Blogs from Centro, Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 3

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Cuba is a place like no other, a place where time has stood still since the 1950s. Memories of the past are visible everywhere you look, ancient Spanish buildings from colonial times and the best collection of classic cars you will ever see – the streets of Havana literally a classic car museum of examples from the 1940s & 50’s. Cuba is now very special for us, the longer we stayed and the deeper our knowledge became of its past and the things that make it great, the more we learned to appreciate it for what it is. In Cuba, we learned how to live back in time. We learned to make use of whatever basic facilities were available which we found difficult in the beginning. Internet is scarce and expensive, as are International phone calls ... read more
Capitolio, Havana
Cienfuegos
Trinidad

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro August 1st 2011

As music lovers, my husband and I always wanted to experience Cuba in a more local setting. We had been to the all-inclusive resorts, which are great if you just want to lie in the sun, eat and drink. We are more adventurous than this, so we decided a week in Havana would be perfect for us. And it was! The music, the architecture, the people ... all met our expectations and more! Even the fellow travellers we met were more in tune to our way of travelling. We stayed right in Old Havana, at the Parque Central Hotel. This hotel was modern, clean, service was great and staff very helpful. We wandered the streets most of the time, map in hand, and were awed by the buildings, both restored and crumbling, that make up this ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad May 15th 2011

Cuba!! by Rachael Arriving in Havana!! We had visions of scary immigration control upon arriving in Cuba but as usual with most things on this trip it was a lot less daunting in reality. However we did have a bit of drama upon leaving the airport - we had booked into a hostel and were quite perturbed when none of the taxi drivers or any locals had heard of it...finally we were taken to a random house and discovered it was actually a casa particular -which is what we stayed in the entire time in Cuba, where you stay in a family´s home and they cook your meals for you, rather than staying in a touristy hotel. More complications followed as the owner Oscar unfortunately couldn´t have us to stay as his bathroom was broken or ... read more
El dia de los trabajadores parade in Havana
Playa Ancon
getting ready for scuba diving!!

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro April 28th 2011

For the past three months, I have been living well here in Havana, though not without troubles. However, until last weekend, I had not spent much time at all on the touristic aspects of this country, though it is a nation with a huge service sector. The industry generated by Caribbean and cultural tourism is used to bring cash into an otherwise broken economy that would otherwise rely on small-scale raw materials exports. Even so, Cuban vacations seem to be pretty cheap (though perhaps less so if one factors in the cost of getting here). For our spring break weekend, the group took a trip to a key off of the northern coast named Cayo Santa Maria, which was basically a paradise situated on a beautiful white sand beach. The resort is all-inclusive and really an ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Santa Clara April 6th 2011

Santa Clara Wednesday 8th April We spent most of the previous day travelling across the island from Santiago De Cuba. It’s a long bus ride but I’ve been buoyed by the news that my Santaria prayer for a football ticket has been answered and Pat and Henry are rather pleased that, 10 days into our tour, their luggage has finally caught up with them! Our hotel, the Los Caneyes is a large tourist hotel. At first we seem to have hit new levels of comfort. For the first time since leaving Havana we have something to attach our shower attachment to. Cat is slightly embarrassed to find herself in a suite with two bathrooms and with a bottle of champagne wai... read more
Captured Arms
Che Memorial
Inside Armoured Train

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Camagüey April 1st 2011

Camaguay Friday 1st April Camaguay is Cuba’s third largest city and one of the oldest settlements on the island but I suspect that that main reason that the organised tour stops here is to break the long journey as we head to the east coast of the island. We arrive here late in the afternoon in time to settle into the Hotel Plaza and head out for a meal at a local Paladar, a family home where they have been granted a licence to serve meals to visitors. On this occasion we get served a fairly standard Cuban menu but with the inclusion of goat meat, which I haven’t seen anywhere else in Cuba yet. The Hotel Plaza has probably seen better days but it seems to be where tour parties are taken as there are ... read more
Not Everyone Gets To Pose With Their Own Statue!
Tourists
Che Watches Over The Bank Of Credit And Commerce

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro March 31st 2011

Topes De Collantes Topes De Collantes is a nature reserve in the Escambray Mountains just to the north of Trinidad. We give up our comfortable coach for some more suitable transport and head to the park to spend a couple of days there enjoying the park. There aren’t any hotels there. We stay at a hacienda, or large farmhouse, where we have a choice of a tent or sleeping on a mattress on the veranda. We spend a couple of days doing fairly modest walks in the mountains and visiting some of the caves, pools and waterfalls. I also learn the names of some of the different plants and birds we come across in the park but I’m afraid that this information doesn’t stay in my brain for too long. At one point we nearly lose ... read more
Coming Out Of The Caves We Meet Our Dinner
The Hacienda At Codina
On The Road

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Trinidad March 29th 2011

Trinidad The town of Trinidad on the South Coast is an old colonial town. Again, a lot of work has been done in co-operation with Unesco in restoring some of the older buildings and this has helped to boost the tourist trade. Trinidad seems to be a popular destination with the tourists and, I guess because it is so much smaller than Havana and because the tourists are concentrated in to a smaller space, it seems far more touristy. Certainly most of the shops in the centre of town are selling souvenirs, and the restaurants seem to be more expensive and will only accept payment in CUCs. The town still has its cobble streets and no new buildings in the town centre. Rations We stop off at a bodega, or Ration Shop. This is where Cubans ... read more
Explaining Santeria
Trinidad Beach
Casa De Musica


The Bay of Pigs I Commit a Crime My Spanish lessons are over and I’m leaving Havana and joining an organised tour around Cuba. Things get off to a bad start. I move out of Mi Casa and check in at the Hotel Plaza in Havana expecting to meet the rest of the group and get to know some of the people at a meal in the evening. I arrive at the meeting point to find I am the only person there – no one else is there and there are no messages for me. I end up at a “group meal” of just one person but am re-assured that the trip hasn’t been cancelled when I return to my room and meet a naked man coming out of the shower. It’s Dave, my room-mate for ... read more
The Bay of Pigs Museum
Fidel
Map Showing The Invasion Route

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Centro » Santa Clara March 24th 2011

Next morning we ate brekky, Dario went to the bank while I packed and at 9am a bicitaxi with built in stereo system picked us up to take us to the bus station to catch one to Santiago de Cuba. The bus was 30 mins late, but we got on and arrived in Santiago at 12.30pm. A driver was waiting for us with a sign as Lidia´s sister runs a Casa in Santiago and we had organised to stay there. The driver drove us in a tiny little fiat with our bags tied to the roof to our grande casa. It was much bigger than any we had stayed in before, and really nice! We organised everything then headed out in search of lunch. After trying a few places we ate at a small place called ... read more
Monument in santiago
cuartel moncad
the freezing bus!




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