Thursday, 7 August 2014

Europe's Top 46 Touring Destinations

To kick off this reworked blog, I figured I'd write something to which I could add a sexy clickbait title, like "The 7 Most Delicious Ways To Cook Your Cat" or "The World's 13 Largest Penises (You Won't Believe Number 4. I Was Shocked!)" - y'know, that kind of nonsense.

Usually, these types of article don't provide any justification for their ordering, but I will. There's a very popular website called Crazy Guy On A Bike, where nearly 10,000 cycle touring blogs are collected. If you type something into its search engine, you get told how many of its pages contain that word. So I figured that by typing in the countries of Europe, it would provide a measure of their popularity.

Now, I'm aware that this is slightly flawed. For example, if someone cycling through Grimsby mentions a particularly lovely turkey sandwich then obviously Turkey scores an extra point. Likewise, if someone in Scunthorpe waxes lyrical about her love of the Wombles, and in particular Uncle Bulgaria, again we get a skewed result.

There are other problems too. Some countries have several names - United Kingdom might be Britain, or England, or Scotland, or Poundland - and Ireland could be north or south. Let's not get Sinn Fein involved. Also, these results apply only to English language blogs and so really it should be "Europe's Top 44 Touring Destinations For People Who Write In English", but that would have been as crap as Abu Hamza on Bullseye.

But forget that. Just like those adverts for expensive shampoo, let's pretend it's scientific.

So, here's the list with the hits in brackets.

1. France (66670)
2. Germany (41052)
3. Turkey (27918)
4. Italy (26355)
5. Netherlands (21629)
6. UK (21067)
7. Austria (20148)
8. Switzerland (20039)
9. Spain (17679)
10. Belgium (14752)
11. Ireland (14462)
12. Hungary (13650)
13. Croatia (13261)
14. Greece (10833)
15. Bulgaria (10405)
16. Slovakia (9648)
17. Romania (9229)
18. Slovenia (9142)
19. Czech Republic (8873)
20. Denmark (8700)
21. Serbia (7964)
22. Poland (7402)
23. Portugal (6883)
24. Luxembourg (6112)
25. Norway (5667)
26. Iceland (4744)
27. Sweden (4431)
28. Montenegro (4035)
29. Russia (3966)
30. Bosnia & Herzegovina (3446)
31. Albania (3440)
32. Liechtenstein (3172)
33. Finland (2783)
34. Estonia (2473)
35. Lithuania (2275)
36. Latvia (2264)
37. Monaco (2009)
38. Ukraine (1702)
39. Malta (1566)
40. Macedonia (1537)
41. Andorra (1269)
42. Cyprus (944)
43. Moldova (657)
44. San Marino (606)
45. Belarus (594)
46. Kosovo (466)

It's fairly obvious that France would get the number one spot, but what surprises me is how popular Turkey is (or maybe how popular turkey sandwiches are in Grimsby). That said, maybe Turkey really just means "everywhere else in Asia", as it's the easiest way to get to everywhere else in Asia. I'm discounting the idea that it's loads of people writing, "You'll never get me going to Turkey!"

What also surprises me is how high Liechtenstein is. I've been there. It's rubbish. And it beats all the Baltic States and some of Europe's other gems. What's going on?

Anyway, there you go. What do you reckon? Are there any countries in this list that deserve to be higher or lower?

Happy pedalling,

PS. In case you were wondering, that shocking number 4 was David Cameron. I thought he would've been higher. He is a massive penis.

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