Inspired by The Saskatchewanderer's "Top 10 Most Read Blogs of 2015", I decided to showcase my top 10 as well! Some of my readers have been wondering why I've been writing about Regina, Saskatchewan and Canada lately and not some of the other locations I've visited (Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, etc), but I'll let my most read blogs below explain why.
Out of my 100 (this is number 100!!) articles, these are my top 10!
How many have you read?
1. 8 Places to Visit in Regina
This article about Regina exploded the moment I published it and has been shared thousands of times. In return, it brought a spike of traffic to my site that I haven't seen since. Unfortunately, only a few weeks after writing it, one of the locations closed down. Regardless, there are still 7 locations to visit, so be sure to give it a read!
2. 8 More Places to Visit in Regina
This is my sequel to my most popular article. Written only recently, it didn't get the traffic surge the other article did, but it still did very well. This article covers museums, restaurants and clubs throughout the city so be sure to check it out and help spread the word!
3. Instagramming Canada - Prince Edward Island
Coming in at a close third, this article surprised me. I'm not sure who shared this, but it exploded onto the scene almost two weeks after I wrote it. Of all 13 "Instagramming Canada" articles, this is one of the two to make the list. It received traffic from all over the Maritimes and even the United States, which is a country I've struggled to get traffic from. Come see what everybody is so excited about!
Note: because it includes images embedded from Instagram, it takes a while to load, which is another reason I'm surprised it did as well as it did!
4. Regina: A Century of Change
This article takes a look at an early 20th Century map of Regina, and compares it to the current map of the city. The map is circa 1905 and shows the plans for the city before the automobile and airplane arrived. It also showed the original plans for Wascana Lake, prior to the "Big Dig" of the 1930s. It's very interesting and I'm glad it did so well, so be sure to check it out!
Briefly exploring the history behind the two companies, their tour rates and my experiences with both, I arrived at a conclusion on which company I preferred. My article prompted one of the companies to reply back, which was very unexpected. If you are planning to travel abroad with either group, be sure to give this one a read!
7. Are You The Next Saskatchewanderer?
Ashlyn George's time as the Saskatchewanderer is coming to an end, and the search for another wanderer has began. This is my second time interviewing Ashlyn for my blog and we got to revisit her incredible experiences and memories. Be sure to give it a read and keep your fingers crossed for the announcement for the next Saskatchewanderer!
8. The Heritage of the RCMP
After visiting the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, I decided to write an article about their incredible history, starting with their conception to protect Canadian Aboriginals from American "fire-water" (whisky), their time in the Arctic during the Gold Rush, defending Canada from Nazi spies and the protection of an ex-Soviet informant. It's a really interesting article, as is the museum. If you can't visit the incredible structure, then check out my article to learn all about it!
9. 50 Images That Showcase Regina
At a close 9th place, this article showcases the architecture, nature and lifestyle of my hometown of Regina. Sometimes it's difficult to see just how beautiful your hometown is, so I'm glad this one did as good as it did! If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to give it a read!
10. Instagramming Canada - Manitoba
My only other "Instagramming Canada" article to make the list, this one ranked only slightly higher than my "Instagramming Canada - Saskatchewan" article. This article showcases the parks, architecture and incredible lakes that spot my neighboring province. Be sure to check it out!
And, just for fun...
100. Farewell Europe
Written in January, this is my final article about my trip to Europe after spending 18 days abroad. It isn't an exciting read, but it offers a conclusion of my first ever solo trip. I feel one of the final sentences really showcase this blog and the inspiration around it: "Thank you all for reading this. I hope my story was worth the read. I hope I inspired and educated, or at least entertained you."
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.
Nestled between the impressive Mount Royal and the majestic St. Lawrence River is Montreal, a city known for its festivals, abstract art, history and mosaic of countless cultures. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, with a population floating around four million people. While the city is a dynamic mix of Canada's two primary cultures – French and English – there are areas of the city that are culturally specific, such as Little Italy, Greektown and Chinatown. Known for its artistic and liberal mindedness, Montreal also boasts the largest community of homosexuals in North America in their very own "Gay Village".
Being nearly 375 years old, Montreal was pivotal to the creation of New France and Canada and at a time held control over every waterway from the St. Lawrence down to the Gulf of Mexico. Having such incredible influence over the western part of the New World, Montreal hosted the "Great Peace of Montreal" in 1701, which started sixteen years of peace between the French and over 40 different First Nation tribes in North America.
Since its early days, Montreal has been one of the most influential cities in Canada. Montreal housed "internment camps" during World War I, became an ideal location for Americans looking for alcohol during Prohibition, and was the official residence of the Luxembourg royal family during World War II. Montreal held host to the incredible Expo 67, showcasing some of the most incredible architecture of that decade. The seventies saw serious political reformation in Montreal, with many Americans arriving, fleeing the Vietnam Draft. The late seventies paralyzed the city as a terrorist organization, the Front de libération du Québec, detonated explosives throughout the city and kidnapped and killed political figures. These actions forced the Prime Minster to enact the "War Measures Act" and deploy the military into the city to apprehend the terrorists. The eighties and nineties saw two referendums in the province of Quebec to separate from Canada, with Montreal playing a major role in both decisions. The last referendum in 1995 ended with 51% percent of Quebecers wanting to remain part of Canada and 49% wanting to separate.
The following is a guest article by Sally Elbassir, the owner and food taster of Passport and Plates, originally titled "The Tapas, Taverns and History of Madrid: A Food Tour". Be sure to drop by her blog for culinary treats from around the world!
I've always been a foodie. Long before the term "foodie" ever existed, I was that kid who was always eager to try something new.
Things haven't changed much in the last couple of decades. My palate has expanded, and I discovered that my dream job does exist; it just happens to be occupied by Anthony Bourdain. Now I satisfy my foodie obsession by writing on Yelp, and on my blog... there's plenty more where that came from.