Day 304 to 311 Cool and radiant Cuba

Some top shots from Cuba

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To get to Cuba we had to go by plane from São Paulo in Brazil to Lima in Peru before chancing planes to go to Havana. We got up at 3 o’clock in the night, drove to the airport, handed in our rental car and started our journey from Brazil. We were up for some serious travelling. First a 5 hours’ flight from São Paulo to Lima. Then some transfer time in Lima before entering another plane to spend 5 ½ hours in another plane to go from Lima to Havana. We were excited to see the island we had heard so much about with our own eyes…

(Some small facts about Cuba… Cuba has around 24 million residents. The capital is Havana and has around 2 ½ million residents. The language is Spanish and the money is called CUC. The main religion is catholic but many do not seem to practice it actively. The culture is filled with artistic impressions regarding street art, cars, buildings and music. The people we have met seem happy, open minded, friendly and lively. There are lots of different kinds of vehicles, including bicycles, mini-cabs, buses, horse-taxis, old American cars as well as other taxis)

As it was quite cloudy the day we headed for landing in Havana we only got some idea of how the island looked like in between the clouds. But it was a pretty sight! In the middle of the ocean we could finally spot lots of greens and after some time the capital with many houses and buildings in different styles and sizes.

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However, we had planned to stay our first days in Varadero with white and endless beaches to get some rest after our more intensive travelling periods in both Chile, Argentina and Brazil. After getting through the immigration and picking up our luggage, we met our driver who took us to Santa Marta right outside Varadero, a 2 hours’ drive from the airport. We were to stay in a room in the house of Arthuro and Yuma, the most wonderful and loving couple. We arrived in the evening at 9 o’clock and were ever so tired. Our main goal was to get some food and then go straight to bed! Lucky for us there was a restaurant next to the house called Mojito which turned out to have the most delicious food!!! Content and happy we went to bed and slept like babies till the next morning!

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Our experience of Santa Marta and Varadero was just as great as we had imagined only loads more charming! We ate a late breakfast on the terrace outside our room watching the old American cars pass by in all the colours imaginable; light and dark variations of blue, green, yellow, pink, red, violet, gold, silver, turquoise. Most cars ranged from the 1920’s till 1960’s! We had never seen anything like this in our entire lives. And we were to understand that this was only the beginning…

Our next days were filled with walking, sun, heat, beach life, a horse-taxi trip, mini-cab-trips, hop-on-hop-off tourist buses, American cars, eating at Mojito, talking with Arthuro and Yuma, lazy mornings and late evenings.

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We also learned that internet access was not the easiest thing to accomplish in Cuba. We were first told to go to an internet café. When we arrived, we were told to go to another place to buy tickets with access codes for one hour at an office called “Etecsa” and then return to the internet café! Eager to get our one hour of internet access we headed to the Etecsa office to buy those tickets. Arriving the office, it was closed! No more tickets that day… We had then spent around 2 hours at midday (in 35 degrees Celsius) and 10 dollars for a cab to accomplish the mission – yet unsuccessful! No need to say our heads were at boiling temperature! 😊 The next day we were a little wiser buying our tickets during the morning hours! With our 3 tickets, we entered another place to connect to the internet only to find out that the internet was slooooow! Still we were able to make contact with our boys, to find out that they were ok and tell them that we were fine. In addition, Ole got to receive and send some emails from/to work, Luna got to play a bit and I got to stay connected to update some news for our friends and family on Facebook from our latest days on our trip around the world.

After some days of relaxation in Santa Marta and Varadero we were to go back to Havana. Lucky us! It turned out our taxi was one of these American cars we had been admiring for some days already. 😊

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In Havana, we met with Magaly and entered our rented flat with there. We felt quite safe as we noticed the area was an embassy district. Just opposite of the flat was situated the Chinese Embassy. 😊 In addition, we were told by several people, that Havana was a very safe and quiet capital and they were right. Even in the very city centre it was relatively calm and quiet. The first day we entered the tourist hop-on-hop-off tourist buses to get to know the city. We were amazed by the beauty of the ancient and stylish buildings and parks! We got to see the John Lennon statue, the city centre, old Havana, the Malecón (ocean road), the revolution square with big metal pictures of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, the Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro (the Havana fort), the National Capitol Building and the Paseo del Prado. Pictures follow! 😊

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The next days we ate late and tasteful breakfasts nearby our apartment and spent the rest of the remaining days in the Havana city centre. One of these remaining days we had decided to go cruising with one of the old American car taxis. We got to choose from many different cabriolets and our choice fell upon a fancy blue one! 😊 For one hour, we drove around in the centre of Havana where the driver told us a bit about different tourist attractions and showing us the old town centre. It was quite hot but we loooooved it! This capital has tons of charm, atmosphere and beauty. This is a city we would warmly recommend others to visit! 😊

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So long, Havana and Cuba! We had the most wonderful stay and would love to come back!

 

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