Tag Archives | couple fights

Remembering Pearl Harbor

In the early hours of December 7th, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a massive attack on the naval base just outside of Honolulu, Hawaii.  This attack would result in a declaration of war, the entry of the United States of America into WWII.   Both Luci and I have ancestors that fought in the Pacific.  During our recent visit to Hawaii, we spent the morning paying our respects to those that lost their lives in this attack.  The Pearl Harbor visitors center is a helpful resources to learn about the history of this fateful event.  Once you have had the chance to visit the museum, you are ushered into a theater to watch a short documentary on the attack.  From the theatre you board a small shuttle boat that takes you out to the USS Arizona memorial.   Below are a few of our pictures from our visit.

Visiting Pearl Harbor:

Official Website:  http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

twitter:  https://twitter.com/PacificNPS

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

 

A beautiful white building is situated over the underwater wreckage of the ship.

A beautiful white building is situated over the underwater wreckage of the ship.

The rusting hull of the USS Arizona can be viewed from the memorial.  A small amount of oil continues to leak from the underwater tanks of the ship.

The rusting hull of the USS Arizona can be viewed from the memorial. A small amount of oil continues to leak from the underwater tanks of the ship.

Over 1000 servicemen died as a result of the attack.   Listed on the wall of the memorial are crew members that were killed aboard the USS Arizona.  Survivors can elect to have their remains interred in the ship when they pass away.

Over 1000 servicemen died as a result of the attack. Listed on the wall of the memorial are crew members that were killed aboard the USS Arizona. Survivors can elect to have their remains interred in the ship when they pass away.

battleship

USS Missouri (BB-63) nicknamed the “Mighty Mo”. The Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II. The ship (now a museum) stands on guard watching over Pearl Harbor.

In an address to congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous "Infamy" speech.  An hour after the speech, congress declared war.

In an address to congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous “Infamy” speech. An hour after the speech, congress declared war.

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are reminders of the sacrifice of so many for freedom.   The Fighting Couple salutes those service men and women and their families that have given their all that we may live free.  Thank you.

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are reminders of the sacrifice of so many for freedom. The Fighting Couple salutes those service men and women and their families that have given their all that we may live free. Thank you.

3

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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0

Adventure: Horses that Walk on Water

Northern Germany has much to offer traveling couples, but this is one experience we never imagined:  riding on water!  The morning before our adventure, our good friends in Cuxhaven, Germany, took us down to the seaside and said, “Tomorrow we are going to take a horse ride across the sea to the lighthouse.”  We thought that something might have been lost in translation.  German is one of the languages where certain words take on different meaning in English.  Nothing could prepare us for the next day’s adventure.

In the morning. our wonderful hosts said, “We are going to the post office to pick up our horses.”  We chuckled and said we were game.  We bundled up as it was a brisk fall morning expecting the worst.  As promised, we arrived at the Wattwagen Poste (loosely translated Mud Wagon Post.)   The wagons double as tourist carriers and delivering mail.

 

Sea horses

Boarding our yellow “mud wagon.”

All Aboard!

We met our wagon master.  He was a chipper fellow and he instantly had all on board that spoke German in stitches laughing the entire trip.  Those of us that were Germaniclly challenged, just nodded and smiled.  I need to work on my Deutsche.  We climbed up the yellow elevated carriage and wrapped up in woolen blankets.  With a whistle and a snap of the whip, our driver encouraged our two steeds onward.  We crested the dike and lo and behold, the tide was out…letting us travel across the sea on dry ground!

Cuxhaven mud wagon

Headed our to sea in a horse drawn wagon.

 Yellow Wagons!

Our yellow wagon train headed across the sea!  The horses loved traipsing through the water puddles and little tidal streams.  There were bundles of sticks set every so often to mark the best path out to our destination, a lighthouse in the distance.

Wattwagen

Follow the sticks!

Along the path, there were elevated cages.  Our friends explained that these are rescue pods for the high tide.  If the water starts to rise and trap you between the island and the shore, you simply climb up one of these.  You have two options…wait it out or send up a flare.  Option two comes with a stiff fine and fee as a rescue boat is send out to deliver you back to terra firma.

Rescue pods

Rescue pods along the way. Rumor is there is some whiskey in the first aid kit.

 Neuwerk Lighthouse

Our journey across the water ended at the island of Neuwerk.  Population 39.  Is it really an island, if you can take a carriage to it?  The focal point of the entire island is one of the most quaint light houses we have toured.  For a small ticket (5 euros)  you are allowed to climb the circular staircase up to the top of the lighthouse.  What is most interesting, the lighthouse…and the entire island for that matter is officially a part of Hamburg, Germany (the city is 75 miles away).  Technically the lighthouse which was built in 1367 is the oldest surviving building in Hamburg.  For its age, the entire lighthouse is in very good shape.  The views from the top show the sea and Cuxhaven.

Neuwerk Lighthouse

Stairs of the Neuwerk Lighthouse

During the summer, you can walk around the island and see the farm. There is also a nice museum that explains the ecology of the area. After we had milled around for a time, our wagon master mustered us up again, we boarded our yellow carriage and headed back to the mainland.  It was a great day trip.

Hamburg horses

What a great day! Who knew we could walk on water?

Cuxhaven and Neuwerk are wonderful off the beaten path locations to visit as a couple.

12

A Tax Attorney Turned Tenacious Traveler

We love highlighting unique traveling couples!  In this installment of our seven questions, we want to introduce you to our new found friends Amber and Eric of the Husband in Tow.  They were kind enough to break away from their hectic lifestyle in Bali to share with us a little about their adventures and path to full time couple travel.  If this couple travelling around the world doesn’t inspire you to book your next trip, we don’t know what will!

Blog:  www.WithHusbandinTow.com

Twitter: @husbandinTow

Facebook: WithHusbandinTow

traveling couple

Eric and Amber of Husband in Tow in Dubai

First off, tell us a little more about this traveling duo:

Amber and Eric met at university, way back when, in 1997.  They were married in 2001, while Amber was attending law school in Washington DC.  They took their first overseas trip to visit family in Ireland in 1997, followed by a mess of trips to Europe, but their thirst for travel really did not kick in until their first trip to Asia in 2006.  In 2009, they left their jobs and traveled the world for 14 months.  After thier first big trip, (aka the Master Plan) their goal was to return to the US, and to Amber’s big law job.  The plan was to stay five years, save money, then plan their ultimate escape.  As plans sometimes do, the plan changed.  They barely made it two years when they caught a bad case of wanderlust.  They headed back on the road!  This time it was permanent.  They have been on the road since July 2012.  Amber is now a recovering tax attorney, blogger, and yoga teacher, while Eric is a budding entrepreneur and independent advertising sales executive.   What an amazing traveling couple!

Amber and Eric were kind enough to face our dreaded 7 questions:

1) Amber, we are so impressed by you.  Leaving a heady job for the life of a traveler.  What has been the hardest things about leaving the corporate world behind?

Amber: The large paychecks.  That’s about it.  Seriously.

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Mario Batali.  Jersey bred celebrity chef, with a speciality in Italian, Spanish, and Asian cuisine, helping me eat my way around the world.  Come on.

She Said:  Karl Pilkington.  I have been fascinated by the number of hours I can sit and watch Ricky Gervais play an enormous joke on his long time friend Karl, by sending him around the world. I  would love to travel with Karl myself to seethe world through his strange eyes.  And, if I could have Ricky laughing in the background, so much the better.

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings? Why?

He said: Vietnam.

She said: After so many years together, we share a brain so he said, she said, is a little hard for us.  Vietnam as well. We taught English there twice back in 2009, and just experienced the country in a whole different way.  It is just a place that is special for both of us.

Love

With Husband in Tow in Thailand

4)  Bali is our next destination.  Fill us in!  What three things do you love about Bali?

He said: 1) Babi gluing, which is Balinese roast pig; 2) warm weather, but always with a breeze; and 3) the remoteness, it is not easy to get here from The States.

She said: 1) The Balinese Hindu traditions; 2) the stunningly gorgeous rice paddies; and 3) high caliber yoga teachers to keep me healthy and happy.

5)  We love the book section on your blog.  (Why is it most travelers are readers?) What is your favorite traveling read?  What are you reading now?

He said: I read The Quiet American every time we go to Vietnam.  It’s the only book I’ve read more than once.

She said: I’ve been reading a lot about happiness and how to find it and enjoy it.  Right now, I am reading The Happiness Makeover by M.J. Ryan.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Land mines and unexploded ordinance

She said: Women’s equality and security in the developing world.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: We had a good one in the rain in Hanoi in 2009.  I felt I was organizing all of our RTP, writing a blog, managing our finances, etc. But, when Eric tries to help I get a little control freaky, so it is really not his fault.  Our biggest mistake, though, was traveling with only one lap top back then – it was our only internet device, so we fought over it all the time.  We learned our lesson and have multiple devices now – a lot less fighting.

He said: Does it make a difference, they are all my fault, right?

1000Fights:  We think that is a bit of a cop-out…but you have learned an important lesson.  Would you mind teaching Mike?

Thanks again to Eric and Amber for sharing with us a little couple travel inspiration!  The key takeaway for sure is that there isn’t just one way to travel.    Find the path that works for you and yours.  Stay tuned, this is not the end of this story!  Yes, the Fighting Couple is definitely looking forward to meeting up with the tax attorney and the husband in tow this May in Bali!!!!

Calling all traveling couple, contact us, we would love to feature you.

5

I am a Menu Coward

Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?  

I have something to confess.  I am a recovering menu coward.  Luci and I are supposed to be the adventure couple travel gurus.  We are supposed to try anything, anywhere, from any roadside stand.  Sorry, I cant do it.   When we travel, I nervously scan the menu for words that remotely look like steak, chicken, pasta or better yet….have pizza in its name or description.

In order to understand my eating history…you must know where I come from.   I grew up in the rural western US.  Really good Pad Thai, balut, or even casu marzu were nowhere to be found.  Steak and potatoes were the plate de jour.  Right after high school all that was about to change.  I moved to Taiwan.  Food culture shock!  Thank heaven for fried rice or Chao Fan as the Taiwanese say.  I basically survived for three months eating one thing, and one thing only.  Then I slowly got brave.

Meat and potatoes

Meat and potatoes…the old standby.

One of the beauties of international travel is that it takes you outside your comfort zone in so many ways.  One of the biggest ways to get out of that zone is breaking our menu coward-ness.  There is so much delicious food out there!  In today’s flat world you could live on McDonald’s hamburgers and fries just about anywhere in the world you travel.

What follows is our 5 step program to overcoming menu cowardness.

Eat Breakfast

So often what halts us from trying something adventurous while we are traveling is that we are hungry!  After tramping around Rome all day, you are famished and frankly, you want something that you know that you are going to like.  This happens to us all the time.  Key is load up on a good breakfast.  Stateside, I am not a breakfast food eater.  If my mother in law is reading this….sorry.  I know, I know it is the most important meal of the day…ya.  Seriously, most nation’s breakfasts are the same.  Fruit?  Check.  Some form of cereal? Yep.  Bacon!  Need we say more.  Our advice to traveling couples is load up on breakfast.  If the hotel has a buffet.  Eat to full.  This allows you to have the energy to hit the tourist trail and not be weak at your “menu”  moment.

I will NOT have what she is having

One of the recommendations we make to traveling couples is seeking off the beaten path sites and eateries.  Many of these restaurants…the really good ones…. don’t have English menus.  In fact if a restaurant has an English menu, it is likely not frequented by the locals.  Another thing that Luci and I try to do is always order something different from each other.  This is a great way to cover more bases.  One of us is bound to get something that we like.  Sometimes this “sharing” disintegrates into a fight…but that’s just us.

macaron

Yummy macarons!

Hunt and Peck

One of our favorite pastimes in France is stopping at every boulangerie.  As we see the sites, we stop occasionally and buy a croissant or a pastry.  In Thailand, we would hit the fruit smoothie stands for a pick me up snack.  Eating a little throughout the day helps us to avoid the hunger blindness that can hit you late in the day.  That monster tells you it is ok to go get a burger.  Don’t surrender to the hunger.  Eat a little during the day.  Keep the blood sugar levels up.

Listen to Food & Travel Bloggers

One of the very best ways to overcome you fear of the unknown is to do what you are right now!  Read food and travel blogs.  Bloggers are great guinea pigs.  They know where to go to eat.  They know what to eat once you get there.  Case in point.  I had never had “real” goulash.  When we were in Budapest this past spring, I made it my mission that I was going to goulash.  I just put it out there onto twitter

 

Goulash

Goulash at Kadar’s

The Fighting Couple ‏@1000Fights

Calling all #Budapest #foodie‘s- where is the best goulash? #hungary

And within seconds…boom -we had an answer from @ConfusedJulia.  She told us what to eat at Kadar Resteraunt.  LOVED it! She even followed up with us to see if we liked it!

Julia ‏@ConfusedJulia

@1000Fights Awesome! So glad you went to Kadar – we loved the goulash there :)

Travel bloggers and foodies are a great sources of info and can help you make the right choice.  While you are eating breakfast with the free wifi, put it out there on twitter…what should I eat in #________.  Use the pound sign to cast your net a little wider to the world.  If in doubt…ask @ConfusedJulia!

Cheaters Always Win

Ok, you have followed our guidance from above.  You are in the right place.  Not a lick of English on the card.  Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?   We always survey the room.  Pay attention to what the waiters are bringing out of the kitchen.  You can test drive a meal before buying.  Another strategy is to engage the waiter.  Ask a few questions, ask them to describe some of the dishes.  If you happen to be allergic to some food or ingredient… you must learn the words for those items in every language you may be eating in.  If all else fails…throw caution to the wind.  Order the Shiokara!

Ok..its your turn.  What do you do when you don’t understand the menu?

What is the craziest thing you have eaten?

Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

12

Adventure in a Sri Lanka Taxi

I had always wanted to go to Sri Lanka after sharing a flat with a Sri Lankan friend through uni. I convinced my partner (now husband) to go and after a bit if investigation we found a site where a driver took you around the island for 3 weeks, with accommodation included. It was ridiculously reasonable so we thought why not.

buddha Shrine

buddha Shrine

Our taxi driver, Mr de Silva (never once did we get to know his first name) was an interesting driver and person. He arrived to pick us up on 2 crutches – he had just been discharged from hospital after having broken his back and being in hospital for 6 months. Interesting start. Then it got even more fascinating.

He told us that he was a devout Buddhist and did not drink yet he stopped at every shrine, temple, and church (regardless of denomination) along the way, for the entire 3 weeks. He blessed himself and said a prayer every time. It didn’t take us very long to figure out that this was a very very good thing, as he was the most erratic driver we have ever seen.

He favoured pavements and going up wrong way streets. He liked to take on trains and to cross right in front of them. The best and most intriguing though, was his afternoon driving. It took us a few days to figure out what was happening. At about 2 ‘clock he stuck his foot down and gunned it, stopped at the next village and told us to go for a walk. It got the better of us and we followed him. He was going to the ‘turf accountant’.

We didn’t say anything for a couple of weeks, because we really liked him despite of, or because of his quirkiness, but we just followed him at times to make sure, and always he was off to the turf accountants. Eventually we asked him about this. He stopped his car. Told us to get out. We thought he was going to leave us stranded, but he walked around to the boot and got out a bottle of absinthe, poured some shot(s) and told us that he was placing bets on English horse races. An interesting take on devout Buddhism.

Another time we were wandering around a very small town and he had said he would be about an hour, but it wasn’t the afternoon. Then next thing we see him in a barber shop getting his hair dyed. He saw us, we bolted and it was never ever mentioned.

Sri Lanka Feast

Sri Lanka Feast

Despite all of his erratic and strange ways he was very good to us always. We met some people in Kandy and got into a discussion on which were the better wines, Australian or America. So we started sampling them both, bottle after bottle. Mr de Silva hovered like a mother hen and at times came up and said it was time to go. But we didn’t. I think it was when the bar had run out of all wines that we finally left. We were in so much trouble the next day, and nor were we very well. He gave us the cool treatment just like my mother used to do. Sorry, still does.

But we did make friends again. He invited us to his house to meet his family at the end of the trip in Colombo. They laid on a massive feast and then they left and ate in the kitchen. It was so dreadful, I hated it. I wanted them to eat with us and we asked them to, but apparently that was not the way.

So Mr de Silva was the most dreadful and erratic driver who drank and gambled despite his polytheistic beliefs and it was a sheer pleasure to have a holiday with him. And his hair didn’t look too bad either.

 

Guest post from our friends http://www.contentedt​raveller.c​om

Gordon and Paula have been travelling ever since they met 10 years ago, and for some unknown reason are contented traveller(s). Gordon forgot the ‘s’. They represent the baby boomer/ empty nesters who are fit, free and financial. They can and do (m)any things. Their site arose from their love of travel and unusual adventures, but also, and most importantly their ability to embrace serendipity.

 

 

 

 

4

Croatia for Couples

Croatia is quickly becoming one of the top pics for couple travel. Croatia offers a sun drenched coast line dotted with over 1,000 islands, lush forests complete with waterfalls, and vibrant historical cities.

Croatia is appealing to couples on a number of levels: its water playground aka the Adriatic, its breathtaking national parks, and its rich history as the crossroads of the Mediterranean. We will return to Croatia– that is certain.

We are going to share with you three must sees for any traveling couple. For those of you who are keen to check out Croatia first hand, there are more than enough holiday operators out there that would can help you with this such as, First Choice, Travelsupermarket and Thomas Cook to name a few. Let’s begin our adventure following the sounds of falling waters.

A Paradise Called Plitvice

The crown jewel within the national park system in Croatia is hands down Plitvice Lakes National Park.   It offers the perfect couple travel adventure.  It also scores a place in UNESCO World Heritage list as well as our hearts. Plitvice is unlike anywhere we have ever visited. The entire area is strikingly beautiful.  Plitvice lakes are a collection of limestone lakes connected by streams and waterfalls. Small paths meander through the small ponds and lakes giving a feeling of walking on water.

waterfall

The waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes

Visiting the area is a must for any visit to northern Croatia. You could easily get a feel for the lakes in a day. A stay of 3 days will allow you to take the longer hikes into some of the more remote sections which present unspeakable beauty and adventure. The rock formations and crystal clear water make for wonderful hues of blues, greens and turquoise. Wildlife is also abundant in the park. Due to the clarity of the water, all kinds of aquatic life are on full display. The park also offers views of birds, insects and all kinds of flora and fauna. We will let the pictures do the talking.

Croatia waterfall

The water colors of Plitvice Lakes.

ocean view hotel room

The view from our room on Rab Island.

Sun Soaking on Rab Island

Here’s a little hint to cost conscious couple travelers: the same sun, sand and surf you pay mega Euros for washes Croatia’s beaches at half the price! Its like paradise is on sale everyday! As we mentioned above, Croatia offers 1,185 islands, there must be one that fits your fancy? We chose the Isle of Rab for our sun seeking. The little island did not disappoint. Getting to Rab is half the adventure. Located half way between Pula and Split is this wonderful undiscovered gem. You must take a car ferry from the mainland port of Jablanac. It sails every half an hour or so, but check the sailing schedule in advance.

Rab offers a number of great little resorts that offer amenities that you would expect at any seaside stop. Fortunately, for the time being, none of the big chains have moved in, so you have a lovely selection of independent resort options. Time slows on the island. There are a number of beaches offering selections of sand or stone, secluded or swarming, as well as “clothing optional.” We didn’t go to one of the latter. Food options on the island are also surprisingly good. The main city is also called Rab and sports a number of good seafood options.

You should be able to rent a boat and motor around the island. This was our plan before visiting the island. We had everything arranged, then when we showed up to rent our boat, they had “lost” our reservation. We were bummed out. Just a reminder to check and double check reservations. If you do rent a boat, zing us the pictures, we want to know what we missed.

Do you ever have a couple travel question?  You can “Ask us Anything!”

Historic Pula

If you follow the Fighting Couple, you must know that we are students of history. One of our favorite spots to take in a collage of history is Pula, Croatia. Located on a seaside perch in the northeast corner of the country, Pula offers couple travelers with an eye to history a full plate!

roman colosseum

The Roman Arena of Pula.

A little background on Pula. It has been a resort community and important trading port literally since Neanderthal times! Early evidence of historic human like creatures has been found in nearby caves dating from nearly a million years ago. The area has yielded up many important artifacts from the Bronze age. In more recent times, the area has been ruled a chessboard of potentates: Romans, Germans, Byzantines, Charlemage, the Republic of Venice, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoleon, the Hapsburgs, Fascist Italy, the Americans (for a short time after WWII), Yugoslavia and then today’s government, the Republic of Croatia. Wow! Each one of these rulers left their mark on this city of 60,000. We challenge you to play historical bingo, attempt to find remnants of each of these in Pula. Good luck!

The highlight for our visit to Pula was the coliseum or as the locals call it the arena. It is one of six surviving roman coliseums in the world. Candidly, we like it better than its baby brother in Rome. One interesting fact, Mussolini attempted to dismantle the arena a move it to Italy. His plan fizzled due to lack of funds. We strongly recommend a visit early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid the hordes of “bus-people” that fill the stadium. We timed our visit and had the entire place nearly to ourselves. There is a small fee for entry, and an interesting museum underneath the seats that includes Roman era pottery.

So Much More

Anyone that is familiar with the country is likely screaming at their screen right now. They are cussing at us for leaving off places like: Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Zagreb. Sorry! We just haven’t made it that far south yet in our travels.  Croatia is a wonderful adventure for couple travel for sure.

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Seven Questions: What is an AngloItalian?

In this installment of our Seven Questions series we want to introduce you to a new traveling couple species: An Angloitalian.  Dale & Franca combine to make a traveling couple that are always up for an adventure!

Blog:  AngloItalian

twitter:  @AI_FollowUs

Facebook: angloitalian

Google +: Angloitalian

1) What in the world is an Angloitalian?

Angloitalian is a word that originates from one of our first dates. On the second time we met up we decided that we’d walk around the town we were living to take some night time shots of our surroundings and each other. Inject some tomfoolery, some timed multi-shot laughs and a Facebook photo album the day after named ”The Anglo-Italian Connection Photo Session” and you’ve the origins of a cute name we thought identified not just that night, but our origins from different countries and the idea that great things can happen when you travel to see things and meet people.

traveling couple

The Traveling AngloItalian

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?)

He Said: One running joke we have between us is my sarcastic ‘interest’ in the great Italian historical of Garibaldi.

During our few trips to Italy it’s always been fun to note just how many streets and statues in Italy are dedicated to this man who’s (after uniting Italy) actually had quite a shady past.  I’d love to have been around Garibaldi to see the man as he really was, not as he’s remembered.

She Said: I needed to think a little bit about this question, but I’ve finally come out with an answer.

I’d love to spend some time with Anish Kapoor to get to know him better and what a better occasion if not a trip. I absolutely love his work and I’d love to see other sides of his personality. It could turn into a disaster and that he turned out to not be the man I imagined him to be but I could say that at least I tried it and seen the day-to-day life as an international artist.

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said: During the beginning of October of this year we spent a week with some fantastic friends in Slovenia who across a number of days took us on road trips all over the country showing us just how much there is to see and do in a country full of fantastic countryside, magnificent ski slopes and cities full of magnificent culinary delights.

She said: It’s such a difficult question to answer, every place I’ve visited has something special to be remembered for. If I have to choose I’d probably say Japan because is such a unique country in many ways. Its culture and lifestyle are very different to any of the ones I know of. The food is probably the best in my opinion too, I’d love to go back there one day.

 1000Fights: Do you LOVE couple travel?  Want to be featured in our 7 questions?  Just get in touch with us (here).

4)  One of our fave parts of your blog is your quest to capture interesting designs from around the globe.  Could you share with us your fave?

He said: We love to highlight all kinds of design from coffee shops to local trinkets and some items of clothing but by far I think the one we love the most are the Pandism tshirts from Bangkok, Thailand.

She said: I loved a small and cozy coffee shop in Bangkok that we went to called ‘Gallery Drip Coffee’. The interior design is simple, very nice and goes perfectly with their mission which is all about serving the best coffee by looking after every detail from the preparation to the serving.

Traveling couple

5)  How do you guys stay on budget so well? We are very impressed!

He said: I think it’s purely built out of the fear of running out of cash and finding ourselves stranded somewhere!

She said: We simply choose what to do carefully and skip all the activities that are ‘not necessary’ for us, in this way we can spend more on what we love like visiting art exhibitions or similar events and places.   We also try to live more like locals instead of eating and staying in touristic places, couchsurfing helped a lot for sure!

 6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: This is a tough one to answer as unfortunately there are many problems in the world that need solving.

She said: I agree with Dale, it’s hard to choose only one. I’d definitely love to save the animals in danger to make sure they can survive and live in their natural habit without human disturbance.

 

traveling couple

The angloItalians…always looking for the next adventure.

 7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said: We won’t lie and say that we never fight, but we fall out all the time, generally over silly things so those moments don’t last all that long; but there was one moment near the beginning of our travels where we both got pretty darn angry with each other.

She said: It was during the first week or two of our travels and we were in Rome. What happened was that we were wondering around the city and whilst we just like to wonder without knowing where we’re headed, there are moments when knowing where we’re headed on a map is pretty handy, trouble is, Dale’s sense of direction and knowing where he is pretty amazing and before he’s looked at a map he knows where he is and where we’re headed, so when he wasn’t showing me the map to point where we were headed I got pretty cross.

It was such a silly thing but I like to know where I’m headed, it takes me a little while to figure it all on the map but I liked to know at that point. To cut a long story short, I got angry because I didn’t know where we were headed, Dale got angry because he was annoyed that I might doubt him.

Fast forward a year and I’m so glad that Dale is so good with the map that I tend to never look as it’s completely unnecessary. We can wonder anywhere and I know he’ll know the way to get back somewhere else and it’s actually enhanced our ability to wonder around the ‘off the beaten path’ places because I know he’ll get us back with ease.

Again, it’s only a silly thing, but at the time it felt like all out war. All couples will fight and those who say they don’t are lying. Spending every hour of every day month after month can be stressful, it’s how you learn to work with it that makes the relationship stronger in our eyes.

1000Fights: Wow!  AngloItalian thanks for sharing your story with us!  You can tell that they have a ton of spunk!  Give their blog (AngloItaliana follow!

 

 

 

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