Best Ones 2020

After praising my favorite songs of 2020 and the favorite albums and EPs in 2020, the final posting to do the Best Ones 2020 are of course about all the other contents and experiences I had during 2020. Due to Covid-19, 2020 was indeed a very special year – so that I not only introduced some new categories compared to my Best Ones 2019, but also decided to skip some for this year only. Hope that they will be back in 2021! Enjoy my “Hall of Fame” of this very special year! – The Best in Music

Live music events have of course been very limited during this year. However, I feel very gifted that I did some really great experiences during the first quarter of the year.


Best Concert / Festival Event:
Country To Country 2020 Berlin

Country 2 Country 2020 in Berlin – A Preview

The last big music event in 2020 – if I look back to Country to Country at Berlin Verti Music Hall in early March, I am still amazed how fantastic Semmel Concerts and the Sound of Nashville team managed to get the event done – right before everything thereafter got cancelled, including the London, Dublin and Glasgow edition. My first major festival coverage with – very thankful for this experience.


Best Concert Performance:
Olivia Lane (8th February 2020, Hassocks)

Olivia Lane (8th February 2020, Hassocks / Brighton)

I just had a few options to nominate artists. Finally, I went for the wonderful Olivia Lane, playing in a lovely atmosphere in a small cycling cafe a couple of minutes out of Brighton. The way Olivia dealt with this small group of people was just impressive. Look forward to see her on stage again soon.


Best Album / Single / EP 2020:

I already posted my view on the best albums (including EPs) and singles, which I split into country and non-country music: – My Favorite Albums / EPs 2020 – My Favorite Songs 2020 – The Best in Sports

Similar to the live music coverage, it was very hard for me to reach the targeted sports reporting. Finally, I made it to at least have some interesting sports reports – in addition to some good sports blog entries, as I feel.

Personal Sports Event of the Year 2020:
bett1HULKS Indoors / Championship 2020 in Cologne

bett1HULKS Championship 2020: Sumit Nagal (IND) – Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-3 (4)6-7 1-6

Thanks to my collaboration with Indian Tennis Daily, I have been gifted to have two weeks of tennis coverage during October 2020. ATP Tennis in my home town Cologne, even having some of our Indian players on court, was of course a huge honor for me to cover. Somehow, my favorite match of the bett1HULKS tournaments was my first time watching our highest ranked singles player, Sumit Nagal – even though his first round loss against Serbian Kecmanovic.


Best Match / Game (covered with 2020:
SB-Pro Nurmijärvi – Classic Tampere (Naisten Liiga)

SB-Pro Nurmijärvi – Classic Tampere 4:2 (0:1, 4:1, 0:0)

On the floorball side, I did not manage to reach my expected coverage at all. At least in January, I made it for two matches in Nurmijärvi to watch my favorite team, SB-Pro Nurmijärvi. Against their all-time rival Classic, they had a great and successful battle. Feels like I won’t be able to see them this year for the whole season – heartbreaking!


Favorite Stadium / Arena / Arena Tour 2020:
Summer Bobsleigh Taxi Ride at Königssee

Taking a (Summer) Taxi Ride on the Königssee Bobsleigh Track

Not a classic arena or stadium tour or experience, but absolutely impressive and breathtaking was my very first time in a bobsleigh bob. Racing down the full track at Königssee was an incredible experience. Bearing in mind that these summer bobs on wheels are significantly slower than the winter / ice originals, I really struggled whether I will do this stuff again… But now I am sure: I have to do it in winter one day as well. Highly recommend this shaking high speed ride! – The Best in Travel

Travel is still the heart of – even if there is also a lot of contents about music. Thus, I also set up the most categories here. Hope you find some stunning postings and experience.


Best Aviation Experience 2020:
Planespotting at In-N-Out Burger Los Angeles

Planespotting at In-N-Out Burger Los Angeles Airport

Not a special flight, a special lounge, a special plane – but still an absolute must-visit place for aviation enthusiasts: ordinary California tourists might love In-N-Out Burger for their delicious grilled ones – but if you are a planespotter at heart, you just cannot miss to visit this iconic and legendary place right right at the end of one of Los Angeles Airport runways. Highly recommended – even if you are not as nerdy as I am.


Best Inflight Experience 2020:
Finnair A350 Business Class (Helsinki – Dubai)

Finnair Airbus A350 Business Class from Helsinki to Dubai

I spent New Year 2020 in Abu Dhabi and chose a routing via Helsinki to the Emirates. The key advantage of this flight is that both legs were day flights (in contrast to most other European connections) – and that Finnair operates them once a week with their Airbus A350, which is just a lovely Business Class product.


Favorite Airport (Review in 2020):
Not assigned

I just did very rare reviews of airports this year – and, honestly, none of them deserves to be awarded (some are not too bad, some are worse). Thus, I decided to skip that category for 2020.


Best Airport Lounge (Review in 2020):
Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

A second Los Angeles aviation experience – the Star Alliance Lounge at Los Angeles Airport, Tom Bradley International Terminal, is just amazing. There is even a small terrace with a fireplace from where you can watch the air traffic. Definitely one of my favorite lounges in the world, second time being there in my life (and finally able to review it for


Best (Road) Trip 2020:
California With The Pittsburgh Penguins

California With The Pittsburgh Penguins 2020 (Preview)

I could do a couple of trips this year – but finally ended up in just one trip report, following the Pittsburgh Penguins for their three away match series at Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose and ending up in Las Vegas for a Golden Knights match. So thankful that I could do this one as the last trip before all the travel restrictions occured. I am still positive to give you more great trip reports in 2021 – the planned highlight would be to go to Halifax and Gander twenty years after 9/11.


Favorite Outdoor Attraction (Review in 2020):
Wahat Al Karama (Abu Dhabi)

Wahat Al Karama – the Abu Dhabi Oasis of Dignity

This attraction could also be the Best Free Entry Attraction or the Hidden Gem 2020: located right opposite the Grand Mosque, Wahat Al Karama is not only an impressive place to honor the solidiers and abroad social initiatives of the United Arab Emirates – but it is also offering breathtaking views of the Abu Dhabi icon, especially during the night. Definitely, a must visit!


Best Non-Aviation Travel Experience 2020:
Frecciarossa 1000 Executive Class

Frecciarossa 1000 Executive Class

In 2020, I definitely managed to achieve my goal to increase the rail travel coverage. Two interesting night train rides, with the Nightjet in the Single Deluxe Cabin and with the Alpen-Sylt Nachtexpress, were two real highlights of my year. The unbeaten star of my Rides on Railhowever, is the three hour direct connection between Milan and Rome in the amazing Executive Class of Italy’s very finest, the Frecciarossa 1000. Hope to do more rail trips during 2021 – I do have a couple of really nice ideas for that.


Favorite Museum / Exhibition about Travel/Transport (Review in 2020):
Louwman Museum The Hague

Louwman Museum The Hague

This place is just outstanding. I would guess there is no better place to enjoy car history in the world than the Louwman – especially if you are interested in the early 20th century. This place right outside the city of the Dutch government, The Hague / Den Haag, is huge and has a lot of cars in amazing conditions. One of the best places I visited during 2020, indeed!


Favorite Museum / Exhibition (other topics, Review in 2020):
Minatur Wunderland Hamburg

Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg

According to Tripadvisor, this is Germany’s Number One Tourist Attraction since years – forget about Cologne Cathedral or Castle Neuschwanstein. The amazing Hamburg brothers Braun created a lovely masterpiece of model landscaping and model trains. You feel it is a place for nerds? I can just tell you even my wife loves it! And, of course, even though I am from Cologne, I agree that this is the top of Germany’s touristic destinations. A trip to Germany without the MiWuLa is just not complete – a trip to Hamburg without it is simply a shame!


Favorite Free Entry Attraction (Review in 2020):
German Central Bank Money Museum

German Central Bank Money Museum (Frankfurt)

A lovely place driven by the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) in Germany’s financial metropolis Frankfurt. A very illustrative and educative place about money, financial management and politics and the history of money – no matter if cash or plastic. This place is a bit outside Frankfurt city center, but absolutely deserves the detour from your Frankfurt visit.


Best Airport Hotel (Review in 2020):
Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminal 2/3

Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminal 2/3

If there were flights operated from Terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport at that time, my stay at this Hilton Garden Inn with direct runway view would have been even better – but the close connection to Terminal 2 (and 3), great service and lovely room turn this place to a great location to have an airport overnight.


Best Rail Travel Hotel (Review in 2020):
NH Collection Munich Bavaria

NH Collection Munich Bavaria

Rail Station hotels are a new category to in 2020. Why should there be airport hotels only? NH Collection Munich Bavaria proofs that you need that category, for sure. Right next to Munich’s Central Station, it is not just ideally located, but also offers great service. One of the best hotels I stayed in during 2020.


Best Hotel – Value For Money – 2020:
ibis Styles Amsterdam Central Station

ibis Styles Amsterdam Central Station

I do not clearly define what a budget hotel or budget stay is – but 84 Euro for a night in very central Amsterdam, including breakfast (which was perfectly done as a breakfast bag during Covid-19) is definitely a fantastic price for the Dutch capital. A really good stay!


Best Hotel 2020:
Vliegtuigsuite Teuge (Netherlands)

Vliegtuigsuite Teuge (NED) – Sleeping in an Ilyushin IL-18

No doubt, this is a place which perfectly suits my faves: a great hotel with superb service – and aviation history in one. The Vliegtuigsuite (“Airplane Suite”) is built into an Ilyushin IL-18 formerly used by the East German airline Interflug. Fantastic experience!


Hidden Gem of the Year 2020:
HomeComputerMuseum (Helmond, Netherlands)

HomeComputerMuseum Helmond (Netherlands)

I am a gamer at heart – and this lovely place in Helmond near Eindhoven is simply a place for everybody who loves computer, video games and home computer history as much as I do. The place is a unique combination of museum and repair workshop – and they are even doing social work as well. I highly recommend you to go there – but if you had an Atari, Commodore, Amiga or 1990’s gaming console and loved it – better prepare to more or less block the whole day – it is simply awesome!



The Best New Features in 2020

The more the website has been growing, the more I felt I need to improve your user experience. To me, three new features are really great to help you navigating through my blog or give you a new experience of – among many others – hope you like them as well. My favorite website upgrades are:

  • First of all, I love my Spotlight interview section. I had some rather minor artists and people like the (again) Grammy-nominated Jim “Kimo” West in my Spotlight – but I felt, all of them told amazing stories of their life as an artist. For that reason, I also did not want to have a Best interview or so. They are all great. Nonetheless, thanks a lot to German country artist Van de Forst, who did the very first Spotlight interview with me.
  • After more than 300 media reviews, I feel that the alphabetic List Of All Media Reviews helps a lot in navigating. Did I really listen to all of these albums, EPs (but also some books and a movie)? Wow!
  • I feel that the New Country Hits Playlists, which I introduced in April 2020, are a hell of work – but they are really received good feedback by both, you as the visitors of my blog as well as the artist. I got a lot of great contacts via this playlist – some of them even lead to Spotlight interview. My idea to establish more regularly updated playlists unfortunately failed due to a lack of time.



And finally…

My Favorite Posting 2020:

Hawk-Eye Live – the End of the Tennis Line Judges?

Hawk-Eye Live – the End of the Tennis Line Judges?

I generally love the “proper” blog postings like this one. Of course, they require a lot of reading, investigation and write-up, but finally, they are just great results. I hope you enjoyed that one. Even if you are not in tennis, it might be interesting how the Hawk-Eye Live functionality, which is also used in soccer, for example, is working – and why I feel a “Hawk-Eye error” in a soccer match was finally nothing but terrible technical education to the referees and video assistants.


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