Page 3 of WhereIsSteve Travel Blog Posts

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
Map Showing The Invasion Route

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 23rd 2011

Nights Out In Havana Despite having five weeks in Havana there is no shortage of things to do in the evenings. Apart from the more obvious attractions in the centre of the city there are many small theatres, cinemas and cultural centres in the surrounding areas. Many of the bars, even away from the tourist areas, will have some sort of live music even if it is only a couple of guys with out of tune guitars trying to earn a few extra pesos. Drinking Beer Drinking beer is a really good way of improving your Spanish. I find that after drinking a couple of beers I start to become really fluent in Spanish and that beer drinking is an important part of the learning process. During my first few days in Havana I am under ... read more
The Big Beer Challenge
Solo De Gato
At Teatro Bertolt Brecht

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 20th 2011

Habana Vieja Habana Vieja is the criss-cross network of narrow streets and squares which formed the original town. One of the guidebooks suggests there are more than 900 buildings of historical significance in this small area and I find that easy to believe. Like in other areas of Havana, every building seems to be an architectural treasure and I have no idea how many museums there are here – almost every building seems to hold some sort of collection. I’m told by my Cuban friends that the whole area was seriously dilapidated a few years ago. A lot of work has been done alongside UNESCO in restoring four of the main squares and some of the surrounding streets. Eusebio Leal Spengler, the city historian who has initiated a lot of the work and attracted much of ... read more
Hotel Ambos Mundos Pulls The Crowds In
Old Havana
The Iglesia De San Francisco

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 19th 2011

Centro Habana Centro Habana is the area around the Parque Central and the Capitolio. A wide avenue, Prado, leads from the Malecon up to the Parque Central / Capitolio area. There is usually some activity on the Prado at weekends. This may be kids entertainers or a display of dancing. On one Saturday there was a craft market along part of the Prado but, more interestingly, a bit further down there were groups of people trying to exchange houses. This is as close as Cuba gets to an Estate Agent. In Cuba people are not allowed to buy or sell property but they are allowed to exchange their homes. Sometimes you will see a sign in a window often wanting to exchange a large house for two smaller ones. On this occasion everyone wanting to exchange ... read more
Home Swappers
Museum of the Revolution

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 12th 2011

Thanks For The Miracle Still in Vedado Our now slightly more purposeful strolls around Vedado bring us to the Plaza De La Revolucion. This is the large square {suitable for political rallies} with the pictures of Camilo and Che. Here there is yet another statue of Jose Marti and the large towering memorial built in his honour. This is the tallest building in Havana and the lift up to the top gives views over the whole city. When we go there are workmen hanging from the top of the tower. When we get to the top we see lots of turkey vultures flying around the tower – I guess that they must be clearing the nest away. Necropolis Cristobal Colon The Necropolis Cristobal Colon is well worth a visit. I go there one afternoon with Fernando. ... read more
Nothing Subtle About This Graveyard
Hello John
Military Rehearsal at Plaza De La Revolución

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 9th 2011

Look Up! Look Down! Vedado The area of Cuba I’m staying in is Vedado. This area seems to be mainly a middle-class residential area developed from the 1920s onwards. It has also houses Havana University, many hospitals and a lot of the city’s hotels and nightclubs – it had been a favourite haunt of the Mafia until Fidel chased them out of town. I’m staying about 10-minutes walk from The Malecon, the “boulevard” which runs along the sea-front. My plan is that after classes I will walk down to the sea and find a spot on the Malecon to sit, read and chill-out. For the first few days I nearly don’t make it to the Malecon. I’m not an expert on architecture but I find the strange mix of styles in Vedado fascinating. The danger when ... read more
Don't Forget To Watch Out For The Holes
Havana University And Vedado

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 8th 2011

Days Out In Havana ….And Trips To The Beach Exploring Havana After several days of following my instincts and wandering about soaking up Havana I decide it’s time to explore a bit more purposefully. By now I have teamed up with Iselin, we find that we both want to see the same things, and we tend to spend the afternoons after classes exploring Havana together and with other students from the school or people who are staying at our houses. Exploring the city together seems to reduce the hassle we would both get walking round the city on our own. I had an early experience when I stopped to get some lunch, got talking to a couple of Cubans and before long found that we’d be joined by two young Cuban girls who gave me their ... read more
Squeezing Onto A Bus
Queue Here To Sit Down.....
....And Queue Here To Stand Up

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana March 5th 2011

I Wish I’d Listened To Everything My Latin Teacher Told Me Monday 21st February A good night’s sleep after my long journey and I have to be at school for 8:30. The ”Casa Particular” I’m staying in is in the Vedado area of Havana about a half-hour’s walk from the city centre. Vedado seems to have developed as residential area of the city in the 1920s. It is also the area where the university and a lot of the hospitals seem to be located. My accommodation is just across the road from the university – this proves useful as are many places nearby that cater for the students at lunchtimes as I gradually find my way around and away from the places that obviously just cater for the tourists. When I arrive there are five of ... read more
Plenty Of Students Passed Through Mi Casa
Another Working Lunch

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana February 20th 2011

Old Dog, New Tricks Cuba At Last! I’ve been wanting to go to Cuba for quite some time, but somehow it’s never worked out. It’s become more of an urgent need recently because I’m sure that the isolation of Cuba won’t last much longer. And when its isolation ends, Cuba will lose a lot of what makes it unique and it will become like a lot of other Central American and Caribbean countries. I guess it’s quite hypocritical of me wanting to see Cuba in its current state. Whilst a lot of tourists might enjoy the sight of the 1950s cars still on the road, I’m sure many Cubans would like to buy a new car! Bk 2 Skwl I shall be staying here for seven weeks all together. I ... read more
And I Have The Only Room In The House With A View!!
And Look Who Lives Upstairs
The Neighbours

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