Blogs from La Habana, Oeste, Cuba, Central America Caribbean

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana February 5th 2019

Cuba. 2019. Summary Cuba, an island of contradictions. Havana is a busy city where there are obviously people making a reasonable living and some taxi drivers etc. wearing heavy gold and using smart phones and yet you see beggars on the street and older people with lowly jobs looking impoverished. I think most people are quite industrious and willing to make money wherever they can but there appears to be working age people stood about, or queuing up for meat or something. These paradoxes also apply to the countryside but with the emphasis of more on the poorer end. Much farm work is done by horse and pony and old Russian tractors. A few farms had larger and more modern tractors but I suspect these were government owned and run by cooperatives. There are large area ... read more
 Che Guevara

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana February 3rd 2019

Day 13. Havana return Good meal last night with red wine and gentle music in background with good keyboard player. Maybe best meal yet and maybe best sleep. Breakfast of fruit, followed by bacon,ham, tomato and scrambled egg. Out into a hot day of 30 degrees again and little cloud. Some climbing past some decent sized dairy farms with Jersey type cows, which may be a cooperative of some sort since they had the odd new tractor about of Chinese origin. Of great interest was the multitude of pony and traps on the roads today with heir best harness and bells jingling. We must have been 100 or so throughout the morning with all the family on board, which we believe were going to a regular gathering of such families and horses. The climb was on ... read more
Saturday trotters
Cuban coffee stop
Matanzas Road sweeper

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 23rd 2019

Cuba. Day 1. Monday 21 January 2019 Another adventure awaits. A drive down to Gatwick yesterday to stay overnight at the Airport Inn with inclusive parking. A bargain at £200 with B&B for four of us. Nice to meet up with so many familiar faces but sadly Anita has had to cancel at the last minute do to family circumstances. Another drink of coffee and an early afternoon flight to Havana arriving in the evening after a 10 hr flight with plenty of food on Virgin Airlines. Since they are 5 hours behind us we arrived in Havana in the early evening so a quick shower and a beer before going to bed at 12pm, which is 4am UK time but feeling ok. We are not at the Miramar Hote, but next door at the Four ... read more
Stall in Cathedral Square
Old taxi.

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 13th 2019

Cuba was the most eagerly awaited port of our December cruise. This tiny island has held such a big role on the world stage for most of our lives. From Batista to Castro to the Bay of Pigs to the Soviet Blockade and Missile Crisis to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has dominated headlines. Once a notorious gambling mecca and mobster hangout ruled by an infamous dictator, only to be replaced by another strongman and it became a hardline Communist country that endured decades of embargos, travel restrictions and isolation. In the 19th century, Havana was one of the wealthiest business centers in the Americas. Now it is a rather impoverished country making its way into the 21stcentury. As Castro once said, "A revolution is not a bed of roses." Since some of sanctions have been lifted, cruise ... read more
CRUISE TERMINAL SIERRA MAESTRA
TROUBADORS
OLD CITY COURTYARD

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 14th 2018

The day after Belize we arrived in Cozumel, a small holiday resort on an island off the Mexican Yucatan coast. The plan was to hire a taxi to take us to the nearby Mayan ruins, wait for us then bring us back to the ship. However, there were four cruise ships in Cozumel today. It was also another hot and sticky day. We had vison of the ruins being absolutely heaving with impatient tourists, those part of a ships tour and those independent travellers, probably all queuing to buy tickets!! All this, whilst tackling greedy taxi drivers and greedier little biteything bastards that take the piss when feasting on my ankles!! Having been to Cozumel less than ten months earlier we’d seen all there was to see in the town so we just stretched ... read more
Outside our accommo in Havana Centro
Deana, our hostess in Havana Centro
Breakfast in Havana Centro

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana August 17th 2018

We were very excited about our first trip to Havana by ship, and although Havana as it is today is appealing and very interesting to explore on foot, we hoped that at least some vestiges of the city's glamorous past remained, and that overall our visit would be a rewarding learning experience -- we weren't disappointed!! On that first visit in October, 2017, we decided to splurge on a wonderful, but rather expensive excursion --- a Havana city tour in a vintage American car. A good number of like-minded ship passengers, probably many from the U.S.’s “Baby Boom” generation like us, were doing the same. After being transported by bus to a parking lot not far from the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, we found an array of rainbow-colored, vintage cars waiting for us with their drivers/owners ... read more
Jose Marti Memorial - Revolution Square
Camilo Cienfuegos - Revolution Square
Angel Monuments - Cristobal Colon Necropolis

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 31st 2018

Until fairly recently, Cuba had remained a forbidden destination to most Americans since the Castro-led revolution changed the political landscape in the mid-20th century. The “Cuban Missile Crisis” of 1962 erupted after it came to light that the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, was building ballistic nuclear missile sites and installing troops in Cuba which is only 90 miles off the coast of Florida; these actions brought the US and Soviet Union to the brink of a nuclear war and, among additional serious consequences, nailed shut the door for normal travel options to Cuba for more than a half a century. In late 2014, with the Cuban thaw taking place under the Obama administration, travel to Cuba became a more tangible possibility although some restrictions remained in place then as they do now. ... read more
Band at the Havana Club
Cesar at La Bodeguita del Medio Bar

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 22nd 2018

Depart Havana & Cuba Highlights - Friday 20 July Day 15 As Jess was going to a northern beach the following day for a week, we decided to spend the morning with her until we were picked up a 4.30pm to fly to Mexico City. We had seen so much in Havana, after being there on and off for 6 days but we still hadn’t seen the telescopic camera which had a live view over the whole of the old town section. For 2 CUC we went up on the elevator and was shown to a small room which was where the images of the town were directed onto a circular concave surface. The operator pointed out various features of a city we had got to know very well. After the ‘show’ we went out onto ... read more
Flying into Mexico City (5)
Mexico City airport
Mexico City airport (2)

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 17th 2018

Flight from Baracoa to Havana Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 July Day 12 & 13 We were to fly back to the other end of the island, back to Havana. The flight itself took about 2 hours. However there are often delays and flight departure times do vary. Initially we were to get to the airport at 12md. Tom and I had gone for a walk to the very eastern tip of Baracoa and then back into the city centre for some wifi. Tom decided to go back to our accommodation before me. Luckily, he did because our guide Camilo was there to tell us that we had to go to the airport immediately - at 11.00am. They took all by bags to the car and then Tom raced down to get me while they drove ... read more
A Mega Majito beer
Havana (6)
La Bodeguita del Medio Bar Havana

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana July 3rd 2018

Tuesday 3 July Day 5: Havana We left Vinales about 9.00am after more failed attempts to access money but we were (almost) convinced that all would be OK with the ATMs back in Havana. We return to Havana driving through to beautiful western Cuban mountainous countryside before driving over the plains. We got to Havana at about 1.00pm where we did an hour walking tour with our guide Dany. We visited Plaza San Fransisco, Vieja and de Armas as well as Cathedral Square. For several of plazas, it was our second visit, but it was better hearing the history of the Plazas. We even saw a food-ration outlet where people still go to get their basic requirements at a very low price. This ensures everyone receives the essential food requirements. During the Old Town walking tour, ... read more
El Rum Rum Restaurant our last night with western Cuba tour friends - Danny Lisa Tracy Tom Toby Lisa & Rick (1)
El Rum Rum Restaurant our last night with western Cuba tour friends (5)
Havana (2)




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