Tag Archives | Croatia

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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The Best and Worst of the Fighting Couple 2011

This year was a great one for the Fighting Couple!  We traveled to some amazing places and some duds!  As we bid 2011 adieu, we wanted to offer you our best and worst of the year:

Lets start with the numbers:

Nights on the road: 65

Countries visited: 7 (Italy, France, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Canada, Austria)

Pastries eaten in Paris:  15 or so!

Most expensive water:  15 euros per bottle! (Italy)

Ugly American travel moment:  Mike-Ironing his Brooks Brother shirt with Evian water while staying at a hotel on the Versailles property.

Best Fight:  So many to choose from!  One of the best was our “Sticker” fight.  As Mike drove us across the border into Slovenia, to our surprise the toll booths were unmanned.  Mike took this as there was no need to pay tolls.  (Don’t make this assumption.)  Mike drove on throwing caution to the wind despite strongly worded objections.  This decision would end up costing us big time!  We had to pay a huge fine at the border leaving the country.  You must buy a “sticker” when entering Slovenia.  In the end, “lively” discussion followed.

Bloggers that we were able to get to know in 2011Traveling Cannucks (Cam and Nicole), Jouneywoman (Evelyn), Bohemian Trails (Megan), Couple of Sports (Jakie and Mark), Our Tasty Travels (Erin and Brett).

Fave Location Mike:  Easy.  Bihac, Bosnia, hands down.  Did we stay in a four star hotel? Nope.  How many thought provoking tours did we take? Nada.   Luci and the other couple traveling with us really humored me on going to this border town.   Bihac was the nucleus of the war.  The first and last shots fired were in the area.  Our adventure to Bosnia began at the border.  The border agent was a little surprised to see American passports.  It took a little convincing to explain that we were tourists coming to his country.  Bosnia, what little of what we saw of it, was lush and green.  As we drove along, we saw the bullet ridden homes along the way.   We stayed at charming little hotel called the Hotel Opal.  We ate at the little riverside restaurant in the hotel.   Food was surprising good!  What made this my fave is the blatant tourist nature of Bosnia, pristine beauty, storied history, and its rough complexity.

Fave Location Luci:  Lake Bled, Slovenia!  Lake Bled is girls’ fantasy camp. It looks like a fairy tale and the Lake’s famous dessert is worth every calorie. Lake Bled is a mountain lake nestled in the heart of the Julian Alps. Slovenia is the cheap man’s Austria. While it’s on the Euro, prices are at least a third cheaper. What else could a fairy tale want? Goregous lake. Yummy cake. Cheap. For a perfect fairy tale moment, spend the day at the lake.  In the middle of the Lake Bled, is an island topped by a church.

Lake Bled

The Church on Lake Bled Island, Slovenia

Rent a row boat for less than 10E and make your spouse row you across the lake. Once you reach the island, make him carry you up the steps to the church. If your spouse makes the 99 steps, you’ll have a happy marriage. If you don’t, well, you’ll be like 1000 Fights. Ring the bell the church bell and a wish will come true. Guys, if you don’t want row, you can get in an oversized gondola called a plenta and someone will row you along with 10-12 other lazy tourists. After visiting the church, visit one of the many lakeside restaurants and dive into famous kremšnit. The cake has a layer of whipped cream followed by vanilla custard and topped with filo dough. As someone who loves, anything creamy, the cake is heaven in every bite. To see pictures and more see:

Rab Island, Croatia

Leaving Rab, Isand.

Worst Location Mike:  This is another easy one for me.  I really dislike Rab, Croatia.  Dislike perhaps is not a strong enough word.  I just want to give them a benefit of a doubt…Being the crazy planner that I am, I had everything planned out.   The first thing you need to know about Rab is that it is a desert island.  It is not attractive.   Three months prior to our arrival, we had reserved a boat to rent for the day.  It was going to be a blast.  We were going to hit a couple secluded remote beaches.  Sounds like fun huh?  Well it took an hour to find the boat dock.  We approached the proprietor, made small talk and once we asked about our boat reservation, the “gentleman” forgot English, and there was no longer a reservation, regardless of the 3 emails I had in hand to the contrary.  The day only got worse!  We decided to drive to one of the public beaches…in route we were following three cars following a tractor.  The tractor driver waved us all around.  So I passed on a flat and straight patch.  All of the sudden: Lights and Siren!  We were pulled over and ticket for passing in no passing zone!  No sign!  Following other cars!  I really dislike Rab!

Worst Location Luci: I hate Las Vegas. The food is expensive. The shows are pricey. The museums are over rated. There are ads of naked women everywhere. The free things to see in casinos are so buried deep inside you need a map to get out. I don’t drink or gamble so what is there for me to do? Nothing. I could never go back and be happy.

Big Winners!:  This year we ran two contests.  The first was our famed Hottest Travel Blogging Divas and Hunks.  We highlighted 3 gals and 3 guys that are travel bloggers.  It was a little tongue in cheek but it gave us a chance to highlight some incredible travel bloggers.  Just in case you missed it, Keith from www.traveling-savage.com was crowned King and the lovely and talented Lillie of  http://www.aroundtheworldl.com/ was crowned queen.

The Kahle's Winner of our Mistletoe Moment

Our other contest was our Mistletoe Moments during the month of December.  We asked couples to submit their best magical moment together during the year.  We were stunned by the response!  There were so many touching stories of couples finding love at home and abroad.   The response really has inspired us.  The winning moment came to us from the Kahle’s at http://www.wanderlivin.com/.  Congrats again!

TBEX-This year we decided to attend the annual travel blogger revival called TBEX.  We are so glad we did!  TBEX this year was hosted in scenic Vancouver, BC, Canada.  For those of you that have not attended, it is a two-three day affair, with travel bloggers from across the globe.  Luci was skeptical about attending at first, but it really turned into a funfest.  Presentations were given on different travel and technical topics.  It was wonderful meeting the faces behind the Facebook pages.

Waterfalls i Croatia

Waterfalls in Croatia

We want to thank each and every one of you our readers.  Thanks for your comments, thanks for your interest in our crazy fights.  Stay tuned we have some exciting stuff planned for you in 2012!  Buckle up!

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