eastern Europe drew your attention – this time Trebinje in Srpska, the Serbian part of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

2. Arctic Sortland: Norway’s BlueTown

On board Nordlandsjekta Brødrene, Sortlandssundet
The second most popular post in 2013 was from the Arctic. No surprise there. In fact, as readers seem to be so interested in Norway and the Arctic, what’s surprising is that we don’t write about it more.

1. Exploring the temple at Edfu

Edfu Temple

Finally, out of the blue, this year’s headline act is this little temple along the banks of the Nile.