My 7 Links: A Year of Travels
Select 7 of your favourite posts in different categories, and tag up to 5 of your fellow bloggers to do the same.
It may sound like a chain letter, but Tripbase’s “My 7 Links” project is a call for bloggers to showcase their best entries and connect with other writers. Two weeks ago I had my first glimpse on spunky, hilarious Candice Does The World; it was a thoughtful recap on her two years as a travel blogger.
Over the weekend, Debra from Bagni di Lucca and Beyond has kindly given me a nomination. I feel like this is a belated one-year anniversary celebration of Plus Ultra, and a look at how far it has come.
1. Most beautiful post:
As much as I love to write, there are certain things that only pictures can express. The way the afternoon sun strikes the sandstone of Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor. Vivid spring flowers and verdant leaves. Gentle ripples on a languid river. This is my photographic tribute to one of Spain’s most beautiful cities – and home base for my great Iberian adventure.
2. Most popular post:
This one was a real surprise. Just last week I logged in to find hundreds of new hits on a post that I had written back in March. Within the space of a few hours the surge in traffic had broken the previous record of daily views, an event that was very nearly repeated the following day. It’s a complete mystery as to how they found me, but Visit Portugal liked what they saw and it wasn’t long before they had this posted to their official Facebook page. Now I’m not a big believer in karma, but this may be what you get for celebrating your birthday in a swanky Portuguese restaurant just weeks beforehand…
3. Most controversial post:
No doubt the most controversial post I’ve ever written, and perhaps one which will not be surpassed for quite some time. Because of its subject matter it nearly didn’t make it to the (figurative) publishing table. But travelling often has the habit of pushing you outside your comfort zone – sometimes it may even force you to confront your own moral principles.
4. Most helpful post:
I’ve been to Valencia so many times that I might as well move there. In March I attended Las Fallas for the second consecutive year, dodging kids with firecrackers and trying not to get pushed over by some very determined senior citizens (who wanted a better spot for watching the fireworks). This is my detailed account of the rambunctious, explosive festival – the perfect place to unleash your inner pyromaniac.
5. Most surprisingly successful post:
Liverpool still gets its share of bad press despite a major overhaul in recent years. Few people see it as a worthy destination (even though it is) and even fewer could understand why it won the bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2008. Despite the overwhelming number of Spanish entries, this is the third most-viewed post on Plus Ultra. It would have been a close second if Porto hadn’t suddenly taken the crown.
6. Most underrated post:
With the exception of my entry on Tai O, the posts on Hong Kong generally attract less interest. This particular entry – one of my personal favourites – is proof that age-old traditions still live on amid the dizzying concrete jungle. In spite of its iPhones, I-Banks and neon lights, Hong Kong takes its Chinese festivals very seriously.
7. Post I am most proud of:
I came very close to choosing Las Fallas: 48 Hours in Valencia as it was the post that launched this blog in earnest. But with the next Fallas-themed entry selected as the “most helpful”, I picked the one which combined my love of architecture and my first real encounter with Spain’s Moorish heritage. Like the more famous Alhambra, Córdoba’s Great Mosque is an otherworldly creation that speaks more of Morocco than Western Europe.
Passing it On
Tina is a travel-savvy, engaging writer who is prone to waxing lyrical about that time she stumbled across one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls in Guyana or when she found herself getting stamped into the breakaway republic of Transdniestr (I’m not even going to attempt to pronounce that one).
Jace’s philosophy is simple – we live to eat. Her irresistible, mouth-watering entries are not recommended on an empty stomach, especially if you live in a place with very little Asian cuisine. Based out of Hong Kong, where she covers some of the newest restaurants, Jace’s recent travels have taken her to Paris and South Korea.
Minh is a recent graduate who has just returned from a year spent in Lyon, France, where she attended crêpe parties, hiked up the city’s hills and smelled the flowers by the Rhône. Her European travels took her to other parts of the country, as well as nearby Spain, Germany, Britain and Switzerland. Not one to stay idle, Minh has just completed a 6-week road trip across the United States.
Dakota is owner of one of the most beautiful photoblogs I’ve ever seen. A self-taught photographer from New Zealand, he is now living in the wine capital of Bordeaux. From capturing the vibrant colours of Spanish cuisine, to his wistful observations on a train journey in Sicily, Dakota brings readers a stunning set of images from his European travels.
Gary & Ro are a formidable team from Ireland who have recently finished a Round-the-World trip via Japan, China, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and various parts of South America. Reading their entries was perhaps the driving inspiration in the early days of Plus Ultra.