Tag Archives | England

The Fighting Couple’s World Cup

The world is in a World Cup Fever!  This got us thinking….What if the “Fighting Couple” were to decide the outcome of the cup?  Forget the bad calls and last second scoring.  What if we based the group outcomes on how good their beaches are?  What if they scored points for having the best cuisine? Why not?

Let the games begin!

Group A:

Teams:  Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

This is a tough one.  How can you not pick the odds on favorite, the host nation of Brazil?  Brazil’s beaches, jungles, and warm hospitality seems like a given.  Perched on the Adriatic Sea, facing the Italian boot, Croatia is one of the more understated paradises out there.  Mexico is also a strong contender.  Mexico offers traveling couples some of the most amazing coast line found on the planet.  Cameroon?  Never been…..Sorry….

The winner:  Croatia.  What we love about this place is the understated beauty.  One of our fave national parks has to be Plitvice Lakes.  The entire park is made up of crystal clear ponds and waterfalls.  You walk on a wooden boardwalk that takes you into some of the most picturesque and photogenic scenes in all of nature.  Goooooaaaal!!!!    Croatia, you win!

waterfalls

The wonderful waterfalls of Croatia.

 

Group B:

Teams:  Holland, Chile, Australia, and Spain

This choice caused a great deal of fighting between the Fighting Couple.  Three of our favorite counties are represented in this quality grouping.  We just returned from our first trip to the land “down-under” and were blown away with Aussie hospitality.  The diamond of the Med, Barcelona has a special place in our hearts.  With its Gaudi creations and delicious tapas, Spain is a contender.  Due to routing from the states, we have spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands, and Luci may have a crush on the tall Netherlanders that man customs desks at Amsterdam airport.  Although we have yet to visit Chile, the backbone of South America is high on our list of locales to visit.  A camping trip to patigonia is high on our must see list.

The winner:  Australia

OK, call it a fix.  Having just visited the country-continent, we may be a little biased.  Australia with its rough and tumble natives and amazing landscapes make it a great choice for anyone up for adventure.  The highlight for our visit was another water theme.  We loved Wagi falls in Litchfield national park.  The rolling water of the red stone is a sight to behold.

waterfalls

Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park.

Group C

Teams: Colombia, Greece, Japan and Cote de Ivory

This one will be a bit difficult for us.  We have only visited two out of the four counties: Japan and Greece.  The land of the rising sun has amazing Sushi. BTW-The Fighting Couple loves sushi.  With austerity measures in place…Greece couldn’t afford the bribe.

Winner: Japan. (Mmmmm Sushi.)

 

sushi

Did someone say Sushi?

Group D

Teams: Costa Rica, Italy, England, and Uruguay

These teams are all worthy in their own right.  Costa Rica with its inviting beaches, jungle canopy tours and great latin food, scores a lot points.  England, home to all things Jane Austen and Top Gear, olde England dominates the field.  Fighting Couple Travel Tip:  For all of you Englanders headed to Brazil for the real contest, fly out of Gatwick!  It is much more organized, faster and still has a great selection of flights.    Italy-oh how we love thee.  Let us count the ways: food, towers, hill towns, beaches, history, and architecture.  Uruguay?  Never been.

Winner:  Tie:  Italy and England.  It is like picking which is cuter Brad Pitt or George Clooney.  Tough choice.  Both of these locations advance to the next round.

England!

England!

Group E

Teams: France, Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras

Ecuador=Equator=too hot.  France-  Gertrude Stein once said: “America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”  We tend to agree.  Having visited the wonderful city a handful of times, we keep finding new places to explore and experience…and then there is the food.  Yum!  Switzerland.  Luci wants Swiss-land voted in just to keep Roger Federer happy.  Honduras… Wasn’t Moon over Parador filmed there?

Winner:  France!  Viva la France!  Our hands down winner.  For one of the most romantic evenings of your life following this recipe:  Dinner at a small café along the River Seine, then stroll hand in hand under the glittering Eiffel Tower, and cap it off by sitting on the steps of the Sacre’le Coeur for a wonderful view of the grand city.

french chapel

Viva le France!

Group F

Teams: Argentina, Iran, Nigeria, and Bosnia

Iran….I don’t think we are allowed to be Americans there.  Their loss.  Argentina is another country on our bucket list to visit.  We hear all good things.  Across from our jr high school growing up, we had a little Argentine lady that made the best pizza and bambinos.  So good!  Nigeria-We get daily invites to do banking over there for some lottery winners.  Nigeria, not gonna happen.  Bosnia is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth.

Winner: Bosnia.  This is one of the surprise upsets.  We added two days to our visit to Croatia to enter into the war torn county.  We ended up drooling at the countryside.  The county is putting its difficult history behind, and developing some great places to visit.  Bosnia has become a destination that we must revisit.

bosnia waterfall

Beautiful Bosnia

Group G

Teams: Germany, USA, Portugal, and Ghana

First off…Portugal is now owned by Germany…so I will include them in with the Deutsch.  Ghana…never been…So it comes down to a grand battle between Germany and the States.  Merkel vs Obama.

Winner:  Germany! (Proving we are not biased.)  Our recent drive down the Rhine area of western Germany has made us fast fans.  It really came down to which country lets you drive faster.  Hands down, Germany.

Rhine Germany

A great perch for viewing the Rhine.

Well those are our pics to get out of the first found.  Do you agree with our selections?  Please make a case for your top pick in the comments section below!

 

 

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Finding London’s Famous Faces

Coming from a very young country, visiting London is a journey back in history.  One of the most exciting things about a trip to London is discovering the famous people who have been there before you. Dotted throughout the historic cities of Europe are these round or oval blue colored plaques.

The London blue plaques are a great way of exploring the city’s rich scientific, political, and literary heritage. They allow the lives, births, deaths and achievements of the great and influential to be mapped out across the entire cityscape.  It is a great way to spend a day, or better yet, map out the locations between stops during your exploration of London!

It’s easy to underestimate just how many famous people have graced London’s historic roads and buildings. Here is a look at some of the iconic destinations in the London city center and a guide to the famous faces who have helped make them so recognizable.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls

St Pauls (Photo credit: dicktay2000)

The iconic dome and spires of St Paul’s Cathedral are some of the most recognizable architectural delights of the entire city. With its origins dating back to 604 AD, this important Church of England cathedral has had its fair share of powerful and important people grace its halls. Stand where the powerful and influential stood!

Some of the important services that have taken place in St Paul’s include the funerals for the politician Sir Winston Churchill and the battle leaders Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. The wedding of Charles and Lady Diana Spencer also took place in St Paul’s, as did the 80th Birthday and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Lloyds of London

Lloyds of LondonFor any self-respecting insurance practitioner, a visit to London would not be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal of assurance: Lloyds.  What originally started in the humble beginnings of Lloyds coffee house, has become the leading insurance marketplace in the world.  Today you can stand in the lobby where just above you nearly $50 Billion worth of insurance will be traded.  Look for your blue plaque on Lombard street highlighting the once located coffee house.

While you may not recognize many of the names that acted as brokers or traders on the floor of Lloyd’s. You will certainly appreciate some of the names that have been insured here.  Let’s start with legs and move up.  Betty Grables, Brooke Shields, and of course Tina Turner’s legs were all insured here.    The bosoms of both Tempest Storm and Holly Madison were well endowed with coverage.  Jimmy Durante’s nose was covered for $1 million.  And to top it off, NFL star Troy Polamalu’s thick mane of hair is insured for $1 million.

 

Westminster Abbey

Westminster AbbyWestminster is on the top of every visitor’s must-see list. However, it’s easy to underestimate just how many famous people have graced its magnificent halls.

The Gothic style church has had its fair share of history, from the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066 through to the royal wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William in 2011.  Walk down the aisle with your own Prince Charming!

Finally, famous burials in the Abbey have included Isaac Newton, William Wilberforce and Charles Darwin.

If you really want to immerse yourself in the history of our capital then why not spend some time staying within the city limits? If you’re looking for affordable accommodation when visiting these iconic spots, Tower Bridge Hotel is just one of many affordable, comfortable and stylish options which are available.

Enjoy your tour of London!  Please send up you pics with your favorite blue plaque!

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