Posted: 2009-11-13

Travel Stats and “Best-Of”

To round out our sabbatical travel blog, we thought it would be fun to share some of our travel stats and “best-of” recommendations. Chad will also make one last post with our final thoughts about the trip, so stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, our stats:

Our Sabbatical

  • Time spent traveling - 7 months, 1 day
  • Photos taken - 4686
  • Blog posts - 104
  • Journals/diaries used - 5
  • Expense notebooks used - 2

Where We Went

  • Countries visited - 4
  • Languages spoken - 5
  • Towns/cities slept in - 22
  • Apartments - 14
  • Hotels/B&Bs - 7
  • Private homes - 3
  • Towns/cities also visited - 21

How We Got Around

  • Modes of transportation - taxi, train, plane, boat, rental car, private car, bus, bicycle, subway, tram, funicular, on foot
  • Trains - 43
  • Planes - 4
  • Long-distance busses - 4
  • City subway systems - 5
  • Boats/ferries - 4
  • Private cars - 8
  • Rental cars - 2

Tourist Sites Visited

  • Museums - 20
  • Churches - 43
  • Monasteries - 2
  • Mosques - 1
  • Synagogues - 0
  • Palaces - 3
  • Castles - 2
  • Forts - 4
  • Chateaux - 1
  • Roman ruins - 5

Other Sites and Events

  • Parks and gardens - 16
  • Cemeteries - 3
  • Concerts - 8
  • Soccer games - 3
  • Vineyards - 5
  • Port wine houses - 1
  • Wine tasting dinners - 2
  • Cooking classes - 1

Daily Life

  • Markets visited - 22
  • Meals eaten out - 156
  • Doctors visited - 1
  • Pharmacies visited - 4
  • Haircuts - 5
  • Pay toilets used - 6
  • Shoes thrown away - 2 pr
  • Shoes purchased - 5 pr
  • Books read - 49
  • Cookbooks acquired - 6
  • Household purchases - hair dryer, clothes pins, extension cord, chef’s knife, cell phone, Ethernet cable, yoga mat, cheese grater, kitchen cutting board, light bulbs, candle, matches

Best Of

  • Best Value for Your Money - Portugal
  • Best Train System - France
  • Best Public Transportation - Paris for coverage, Barcelona for clarity/easy to use
  • Best Drive - through the sunflower fields in central France
  • Best Local Views - Lake Como and The Cinque Terre
  • Best English as a Foreign Language - Portugal
  • Best Shopping - Milan
  • Best Dressed Locals - Milan
  • Best Art - Barcelona and Paris
  • Best Architecture - Barcelona
  • Best Park/Garden - Parc Guell (Barcelona), Park Maria Luisa (Seville), Universidade de Lisboa Botanical Gardens (Lisbon)
  • Best Evening Stroll - Cinque Terre
  • Best Place to Relax - Cinque Terre
  • Best Market to Visit - La Boqueria in Barcelona
  • Best Market to Live Near - main market in La Spezia
  • Best Beach for Sunning - San Sebastian
  • Best Swimming Hole - Manarola
  • Best Apartment Kitchen - our first apartment in Aix-en-Provence for size and amenities, Manarola for the view
  • Best Apartment Bathroom - Porto
  • Best Hotel/Apartment View - Lake Como and Manarola
  • Best Place to Get Cheese - France and Italy
  • Best Cured Meat - Italy
  • Best Grilled Chicken - Lisbon
  • Best Seafood - Cinque Terre
  • Best Coffee - Italy
  • Best Olives - from Nyons, France and from Naples, Italy
  • Best Gelato - cinnamon in Corniglia and ginger in Milan
  • Best Beer Selection - France, Brandibirra in Bibbona
  • Best Cocktails (Value) - Spain
  • Best Creative/Modern Food - San Sebastian
  • Best Pastry - pastel de nata in Portugal, bomba in Portugal, cannoli in Italy
  • Best Dessert - mamia (soft sheep’s cheese served with honey) in San Sebastian

Best Newly Acquired Phrases

  • Spain - “buenaaaaaath” - short for Buenos dias, drawn out and with the Spanish lisp at the end
  • Portugal - “quero xixi” - pronounced “keh-roh shee-shee”, it means “I have to pee-pee”
  • Portugal - “mais um” - pronounced “mysh oom”, it means “one more” as in “another beer please”
  • France - “sex shop” - particularly funny when uttered by a 77-year-old French lady
  • France - “oh-la-la-la-la-la-la” - when a simple “oh-la-la” is not sufficient
  • Italy - “stronza signora” - this means “turd lady” and is useful when describing evil neighbors, apparently
  • Italy - “bastardissimi” - the plural form of “bastardissimo” which is when a person is a super-duper-mega “bastardo”
-Julia Abbott

Comment

Chad Altemose
2009-11-13

Turd Lady!

Jim A
2009-11-14

What a list of goals for when we go! We'll take the challenge, except for meeting the "strongze signora."

Bob
2009-11-15

You caused me to laugh aloud as well as recall a few happy memories.

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