Blogs from Oeste, Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 7

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 18th 2011

12.10. Istun Air Europan B767-300 takarivin keskipaikalla matkalla Madridista Havannaan. Mukava yllätys oli, että mitään henkilökohtaisia leffaruutuja ei ole. Korvakuulokkeita kaupitellaan 2e hintaan ja niillä saisi sitten katsoa katonrajan särisevästä ruudusta Jim Carreyta dubattuna. No gracias....Koneen inflight-lehden etusivulla on vihaisen näköinen nainen(toimari), joka kehuu tämän yhtiön palvelua huipuksi. Sanottakoon nyt tässä, että kyseinen henkilö selvästi valehtelee. Ja on väärin johtaa kuluttajia harhaan! Muuntamatonta totuutta kertoessa hän voisi sanoa, että boardauksen sekoilun jälkeen sinut istutetaan täysin bulkkituotteeseen ja erittäin vanhaan koneeseen, jonka penkit haisevat todella vahvasti hieltä. Voi että... Valonhetki koitti kabiinin kuulutettua boarding completed ja edessä oli tyhjä paikka. Saisin siis istua ilman etummaisen sylimuff... read more
Elion keittiössä
Vanhaa Havannaa
Sikaritehtaalla

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 17th 2011

It was our last day in Cuba before Ian had to leave and we absolutely smashed it. In the morning it was straight to Casa del Habano, the official cigar shop of Cuba, to purchase some Cubans. Found hidden behind the Capitolio, it is attached to the still-functioning cigar factory, Real Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás, founded by Jaime Partagás in 1985. We didn’t do the tour of the factory – apparently it’s a bit rushed and expensive. Instead, we mooched around the shop, breathed in the Cedar wood aroma (the wood used to maintain the cigars at exactly the right humidity) and mulled over boxes and boxes of different sizes, strengths and tastes of cigars. From the lite Romeo & Juliets to the more famous Monte-Christoes. From bite-size Caribas, which pack a real a punch at ... read more
Knees together
Los Marinos
Taxista

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 16th 2011

Not much happens on a Sunday in Habana. Most museums are closed by 2, if open at all. We wanted to do Casa de Africa – which isn’t even open on a Monday – and some Salsa. We did neither. Around the Plaza de Armas area there is a daily book stall selling all sorts of books in Spanish. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I bought a little present for Sparky while I was there; the book is over a hundred years old and I bartered the guy down to $10 from $12. I could have, and arguably should have got him down to $8 – just to make him think twice about capitalism – but what’s an extra $2 to a fat cat, like me? Right next to the Plaza de Armas, ... read more
Ernest Hemmingway
Farmacia
El Conspirador

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales October 15th 2011

Today, it was all about Julio Ceaser, our guide who took us hiking through Vinales’ fields and limestone, pin-cushion hills. Julio was an intelligent guy, with a degree in English and German, and an English accent that sounded like he’d spent four years at Bristol University and another year travelling in Perarrr. He was so interesting, and talked with so much poise, that we almost forgot to take in the views – which were stunning, by the way. We talked about Vinales itself, post revolution, and agreed that life is generally ‘better’ for its 4000 inhabitants. It’s always been a pretty self-sufficient town due to the fertile valley plains, with most people able to grow some food and keep pigs, chickens, goats etc. Now any privately owned land has been distributed amongst the people and they ... read more
Extreme
I'm in a cave
Don't get it

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales October 14th 2011

Valle de Vinales is to Cuba as Pai is to Thailand. It’s a hub for travellers rather than tourists and its not-so-attractive town centre is surrounded by rural, self-sustainable dwellings with some of the country’s most spectacular views. Undulating fields of lush greens and deep red terracotta plots surround the steep walls of the towering, limestone mogotes. It’s different to Pai, though. The people seem better off. The houses are bigger and made of concrete rather than wood and mud huts. The plots of land seem more organised. And there’s a serious lack of marijuana. Maybe I’m just reading too much in to it already, but it seems here, for the rural, poor people that Che wanted to help so much – the campesinos – socialism has improved their lives. With half a day left, we ... read more
Campesino II
Ian in Wonderland
The Lobster

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 13th 2011

October is Cuba’s wettest month so today we tried to make the most of some good weather at Playa del Santa Maria. It’s one of the beaches in Habana’s Playas del Este region. The sand isn’t as white, and sea not quite as crystal, as the beaches of Veradero, but it was amazingly peaceful. You could pick your own 100m stretch all to yourself, if you wanted. The only other people there were a few Cuban families and the occasional old, hairy, white guy splashing about with his beautiful, black, Cuban girlfriend. I would love to show you some pictures of this charming stretch of beach, but the only one we have is obscured by Ian’s big toe. I was slightly annoyed, but I didn’t say anything. He was already struggling enough. Really struggling. Despite functioning ... read more
Surf 'n' turf
So happy
Cary and Carmen

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

La Esquina Caliente, at the corner of Parque Central, was buzzing this morning. This is the place Havana’s baseball-mad fans come to talk and argue about anything baseball. Last night, a nation hunched around their TVs to watch Cuba wrap up a comfortable 4-0 series whitewash against the USA in the World Series – baseball’s version of the World Cup. Although it’s mostly an amateur competition, with the MLB’s biggest stars staying away for insurance reasons, it didn’t seem to matter to these fellas; they’d got one up on public enemy number one. Completely out of our depth, we congratulated an old guy beaming into his plastic cup of rum and moved on. It was time to immerse. Cuba has hundreds and hundreds of art museums and galleries so we thought we’d start with the Cuban ... read more
Blasphemy
RayBans
Plaza Vieja

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 11th 2011

After the comfort and luxury, we knew Cuba would be tough, but I was pretty glad we didn’t stagnate any longer in Playa. We landed safe enough, around 4pm, but I had my doubts we would. The jet was pre-revolutionary spec and clearly hadn’t been upgraded since. If the passenger seats did recline, they did so at random times, straight on to the lap of the person behind them. Embarrassing for everyone involved, really. In fact, by about 11pm that night, Ian was thankful he was only staying a week and I was starting to wonder if I would have to check myself in one of the hotels at Veradero – a mega resort, an hour north east of Havana that has become a symbol of the degenerate westerners Fidel refers to. First thing we did ... read more
DSCF1518
DSCF1523
DSCF1516

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana October 3rd 2011

Ignoring all advice to take a local (European) summer holiday we decided to make the most of free air travel for Heidi whilst we can and went long haul to Cuba! It is a destination we nearly visited during our Central America trip some years back and is somewhere we have wanted to go to for a long time. We cheated slightly by booking an all inclusive but compromised with a few nights in Havana and also some trips from our resort into the interior - not quite backpacking - but with Heidi in tow we needed a bit of luxury and organisation! So, in true form Sally spent several hours on trip advisor to work out which hotel did the best buffet, found a good deal, upgraded our flights to Virgin Atlantic - and we ... read more
Cathedral
Classic Cars
Capitol Building

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana September 1st 2011

ENTRY 57 - Cuba Cuba is a great place to avoid the Canadian winter. The main thing that Canada has in common with Cuba is that we are America's closest neighbors and are two of only a handful of nations who have been able to stand up to this mighty Superpower. For Canada, 1812 was the year we were put to the test. Normally, President Madison would never have dared to declare war on the British Empire. However, because the British were tied up with Napoleon in Europe, the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada were "ripe for the picking". We were in serious trouble. Governor-General Sir George Prevost of Canada wrote to the Admirals in Bermuda calling for help! French, English and Native Canadians put aside their differences and rose to the occasion. Our plan ... read more
Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Revolutionary Square, Havana




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