2013 in Superlatives

2013 in the Kroeker-Maus household was a blockbuster year for travel. David journeyed to 14 nation/states, while I visited 17. My list, roughly in chronological order: France (3x), Switzerland, Scotland (2x), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ireland (2x), Italy, Malawi, Tanzania, Wales, Spain (Catalonia), USA (2x), Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Greece, Iceland.

In order to highlight some of those globe-trotting moments, I give you the 2013 Kroeker-Maus Superlatives! Enjoy!

Driving snow in Edinburgh

Driving snow in Edinburgh

  • Craziest Weather – The pulsating snow and sun of Edinburgh in February
  • Weirdest Flight Seat Mate – A woman on the flight back from Greece who was moved next to us after she
    Athens in November

    Athens in November

    insisted that she couldn’t sit on a plane near anyone who was using a laptop. Then she clutched crystals in her hands for the remainder of the flight

  • Best Dish – Grilled octopus in the Cinque Terre, Italy
  • Worst Dish – Fermented Shark
  • Best Free City Walking Tour – Athens
  • Worst Free City Walking Tour – Stockholm. Our guide was French and mostly told us about Ikea and H&M.
  • Coldest – Iceland atop the glacier. One caveat is that on 27 Dec we’ll be journeying to South Dakota which may well be colder.
  • Hottest – DRC
  • Best Drinking Chocolate – Italy; or as we like to call it ‘chocolate soup!’
  • Best Couch Surfing Host – Carme, on the Costa Brava who let us stay in her flat for two nights and introduced us to Housesitting. Many close runners-up on this one though!

    Cheap and charming Tallinn

    Cheap and charming Tallinn

  • Cheapest Tours – Ireland
  • Most Expensive Tours – Iceland
  • Most Expensive City – Stockholm
  • Cheapest City – Tallin
  • Most Exciting City – Barcelona

    Barcelona from Park Güell

    Barcelona from Park Güell

  • Least Exciting City – Dublin (we did LOVE the people we met there though)
  • Biggest Travel Mistake – Boarding a train to the wrong airport.
  • Best Outdoor Experience –  Tie between skiing the Alps in Switzerland and France and hiking a glacier in Iceland
  • Best Theatre and Best Overall Indoor Experience – Les Miserables in London (wow!)
  • Easiest Cities to Get Around – London and Paris
  • Hardest Cities to Get Around – Edinburgh (buses aren’t especially reliable and always need exact change.)

    All the trains in Italy are 'ritardo'

    All the trains in Italy are ‘ritardo’

  • Worst Intercity Trains – Italy (very late)
  • Best Intercity Trains – France or the UK but this could just be our experiences
  • Friendliest – Scotland and Ireland – both places people will go out of their way to help foreigners with directions. Of course, all my Africa visits are in another realm of friendliness altogether.
  • Least Friendly – Probably London and Paris, although in both places people will gladly give help if asked, they just won’t offer without a request. And no one was ever rude.
  • Biggest Cultural Faux Pas – Talking and laughing loudly for an hour and a half on the train, and then realising we were sitting in the quiet car. Throughout the journey we just couldn’t understand all the icy British glares we were receiving. Ops!
  • Least Read Blog Post of 2013 – Who Owns Water (Malawi Part II) To be fair this piece I wrote did also appear in several Salvation Army publications, so I’ll just assume that everyone read it there, right?
  • Most Read Blog Posts  in 2013–
  1. Pro-tip for travelers: AVOID Smartfares.com (1,046 views)
  2. Firenze Card…Totally worth it! (729 views)
  3. Congo-Kinshasa Part One: Miracle Moringa (592 views)
  4. My Healthcare Experience: US vs. UK (522 views)
  5. 5 Tips for Hiking the Cinque Terre (327 views)

Thanks to all of you, our dear friends, family, and loyal readers for journeying with us in 2013! Stay tuned for next year’s adventures.

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2 responses to “2013 in Superlatives

  1. I will check back again just to bring the numbers up! And about being in the quiet car……if those Brits were friendlier they would have said something,quietly!

  2. People talking in the Quiet Coach is one of my pet-hates! The Quiet Coach is to get away from screaming babies, people shouting into their cells/mobiles etc. I once got so fed up with two business types having a meeting that I did say something. They weren’t happy, but they did move to another car…

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