Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My 7 Links: 7x7 Europe

I came across the #My7Links hashtag on Twitter tonight and was immediately inspired. What is it? The My 7 Links challenge was created by the Tripbase blog - here are the rules. You are supposed to be nominated to participate, but I'm not much for rules, and I was ready to go. So here are my 7 links, chosen from my 7 month trip to Europe in 2009/2010 (hence the 7x7 reference).

My Most Beautiful Post
A Birthday and a Jet Plane
My soup and champagne celebration on my 51st birthday in Paris. I chose this as my "most beautiful post" for a few reasons. Yes, the soup is beautiful (I challenge you not to salivate at the description!), and so was the view - but this post was all about wrapping up my 7 month trip: sadness, joy, learnings, being ready to come home... So it's beauty is TO ME, though I hope my savory soup and other pics from that post are beautiful to others. I almost hesitated to include this post for beauty, as the pic I really wanted to use was the one below, which captured my joy of a very special day and point in my life... but I'm also not so cocky as to say that my most beautiful blog post was about me! lol. But there you go. Re-reading this post is a beautiful touchstone for me. And, perhaps, it can serve as a beacon and beautiful inspiration for others considering a grand adventure.

My Most Popular Post

Wandering the charming Passages of Paris
I had so much fun in Paris learning about the old covered passages! I found a lovely little book about them, read it, studied, then set out to explore some of them for myself. Some were awesome, some less so, but enjoyed it partly because it was a part of Paris that is a bit off the beaten track, but the passages captured my heart. And others' hearts too, it seems. I got lots of feedback on this one, and it turns up on Twitter every so often. And I'm delighted, as I am glad for others to discover this less famous but no less historic part of Paris.

My Most Controversial Post

This was hardly controversial, but I didn't have much in my 7 months of blogging in Europe that was controversial. I was not only careful not to criticize the places I travelled to ("When in Rome...."), but I felt this at the core. I was a guest and anytime I did not agree with a culture I felt it was a learning opportunity. So I kept my mouth shut. Now I am hardly a person who is unwilling to speak her mind, but as I chose to confine this challenge to my big Europe trip, it just wasn't a theme. Why this post? Well, cuz I managed to generalize that "everyone gives New Years trinkets in Greece" when, in fact, it was a tourist things. Oops. Well, it felt pretty cool and authentic to me anyways. (Interestingly, my biggest culture shock on my trip came from Athens as well, but I havent' really written about that (aside of a mention here....)... yet ...

My Most Helpful Post

Contrary to common belief, the historic Checkpoint Charlie isn't what you see when you visit the spot where it once stood in Berlin: that's a replica. The real Checkpoint Charlie is at the Allied Museum. In this post I wrote about my trip to the museum, what I saw there, and why I think it's one of the best historic sites in a city overflowing with them. I thought it was my most helpful post as I really do point people to a site which they might not be aware of, snuff out a few misconceptions, and give practical information on how to find it. And helpful, too, as it's history that can reach those who may never go to Berlin but are fascinated by it's history. One of my trip highlights.

My Post Whose Success Surprised Me

The success of this post surprised me because it was a bit of a sleeper. I didn't even plan to see this site, I just stumbled on it - and it was FABULOUS! Got so many great pics that I had to split my blog post into two parts (the pic above is in part 2 - and, yes, that's a mind-blowingly big, glorious Chagall!). I see it tweeted about from time to time when someone discovers it, and it makes me smile. And, really, you've gotta see it if you go to Paris...

My Post that Didn't Get the Attention it Deserved

I was lucky enough to be back in Barcelona on January 5th which is when the Catalan children celebrate their version of Christmas. The Calvalcade of the Magi, or Three Kings Parade, was a great experience and I got some truly fabulous pictures! It was held at night, and the performers and floats were so different from a North American parade, that it was truly magical. I feel it has been lost in the pure volume of blog posts from my trip, and a little overlooked. I'd be happy if more people saw the pictures and enjoyed the magic too....

My Post I am Most Proud Of

Pompeii was unreal.... perhaps because it is real! Its the blog post I am most proud of for a few reasons.... Probably the biggest reason is because it was my first experience of "being" a travel blogger, as I arranged to take the tour for a reduced rate in exchange for writing a review. Wasn't sure about doing that at first, but when they agreed that my review would be impartial (if it was bad, I was going to say so!), I was ok with it. And it was pretty damn awesome! Not just Pompeii, but the tour itself. Though I did still comment on some things that could have been improved. It was a great little challenge for me while on my trip and I learned a lot while doing it. And talking about it now makes me realize that it's important to share.... I was also proud of it because I think it's a good post on Pompeii: great pics, little vignettes of information, and tips. Of course, I only got to see about 5% of the city, but that's all anyone gets. And if you get a good tour -- like mine, with an archaeologist who had actually worked on the site - you are going to learn tons.

So, that's my 7.

Now, to nominate 5 others to do the same (who have not already been nominated!):

Looking forward to their 7's !

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