Habana Vieja, Santa Clara, Trinidad & more Havana!
05.05.2011 - 05.05.2011 26 °C
Before I start can I just recommend that the next thing you all need to do (after reading this) is book a trip to Cuba.. What a place!! Don't expect to be well fed though.. The supermarkets are very poorly stocked and the food is quite grim BUT it's a small price to pay to see a country with such a lively atmosphere and such cheap rum
Getting into the country was a bit of an interesting experience for me.. The people at immigration didn't like the look of me and wouldn't let me through at first and were asking me all sorts of strange questions. Everyone off the plan went through, all my friends went through, even the pilots went through and I was left on the wrong side of the entrance with visions of being detained in a Cuban jail overnight. After quizzing me and filling out some forms they let me through to baggage claim. Then on the way out I got stopped again and someone took my passport off me and left me there wondering what was going on!! I think maybe I just looked like someone they were looking for but I was just happy that I could leave the airport
Our first couple of nights were spent in Habana Vieja, the old sector of the capital city. We stayed in a Casa Particulare on the oldest street in Havana which was brilliant and our host was such a sweetheart.. It was like staying with my friend's grandma. We met up with another english girl while we were staying in Playa Del Carmen who was also on the same flight to Cuba so she came along with us for a couple of days and we all had so many giggles. We also met up with 2 Norwegian girls on the flight out so we all went out for a few drinks on our first night. We bought a bottle of rum between us and sat on the Malecon (Like the promenade) by the sea.. We got chatting to quite a few of the locals, it seems to be the most socialable place to drink!
The second day we did a hop on, hop off bus tour of the city which was cheap but we only felt the need to "hop off" once as there weren't so many sights to see. At night we went to Ernest Hemmingway's favourite bar El Floridita for a couple of daiquiris followed by a visit to a salsa bar which was pretty lively.
After that we made our way to Santa Clara (Unfortunately after sleeping through my alarm and missing the only bus that morning) where we saw the Che Guevara memorial and mausoleum. The mausoleum was actually really tasteful and it's obvious how much the Cubans love this man.
The next day we spent a couple of days in Trinidad.. The place was like a ghost town on the Sunday as it was mother's day in Cuba so everyone was spending the days with their families. We basically spent a couple of days just wandering around the town.. It's a pretty place but 2 days there was enough and Havana stole my heart.. I was desparate to get back there!
We then took a 6 hour bus ride back to Havana and back to the same casa we left a couple of days ago. Again, just spent a day wandering around the city and soaking up the atmosphere then sat down by the sea for a couple of hours.. Went home for an early night but ended up chatting to some really nice Canadian people who were also staying in our Casa until about 3 AM.
Our last day in Havana was spent on the beach at Playa Del Este. Not an amazing beach but it was a good way to save a bit of money.
The last thing to mention was our taxi ride back to the airport... In a bright pink chevrolet!!! We felt like the queen