The last posting of the year – Best Ones 2022 is introducing you to my best experience last years (as always, determined by the day of publishing the post, not the day of visiting that place). The series of postings started with the 2019 one, but as the 2020 edition and the 2021 edition have been impacted by Covid-19, I am glad that I could go back to (almost) all categories I planned for. 2022 even contains some new ones. Hope you enjoy my thoughts.
Flyctory.com – The Best in Music
Music experiences were extremely limited. Thus, I decided to keep all categories vacant this year.
Best Concert / Festival Event 2022:
Weird Al Yankovic – The Unfortunate Return Of The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour 2022
Nine Weird Al Yankovic shows in 2022 – that is by far the highest number of shows by one artist I ever attended in one calendar year. And 2023 will be similar with Al coming back to Europe. The North American tour with its ever-changing setlists was great and lead me to so many new and already known places. Carnegie Hall at the very end of the tour was of course the highlight of the trip, after I took you on a trip report of the first three shows and to five shows in Florda (see below). Amazing artist and a fantastic band!
Best Concert Performance 2022:
Lindsay Ell – 23rd August 2022, Cologne
I had the opportunity to see a lot of great concerts in 2022. I am also glad that I departed a bit from country music and have been able to cover the Cologne shows of Johnossi and Milky Chance. The most remarkable show to me, though, was the performance of the lovely Canadian artist Lindsay Ell, who is just a lovely person and an outstanding person on stage. If you want to learn more about her – there is also a Spotlight interview I took right before her show in Cologne.
Best Album / EP / Single 2022:
Recorded music, of course, became more and more important as concerts were very limited. Here are my postings about the best listens in 2022, which I published the two days before this post:
Flyctory.com – The Best in Sports
Spots is definitely the section of Flyctory.com I feel most unhappy about. I planned to have a much more intense coverage in 2022, but I absolutely failed. I did some nice sports blogging, but I hope I can push for more floorball, tennis and maybe soccer and other sports events soon. There were just too many travel plans finally…
Personal Sports Event of the Year 2022 (covered with Flyctory.com):
Tennis Davis Cup: Norway – India, Lillehammer
Don’t ask about my Win-Loss statistics when it comes to visiting Indian Tennis Davis Cup ties. Lillehammer was another one on the negative side regarding the sports part of the tie. But there were a lot of great people, I loved to be back in the 1994 Olympic City after about 20 years and finally made it to see all former Olympic venues (see below). Thus, despite the score, I really look back to Lillehammer with a smile. Bad luck that I will miss the next tie in Denmark.
Best Match / Game (covered with Flyctory.com) 2022:
German Floorball Under 15 Finals: Wernigerode vs. Dümpten
One of the few times I made it to a floorball match this year were the last matches of the German Under 15 Girls Finals. The final was an amazing dramatic story, with a goalie which had to be replaced after a breakdown and a field player of the team advancing to a hero in a close battle. Great match, great story in a well organized tournament. Nice one!
Favorite Stadium / Arena / Arena Tour 2022:
Millerntor Stadium (FC St. Pauli) – Hamburg, Germany
I had quite a lot of stadium experiences this year, guided tours and in match review. The best one I had was definitely the Millerntor Stadium, home ground of legendary German 2nd Bundesliga Soccer team FC St. Pauli. The guide was awesome – and this club is just as special as their ground in Hamburg.
Favorite Mini Golf / Adventure Golf Course 2022:
Crazy Putt London
Rather late in 2022, I started to give you some impressions of mini golf and adventure golf courses. There will be significantly more contents in 2023, also because it is really relaxing me and I feel that reviewing courses with a touch of giving you an idea about the pros and cons of playing there is maybe a nice addition. Crazy Putt, which is close to The O2 in London, was (by publication date) the last place and review, which made it into the Best of list.
Flyctory.com – The Best in Travel
Music and travel kept the dominating position regarding the contents of Flyctory.com. I am especially glad that I introduced you to four new countries regarding travel contents postings, Albania, Andorra, Malta and Norway. At least one new country is already booked for 2023 – I don’t tell you too much already. Here are my best travel experiences.
Best Aviation Experience 2022:
Porter Airlines – Canada
I couild name this choice Flying with Porter AIrlines” or “Flying from Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ)“. The airport in the heart of Toronto is just special. Enjoying the skyline of Toronto during the take off procedures is absolutely lovely. During my Porter flight, the fire brigade even gave us a water fountain greeting as it was the first day of flying after Covid-19-caused closures.
Best Inflight / Onboard Experience 2022:
Not assigned this year – I just had too few reviews in this area to pick one. My best flights, though, were likely the Eurowings Discover flights from Frankfurt (FRA) to Tampa (TPA) (and return), operated by Finnair.
Favorite Airport 2022:
Gdansk Airport (GDN, Poland)
I did not introdude you to very posh airports like Singapore (SIN) this year. However, Gdansk Airport (GDN) is simply doing a good job. The processes are efficient and local transport as well as regional connections work well. A very nice departure spot in Poland, indeed.
Best Airport / Non-Airport Lounge 2022:
Finnair Business Lounge Non-Schengen Helsinki-Vantaa (HEL)
Finnair’s Platinum Wing Lounge is a real beauty. I was really looking forward to be back to it when I flew from Helsinki-Vantaa (HEL) Airport. Covid-19 caused the posh lounge to close – but the service in the “minor” Business Lounge in the Non-Schengen section of the airport was great as well. Kiitos!
Best (Road) Trip 2022:
Following The Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2022
After about two years of absence (okay, there was a November 2021 match at Scotiabank Arena…), I was so glad to be back at a Pittsburgh Penguins trip. Cool to see my team again on two home and two away matches. A great trip, which also gave me my first ever visit in St. Louis.
Best Car Rental 2022:
Avis Nashville Airport (BNA)
Part of the road trip was a rental with Avis at Nashville Airport (BNA). The staff was just great and the GMC Acadia was a great car for the long commutes between Nashville and St. Louis. Very good experience.
Best Non-Aviation Travel Experience 2022:
Brightline High Speed Train – Florida, USA
In general, I want to introduce you to public transport system and especially trains, wherever I travel to. However, stepping into a train in the USA is typically a hard one. However, I really loved to ride with Brightline. Their sevice is excellent – there are transfers included (up to five miles) if you opt for their Premium Class. Great experience!
Best Onboard Meal 2022:
Air Malta KM 307, 14th April 2022, Munich (MUC) – Malta (MLA), Business Class
I established the Food I had Onboard postings during 2022. One airline, which really surprised here was Air Malta. I visited the Meditterean island over Easter 2022 – and even though their service was done by Smartlynx Estonia on my trip from Munich (MUC) to Malta Airport (MLA), it was really great food regarding it is a comparably short flight. Look at my full comments of the respective posting.
Favorite Museum / Exhibition about Travel/Transport 2022:
Volandia – Milan, Italy
The Volandia next to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) is one of these places you just should visit as an aviation geek. However, they also feature space travel and some other transport methods. Last, but not least, the museum is a great place to watch the plane traffic at the Northern Italy airport.
Favorite Museum / Exhibition (other topics) 2022:
New Bedford Whaling Museum – New Bedford, USA
Whaling is of course a way of hunting, which you do tend to discuss about from a nowadays perspective. The New Bedford Whaling Museum does not change it – but it gives you a great historic overview. Very grateful that I did this visit during my Weird Al 2022 Tour inception road trip.
Favorite Free Entry Attraction 2022:
Haus der Geschichte – Bonn, Germany
The Haus der Geschichte (House of German History) is an amazing museum, which is illustrating the German history in a remarkable way. Even better: the museum is driven by the Federal Republic of Germany and is thus a free entry one. Must-visit if you are in the former German capital Bonn.
Favorite Outdoor Attraction 2022:
Tawern Roman Temple District (Germany)
You walk up a hill close to Luxembourg in a Southwest German forest… suddenly stand in front of an amazingly reconstructed former Roman Temple. The people who are driving this place do an outstanding job – it could have also won my Hidden Gem award easily.
Best “Flyctory Obscura” Place 2022:
Pig Museum Stuttgart (Germany)
The SchweineMuseum is absolutely unique. It deals with the importance of pig from any perspective. You can learn about turning the animal into schnitzel and sausage as well as the pig in astrology or the lucky pig. There are thousands of exhibits in the museum, which is in fact located in a former slaughterhouse. Isn’t it ironic?
Best Observation Deck / View from Above 2022
The KölnTriangle is located right opposite Cologne Cathedral. Thus, it is giving you a great view over the heart of my home town. It is not that well-known to many Cologne visitors – which is a shame. To me, it is the best view of the German city – and it is also relatively cheap to get up the tower.
Best Airport Hotel 2022:
Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport
The Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport is not a super-posh option. There is no pool and the hotel is even some five minutes by taxi away. Nonetheless, I just loved staying there. A good room, great WiFI and lovely staff. Thus, the Polish hotel bead a lot of “posher” options.
Best Rail Travel Hotel 2022:
Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre (Finland)
During the Ice Hockey World Cup 2022, we stayed at this Holiday Inn, which is right next to Helsinki Main Station. The service is great, the routes are easy and you can also go for a short walk for many key attractions of the Finnish capital. Nice one.
Best Hotel – Value For Money 2022:
Epsilon Hotel London-Stratford
London is more and more becoming a tough place for budget travelers. There are still some good ways to get around with little money in regards of nutrition, but accommodation prices are more and more reaching ridiculous levels. Thus, the Epsilon Hotel London-Stratford is such a gem. And the location is not bad at all as well.
Most Relaxing Hotel 2022:
MAP Boutique Hotel Nicosia (Cyprus)
The MAP Boutique Hotel has a lovely located, right on the edge to Nicosia old town. The room was a beauty and the staff is great. And, if you like, you can also have some spa treatment. Lovely place.
Best Hotel 2022:
Hilton Gdansk (Poland)
In fact we did that stay in 2021 already – but it took me until 2022 to finally finish the review of the Hilton Gdansk. The place is just great. The key highlights are a beautiful location and an amazing restaurant. Enjoy!
Hidden Gem of the Year 2022:
Takis Pattichis Museum of Industrial Pharmacy (Larnaca, Cyprus)
Have you ever wondered how your pills or drops are industrially produced? Then visiting this small, but really well-made museum in Larnaca, Cyprus, is a place to put on your bucket list. Driven by a Cyrpriot medicine company, you really get some interesting insights in this place.
Favorite New Travel Destination 2022:
I just had less than two days in this country – so that there won’t be that much contents from my initial trip there. But I can just say: I fell in love with Andorra – and will definitely come back one day:
The Best New Flyctory.com Features in 2022:
I always try to look back to my new achievements in the past year as well. I have to say that I feel that Flyctory.com has not been super-innovative in 2022, but I rather established and upgraded features like the Songs of the Week. Thus, my list of features is rather “lame” compared to the years before:
- I enjoy that I had a wider focus of music genres, e.g. jazz. There have also been some concert coverage which are not related to country music, e.g. the Milky Chance show in Cologne
- The Songs of the Week feel like a 2022 innovation, even though they in fact started in mid December 2022. Nonetheless, I posted a new set of tracks every week. The playlist and the postings partially lead to a really large audience.
My Favorite Posting 2022:
Visiting the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Sites in 2022
I did a smilar posting, when I looked at the Atlanta 1996 former Olympic sites in 2018. This year, I visited Lillehammer for the Davis Cup – and was amazed that all 1994 Olympic sites are still used and in good shape. The view from Lillehammer Ski Jumping have been a highlight as well as being in the cave arena where they played Olympic Ice Hockey.
Title picture: Hilton Gdansk
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