Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best (And Worst) of 2009

I've decided to give awards and "first times" for all the cities we've been in over the last year...Travel is all about superlatives, right?

Global Cities Awards For Our First Year of Travel According to Kalli in Collaboration With Jacob

Heiligenhaus, Germany:
First Time to Visit Germany after studying German for Many Years
Most Rural German City
Most Difficult to Reach by Public Transportation
Best Pizza
School Principal Most Influenced by the Nazi Regime

Sofia, Bulgaria:
Worst Traffic
Most Dangerous for Pedestrians
Most Dishonest Taxi Drivers

Radovis, Macedonia:
Most Alcohol-Loving
Most Time on Their Hands
Most Jolly
Most Welcoming
Most Fashion-Conscious
Most Hair/Nail Places Per Capita
Best Breakfast (burek and ayran)
Cheapest Skiing
Sassiest Music
First Time to Dye My Hair
First Time to Get Served Fish Whole, Head Included

Jerusalem, Israel:
Most Historic
Most Spiritual
Most Dangerous-Feeling
Most Religiously Significant
Most Emotion-Inspiring
Most Like a Costume Party
Most Underlying Tension
First Time to Meet Palestinians

Jericho, Israel:
Oldest Continuously-Existing City
First Time to Stand Straight Up in Water (At the Dead Sea)

Istanbul, Turkey:
Most Exotic
Most Beautiful Mosques
Largest City
Best Hostel With Dinner and Friends Included
Best LDS Ward to Visit
Best Practically Free Ferry Rides
First Time To Eat in the Homes of People From Turkmenistan and Senegal
First Time To Learn About Islam
First Time to Try Turkish Delight

Diyarbakir, Turkey:
First Place to Make A Friend With Ties to a Terrorist-Affiliated Group
Longest City Walls Besides the Great Wall of China
Most Exciting Sporting Event
Most Black-and-White Striped Buildings
Most Mentally Ill People On the Streets
First Time To Wear Muslim Scarves

Urfa, Turkey:
First Time To Hang Out With Former Nomads
Cleanest Eastern Turkey City

Cappadocia, Turkey:
Weirdest Terrain
Best Hostel Breakfast
First Hot Air Balloon Ride
First Year Anniversary Celebration By Eating "Manti" For the First Time
Pammukale, Turkey:
Best Natural Water Park

Ephesus, Turkey:
Best Preserved Biblical City
Most Crowded With Tourists

Rhodes, Greece:
Most Relaxed Island
First Couch Surfing Experience

Santorini, Greece:
Most Beautiful Sunset
Best Snorkeling
First Time to See a Red Sand Beach
Funniest Villa Owner

Athens, Greece:
Most Polluted
Most Obvious Drug Problem
Most International LDS Ward
First Introduced to Death Metal

Larissa, Greece:
Most Pleasant Greek City
Best Greek Cooking

Leeds, England:
Most Pleasant, Polite, and Soft-Spoken People
Best Bridal Shower
Best Family Dinners

Berlin, Germany:
Best Modern Historical Interest
Best Museums
Best Variety of Food From Ethiopian to Eritean
Best Public Transportation
First Time For Jacob to Visit a Concentration Camp
Most Flamboyant Gay Parade
Best Place to Learn German
Jacob's First Time To A Real Opera

Ouarzazate, Morocco:
Biggest Apartment
Calmest With the Least Stuff to Do City
First Place I've Ever Visited Without A Library
Jacob Would Say Friendliest Folks
First and Last Time To Visit A Hammam

Marrakesh, Morocco:
Rudest People
Most Aggressive
Most Exotic Animals
Best Place to Depart For A Camel Trip in the Sahara
Best McDonalds to Get Food Poisoning
Weirdest Food (pigeon pie, goat head, snails)

Tangiers, Morocco:
Hands-Down Worst Hostel

Coin, Spain:
Loveliest Overlook
Most Hilly

Madrid, Spain:
Most Talented Pickpockets
Most Comfortable Apartment
Most Surprising Lack of a Good Typically Spanish Main Dish
Most Ham Museums
Nicest Parks

Segovia, Spain:
Prettiest Old-Timey Castle

Barcelona, Spain:
Best Architecture
Best Street Music
Most Entertaining Street to Take A Stroll (Las Ramblas)
New York City, New York:
Tastiest Food
Most Expensive
Most Languages Spoken
Most American History
Most Neon Lights
Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Most Crime
Most Literate
Best Amusement Park
Most Street Demonstrations
Grassiest Drinks
Best Steaks
Best Gyms
Most Free Tours
Most Crowded Public Transportation
First Time To Be Openly Threatened
Fanciest Restaurant Meal Which Included Foam on Salmon
Best Street Dancing
Iguazu Falls, Argentina:
Biggest and Longest Waterfalls
Most Exciting Speedboat Ride
Best Place to See Monkeys in Their Native Habitat
Biggest Ants
Most Butterflies

Top Questions Asked After Returning Home:
What Was Your Favorite Place? Israel. Runners Up: Turkey and Berlin

What Do You Miss the Most? free bathrooms with real toilets, toilet paper, soap, and sinks, water fountains, and unlimited soda refills. The English language.

Where Do You Want to Settle Down?
No doubt, the USA. It's the best place on Earth!!!


oh said...

Keller, Texas
Sweetest pug, healthiest dad, best Tom kha kai soup, best fried butter at the biggest state fair, largest football stadiums, best homecoming parade, Jacob's first time to a fake opera (The Mikado), biggest state (AK doesn't count-- mostly ice) and according to Money Magazine, 7th best city to live in USA.

Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...


Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

I'm afraid I've never tried the fried butter...

Adespain said...

What?! No Ohio?? Come on, it's not like we didn't get out on the town . . . oh wait, I guess we pretty much stayed at my place :) same thing, right?

I must admit, I am curious why Barcelona is the sexiest . . .

Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

Well, I decided to abstain from any of the non-touristy places we've been...maybe I will have to do a follow-up post on Keller, Liberty, and Hilliard :) Barcelona is fashionable, alive, and gorgeous. Plus all of the architecture is curvy thanks to Gaudi. Sexy is a feeling and that is how it felt :)

oh said...

I've GOT to get to Barcelona--the sooner the better!

Adespain said...

Thanks for the clarification!

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