Best Ones 2023

Is it really New Year’s Eve already again? The last day of the year? I am posting this one in fact on the 30th December 2023 still, as I am in Las Vegas, nine hours behind Central Europe… But good, old home continent is of course the key matter of However, you will also find quite some experiences of 2023 in my very final annual review on what happened to me and the website the last twelve months. Enjoy – and I am happy to discuss with you! – The Best in Music

Music experiences were extremely limited. Thus, I decided to keep all categories vacant this year.

Best Concert / Festival Event 2023:
 The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advides Vanity Tour (European Part), Weird Al Yankovic

A dream came true at the beginning of 2023. A key reason why I had so many hotel nights this year was the February and March tour by Weird Al Yankovic. Who would have thought in April 2022, when I headed to the first Al shows of his North American leg, that I will welcome him some ten times on my home continent – including the first three shows ever in Germany… And my first ever Weird Al show coverage as an accredited photographer in Tilburg. Thanks for these amazing days at the beginning of the year.

Weird Al Yankovic tours Europe 2023 – My Reprise


Best Concert Performance 2023:
Heart To Heart, 29th August 2023, Dusseldorf

I could list one of the Weird Al shows in here as well – and it wouldn’t be too wrong. However, I feel that the most memorable evening I had was Heart To Heart in Dusseldorf in August. It has been Semmel Concert’s attempt to bring the songwriters’ round to Germany. Not only country music guests (Breland and Jackson Dean), but also local acts (Pohlmann, Kelvin Jones) gave an amazing mixture of people and genres. Bad luck that it more and more feels like a one-time effort. At least there is no new show (with other artists) announced.

Heart To Heart Event (29th August 2023, Düsseldorf)

Best Album / EP / Single 2023:

The last two days, I already shared my thoughts about the best music releases with you, on an individual song basis as well as EPs and albums. Have a look into it if you are interested:: – My Favorite Albums / EPs 2023 – My Favorite Songs 2023 – The Best in Sports

I guess I wrote something similar in 2023 – but I am really motivated to have more sports in 2024 again. There will be some floorball trips during the first half of 2024 definitely, as well as some athletics coverage. I am also motivated to do some soccer, but I am not sure where I will finally make it. Unfortunately, my volume of sports coverage in 2023 was below my expectations.


Personal Sports Event of the Year 2023 (covered with
German Athletics Nationals 2023 (Deutsche Meisterschaften Leichtathletik), Kassel

Not only in regards of number of events, but also range of sports, I want to have a wider coverage on Athletics came more into my focus this year. It kicked off with the lovely ISTAF Indoor in Dusseldorf in February and concluded with my residential World Athletics event in Leverkusen. However, the highlight of the year truly have been the German Nationals in Kassel in July. Hope to be back for the 2024 event in Braunschweig.

German Athletics Nationals 2023 – Day 1 Track (8th July 2023)


Best Match / Game (covered with 2023:
SV Wiler-Ersigen – FbS Bohemians, Floorball CC 2024

The best of two playing mode is a bit of weird – but at least it lead to a very interesting match-up when I went to Gümligen near Bern for the Men Champions Cup Quarterfinals. Domestic SV Wiler-Ersigen beat FbS Bohemians from Prague in the overtime? Showdown? Sudden Death Challenge? There is no official name for it. But after each team won one game in regular match time, Wiler were just a bit of luckier in that extra thing. Stunning event.

CC 2024: SV Wiler-Ersigen – FbS Bohemians 5-3 (1-1, 2-3, 3-0) – Showdown 1-x


Favorite Stadium / Arena / Arena Tour 2023:
Acrisure Stadium (Pittsburgh) Highlight Tour

Being in my “ice hockey home town” Pittsburgh is always something special to me (regardless how regularly I am at Steel City…). On one of my last trips, I had the opportunity to step on the ground of Acrisure Stadium (or: Heinz Field, for traditionalists). The compact Highlight tour was really well done and charming.

Acrisure Stadium (Pittsburgh) Highlight Tour


Favorite Mini Golf / Adventure Golf Course 2023:
Puttshack White City London

Even though I hoped to do more mini golf / adventure golf coverage (I also don’t really don’t get rid of my backlog in that regard), I really like to introduce you to my playing experience. Puttshack is really expansive, unfortunately, but they got me with their very special way of combining mini golf and partying, playing and technology. The White City place in London is really good – I will share my experience from another location of them very soon.

Puttshack White City (London) – The Best in Travel

Even though music is a major part of my postings, ravel blogging and travel reviews are still the majority of publications on There were hardly any Covid-19 restrictions, so that I could push for some new experiences. As you saw in my new posting My Year in Travel, I had a quite nice range of trips and destinations. Happy to discuss if you agree that the experiences below are outstanding:

2023 – My Year in Travel



Best Aviation Experience 2023:
British Airways Club Suite Cabin

With more and more deceasing my flight portfolio of Lufthansa Group flights, British Airways becomes my leading carrier. In March 2023, I finally had the opportunity to check out their updated business class, the Club Suites. What an improvement in privacy and comfort, compared to the previous “climb over a fellow passenger” product. Great experience!

British Airways Boeing B777 Club Suite Cabin

Best Inflight / Onboard Experience 2023:
Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX Saga Premium Class

I had Lufthansa First Class this year, I flew the updated Finnair business class seat – but I still opt for Icelandair? The airline which does not even have a “proper” business class? Yes! I feel that their premium product is just right, at least for the European legs. Their service, however, is outstanding and regularly among my most favorite experience. Look forward to “read” in the gin library soon again.

Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX Saga Premium Class


Favorite Airport reviewed in 2023:
Marrakech-Menara (RAK, Morocco)

I could do much more airport reviews, but somehow make it rather rarely – sorry for that. I a very impressing experience was Marrakech’s airport, which I visited early in 2023. Unfortunately, on that mileage run, I did not experience more than the airport – but if the rest of the Moroccan city is like their air travel hub, it is a blast!

Airport Marrakech-Menara (RAK)


Best Airport / Non-Airport Lounge 2023:
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London (LHR) Terminal 3

I receive quite a lot of feedback on lounge reviews – and that’s why I increased the frequency a bit. The Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at London Heathrow is something like a safe selection: it is regarded to be one of the best places in Europe – once I reviewed it, it more or less had to be in my year-end reviews. Lovely and relaxing way to wait for your flight at Terminal 3.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge London (LHR) Terminal 3


Best (Road) Trip 2023:
All German States on one Rail Ticket

I also did the amazing Ring Road trip in Iceland with my wife later in 2023 – but overall, I feel that doing all 16 German states, three out of four German Rail Premium Lounges and the eleven biggest cities of my country on one trip was simply too special. Oh, I forgot, it was all on a day ticket – so I made it in just below 24 hours, Nerdy, exhausting, but funny.

All German States (and the eleven biggest Cities) on one Rail Ticket – Part 1


Best Car Rental 2023:
Avis Myrtle Beach Airport (MYR)

I had a couple of good car rental experiences this year. The Avis rental in Myrtle Beach has been my favorite. Despite I used a broker, everything was really handy and efficient and I had a good car. I absolutely liked it.

Car Rental Review – Avis Myrtle Beach Airport (MYR) – Toyota Corolla


Best Non-Aviation Travel Experience 2023:
Dresdner Schwebebahn / Dresden Suspension Cable Railroad

The sister suspension railroad to the famous Wuppertaler Schwebebahn has been a very interesting experience to me. This iconic and unique way of transportation is in fact a cable car. As part of my visit, I was even able to have a look into the operating machine room. Definitely recommend this short ride when you are in Dresden, Germany.

Dresden Suspension Cable Railroad (Schwebebahn)


Best Onboard Meal 2023:
Open Sandwiches, Atlantic Airways, 1st September 2023

Yes, I paid for them, some 9 Euro. But these Faroese style open sandwiches I had were the best food I had this year on an airplane. I was so sad that I could not book them when I flew Atlantic Airways in December 2023… Because I was on a codeshare. Amazing food I introduced you to in my Food I had Onboard X posting.


Favorite Museum / Exhibition about Travel/Transport 2023:
Arabia Steamboat Museum

Two of the experiences and places mentioned in my Best of 2023 are from Kansas City. The Arabia Steamboat Museum is a truly US-American story. A family decided to bring back the Arabia, a steamboat sunk in the area in the 19th century. The collection which is available nowadays as a museum is breathtaking. A great experience in K.C. – one of the best museums overall I reviewed in 2023.

Arabia Steamboat Museum


Favorite Museum / Exhibition (other topics) 2023:
Bunk’Art 1 Tirana

There are two Bunk’Art museums in the Albanian capital. Bunk’Art 1 is absolutely memorable and iconic, as it is a history museum built into a former political bunker. Thus, it tells you a lot about the country, but also its political development – and about living in a bunker (when necessary…). Unfortunately, the location is a bit of remote.

Bunk’Art 1 (Tirana)


Favorite Free Entry Attraction 2023:
Umberto Panini Motor Museum

Umberto Panini? Yeah, this is indeed the world-famous sticker guy. His car and motorcycle collection, which you can visit for free, is definitely worth the detour from Modena. Apart from that the Emilia-Romagna around features some other very iconic and interesting places, including multiple car museums.

Umberto Panini Collection Motor Museum


Favorite Outdoor Attraction 2023:
Kourion Archaeoogical Park

During our trip to Cyprus in October 2022, I absolutely fell in love with the island. One place I shared with you from that trip in 2023 is the amazing Kourion Archaeological Park. The area is huge and features much more than the (still in use) amphitheater you see in the title picture below. It might be a blast of heat in summer months – but if you are there during more modest temperatures, you should visit it.

Kourion Archaeological Park


Best “Flyctory Obscura” Place 2023:
Owl Cafe “Akiba Fukurou” Tokyo

Attractions with animals are always a bit of the questionable side. However, we were too curious about meeting owls in Tokyo – and we felt that the owners really love their birds and treat them with a lot of respect. Thus, the owl cafe Akiba Fukurou has been one of my most memorable experiences during last year.

Owl Cafe “Akiba Fukurou” Tokyo


Best Observation Deck / View from Above 2023:
Kansas City Liberty Memorial Tower

I was absolutely surprised about all the interesting places you can visit in Kansas City (there are still a couple of them which I haven’t shared with you). I had a lovely sunny day, when I went up to the Liberty Memorial Tower and watched the city from an elevated position. Great one.

Watching Kansas City from Liberty Memorial Tower


Best Airport Hotel 2023:
Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport

It is “just” a Hilton Garden Inn… The location is great. The staff makes it an excellent place. I still remember a couple of the amazing people working there. Hope to be back at the Hilton Garden Inn right at Krakow Airport (KRK) one day. Great hotel!

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport


Best Rail Travel Hotel 2023:
Hampton by Hilton Utrecht Central Station

This is really an ideal location for a rail trip in the Netherlands, even when you want to go to Amsterdam: the Hampton (and a peer hotel) is located in a shopping mall right next to the main station of Utrecht. Not only good connections to rail transport, but also a rather central place. Very nice experience.

Hampton by Hilton Utrecht Central Station


Best Hotel – Value For Money 2023:
Adagio Hotel Bremen

Adagio is the apartment hotels / suite hotels brand of Accor. I had my very first stay in an Adagio in April 2023, when I watched my favorite musical Rock of Ages in Bremen. The hotel comes with great services, very nice rooms and a lovely location. The price is absolutely affordable and comparable to “standard” hotels in the area. I absolutely recommend it.

Adagio Hotel Bremen


Most Relaxing Hotel 2023:
Hotel Andromeda Ostend (Belgium)

Another hotel I visited due to Rock of Ages shows. The hotel was located right next to the theater / venue, which was already great. Being right at the beach and having excellent spa facilities are additional key features of this hotel. I had three lovely nights there in Belgium.

Hotel Andromeda (Ostend)


Best Hotel 2023:
Hotel Imperial Dubrovnik (Croatia)

Especially the Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport would have deserved to win in this category as well. Finally, I opted for the great stay we had in Southern Croatia. An iconic hotel in an excellent location, great service – the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik might not be the budget solution when visiting the lovely city, but it is definitely a fantastic way to spend some time there.

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik


Hidden Gem of the Year 2023:
Pinball Perfection

I absolutely love pinball museums. They are a great way to relax for me. Pinball Perfection in Pittsburgh is one of the best ones I ever visited. And it is truly a hidden gem – even from right outside, you would not even dare to guess that this place is full of arcade history.

Pinball Perfection (Pittsburgh)


Favorite New Travel Destination 2023:
Faroe Islands

I had the trip to the Faroe Islands planned already when KI Klaksvik kicked off their amazing campaign in the UEFA Conference League in soccer. Finally, this even lead to another trip to the Nordic islands – and I feel I will be back there in 2024. Amazing people, lovely place. I am in love with the Faroe Islands, for sure.




The Best New Features in 2023:

I did a lot of technical upgrades to the website. Especially around summer, when I already felt that the load on the server might become too big, I invested a lot into the stability of the website. If I would point out one feature of the website in regards of contents, I feel that I have been much better in updating my tour date list this year. I also feature tours, which I mentioned as part of a review in there now, too. – Future European Country (and more) Tour Dates


My Favorite Posting 2023:

The Day Music Neutrality Died (a bit) – Thank You

I stopped tracking the success of individual postings. I see the social media statistics and some overall website performance metrics. This posting has been a massive success – on LinkedIn. The topic is so sad – but I feel it is a post which you should really read. It makes you aware how much basic information nowadays filtered and in a certain way also censored and manipulated. Hope there will be a tool like Every Noise at Once in the future.

The Day Music Neutrality Died (a bit) – Thank You


Title picture: Directions to Hilton Garden Inn at Krakow Airport (KRK) – Best in Travel 2023

Here are all Travel-related postings published in 2023 with a rating of 4.5 or better:


Year-end Reviews

Looking back to the twelve months you just survived. Here are all my year-end review posts:

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