Cuba – the beginning

united_kingdomI write these lines after spending 3 weeks in Cuba without access to the Internet, with 3,000 gathered and waiting to be shared photos.

We arrived in the evening on Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba. It was hot and we liked it! (we were coming from 3 degrees in Brussels). We stood in line for about 40 minutes at the frontier (long queues of tourists). At the desk there was this cute Cuban Chico: perfect hair and smile, muscles and beautiful tan. Already loving Cuba! 🙂 (Note later that most men Cubans are well groomed, trimmed and go to the gym, in contrast to women who are generally round and fat).

The police ladies at the airport are wearing black lace stockings and very short, tight skirts (Cuban women tend to wear clothes a few numbers smaller than necessary🙂 ) That was the first “shock” with Cuban culture🙂

A taxi driver was sent by our Casa Particular. It costs about 20-25 CUC to get from airport to Havana. We changed Euros into CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) at Cadeca (Casa de Cambio) outside the airport. (1 CUC = 1 US dollar = 1 Euro approximately).

The trip from the airport to our Casa Particular lasted about half an hour, during which we admired the old American cars on the streets.
We arrived at Casa Castellon, our accomodation in Havana. Clean room, large bathroom with excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, and for good reason! (If you go to Havana I highly recommend this Casa).

In Cuba you have two options: either stay in hotels (which belong to the Cuban state and cost a lot for not so great conditions) or stay in a Casa Particular (private rooms in houses or apartments, for prices up to 3 times lower than in hotels. This way you get more in contact with life and people of Cuba and you get to see their homes).


romania_flagScriu aceste randuri dupa 3 saptamani petrecute in Cuba fara acces la internet, cu 3000 de poze adunate care asteapta sa fie impartasite – poze cu oameni, masini americane vechi din anii ’50, strazi pline de muzica si “caracter”, cladiri coloniale.

Am ajuns seara pe aeroportul Jose Marti din Havana, Cuba. Era CALD (plecati de la 3 grade din Bruxelles). Am stat la coada la politia de frontiera (vreo 40 de minute, erau cozi lungi cu turisti). La ghiseul unde am fost era un cubanez tinerel, scos parca din reviste:par si zambet perfect, muschi si frumos bronzat. Deja iubesc Cuba!🙂 (observ mai tarziu ca majoritatea barbatilor cubanezi sunt extrem de ingrijiti, tunsi si dusi la sala, in contrast cu femeile care sunt in general rotunde si cu sunci)

Dupa controlul de pasapoarte unde mi-a facut poza, m-a intrebat daca mai am alt pasaport si daca am calatorit in Africa in ultima luna, am trecut la scanarea bagajului (da, iti scaneaza bagajul la iesirea din aeroport). Doamnele politiste din aeroport, plinute si scunde, poarta fuste foarte scurte, stramte (femeile cubaneze poarta haine cu 2-3 numere mai mici decat ar trebui) cu strampi negri dantelati. Cam asta a fost primul “shock” cu cultura cubaneza. Imi place.

La iesirea din aeroport ne astepta soferul de taxi trimis de Casa Particular la care urma sa fim cazati. Am schimbat euro in CUC (Peso convertibil cubanez) la CADECA (casa de schimb) din afara aeroportului. (1 CUC = 1 dolar american = 1 Euro aproximativ).

Drumul de la aeroport la Casa Particular a durat cam jumatate de ora, timp in care, desi era noapte si nu se vedea prea bine, am admirat entuziasmati masinile vechi americane ce rulau pe strazi.

Am ajuns la Casa Castellon (unde urma sa petrecem urmatoarele 4 nopti in Havana). Camera curata, baia mare, cu recenzii excelente pe trip advisor, si pe buna dreptate! (Daca mergeti in Havana va recomand din inima aceasta Casa). In Cuba ai doua optiuni: ori stai la hoteluri (care apartin statului cubanez, cazarea costa mult si conditiile nu sunt neaparat excelente) ori stai in Casa Particular (case sau apartamente private, in care familia respectiva inchiriaza camere turistilor, in mod legal, pentru preturi pana la de 3 ori mai mici decat in hoteluri. Astfel intri in contact direct cu viata si oamenii din Cuba si  vezi cum sunt casele lor).

casa castellon havanaCasa Castellon, our accomodation in Havana //Casa Castellon – e una din multele Casa Particulares in Havana, pe care v-o recomand din toata inima. Locatia este excelenta langa Prado (Avenida de Maceo – frumosul bulevard cu banci si pomi) si la cateva minute de Capitol. 30 de CUC pe noapte.

 

Am iesit la o plimbare in zona, iar intr-un mic scuar un cuplu lua cina la o masa in timp ce un cantaret cu chitara le canta. Ne place Havana!

P.S. Luna zambeste! (luna avea o pozitie in care nu am mai vazut-o pana atunci) si o pisica sta la pozat in fata casei noastre.

moon and cat

 

united_kingdomThe next morning (the first day in Havana starts!):

The breakfast at our Casa (5 CUC per person) was tasty, varied and colorful. Fruits (pineapple, banana, papaya, watermelon and… guava the fruit present at each breakfast which I did not like and I wasn’t able to get used to it). The scrambled eggs with cheese and coffee were very good and the small yellow warm breads were delicious with butter spread on them. Besides all this there was a lot of fresh fruit juice.

Let’s continue with photos from our 1st day in Havana


romania_flagDimineata urmatoare (prima zi in Havana incepe!):

Micul dejun in Casa noastra (care costa 5 CUC de persoana) a fost gustos, variat si colorat. Fructe  (ananas, banane, papaya, pepene rosu si…guava – fructul prezent la fiecare mic dejun dar care nu mi-a placut si in cele 3 saptamani nu am reusit sa imi schimb parerea). Ouale batute cu branza si cafeaua au fost foarte bune, iar painicile galbene, calde cu unt delicioase. Pe langa toate acestea, suc natural de fructe (in fiecare zi altul – de ananas, guava sau papaya).

Sa continuam cu poze din PRIMA ZI IN HAVANA!

breakfast casa particularOur first breakfast in Cuba // Primul mic dejun in Cuba, in Havana in Casa Particular.