Cayo Blanco, Cuba

united_kingdomSuch a beautiful island in the middle of nowhere. Cayo Blanco, near Trinidad, Cuba, is a peaceful and not crowded island with iguanas and lots of crabs. We arrived by catamaran from Trinidad and spent the whole day here. It was so quiet! You could only hear the waves and the wind. On the beach it was just us from the boat (around 15 people), plus the cook and the barman from the only restaurant on the island. I hope you like the photos!


romania_flagImagineaza-ti o insula pustie, cu nisip alb, palmieri, tufisuri salbatice, crabi si iguane. Asa e Cayo Blanco. Am ajuns aici cu catamaranul (un vapor) din Trinidad si am stat pe insula toata ziua. Pe insula eram doar noi, cei de pe vapor (in jur de 15 persoane), plus un bucatar si un barman de la singurul restaurant de pe insula. Era o liniste de neimaginat. Se auzeau doar valurile si vantul. Mare mi-a fost mirarea cand pe langa prosopul pe care stateam tolanita a trecut un crab. Mai tarziu am descoperit ca in spatele restaurantului erau zeci de crabi, care veneau la mancare (bucatarul ii hranea cu paella – un fel de pilaf). La fel si iguanele, aparusera la “masa” si mancau paella impreuna cu crabii.
palm trees on cayo blanco cuba

iguana and crabsIguana

palm trees island

island cayo blanco

iguana

cayo blanco, palm trees, white sand, beach, island, blue

rock coral brain lookCoral stone / Piatra coral

cayo blanco, palm trees, white sand, beach, island, blue sky and water

red hermit crab on island carribean cayo blanco cubaHermit crab

many crabs cayo blanco

cayo blanco

touching an iguana

beautiful beach with palmtrees on cayo blanco in cuba

coral, rock, island, cuba, cayo blanco

blue water branches island in cuba

photo with palmtrees carribean island

on cayo blanco

Follow me on

Colors of Trinidad, Cuba

united_kingdomWe’ve stayed 6 nights in Trinidad, Cuba, and it was hard to leave at the end, thats how beautiful it is! The city is rich from historical point of view – it was founded 500 years ago, when Cuba was colonized by Spanish and Trinidad’s main industry was the sugar trade. The Spanish Colonial Architecture is what makes this city a wonderful tourist attraction and is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.


romania_flagAm stat 6 nopti in Trinidad, Cuba, si nu mai voiam sa plecam, asa de frumos este! Orasul este mic, dar bogat din punct de vedere istoric. Fondat in urma cu 500 de ani, Trinidad a fost un important punct comercial datorita comertului cu zahar. Trestia de zahar era cultivata in zona, plantatiile fiind muncite de sclavi adusi din Africa. Bogatii vremurilor si-au construit frumoasele case in stil Colonial Spaniol care se gasesc acum in centrul istoric din Trinidad, in jurul Plazei Mayor.

cuba trinidadPlaza Mayor – Spanish Colonial Architecture / Plaza Mayor cu arhitectura coloniala spanioladonkey trinidad cubaDonkey, a way of transportation on the cobbled streets of Trinidad / Magarul, un mijloc de transport pe strazile pietruite din Trinidadold car and street in cuba trinidadColored houses and old cars. I love CUBA! / Case colorate si masini vechi. Iubesc Cuba!street and houses in cuba trinidadWindows with metal or wooden bars / Geamurile au grilaj de lemn sau de metal. old american car on a street in trinidad cuba houses and windows in cuba trinidad windows in trinidad cuba men playing dominoes in cubaMen playing Dominoes on the street / Barbatii joaca Domino in strada, unul din jocurile preferate ale Cubanezilorstreet in trinidad homeless dog trinidad cuba husky small window family, cat and clothes trinidad cuba (2)Escambray Mountains around Trinidad /Muntii Escambray in jurul Trinidaduluitrinidad plaza mayorPlaza Mayor / Banci de metal in Plaza Mayor trinidad street with colored houses in cuba plaza mayor trinidad cubaPlaza MayorV in trinidad cuba colored houses cuba trinidadThe cuban flag / Steagul Cubanez atarna la o usatrinidad in the tower

cuba trinidad cathedral dog trinidad reading from kindle in cafe restaurant plaza mayor trinidad cubaCapucino and reading during a small break from sightseeing / O pauza de relaxareold church in trinidad cuba

casa particular trinidad cubaCasa Particular in which we stayed for our first 3 nights / Casa Particular in care am stat in primele 3 nopti in Trinidadpeople on stairs in cuba dog and old car in cuba band playing in restaurant cuba valle de los ingenios

Valle de Los Ingenios where sugar cane was cultivated. Slaves were being watched from the tower/ Valle de Los Ingenios la cativa km de Trinidad, unde erau plantatii de trestie de zahar. Din turn erau urmariti si controlati sclavii.sugarcane squeezer valle de los ingeniosSugarcane machine / Masina pentru stors trestia de zaharman sugarcane in valle de los ingeniosSugarcane juice and eating a sugarcane piece/ Am baut suc din trestie de zahar si rontaiam trestie de zahardrinking sugarcane juice men and dog on stairs trinidad cuba restaurant in trinidad cuba

Don’t miss my other posts with photos from Cuba!

Cienfuegos, Cuba

united_kingdomCienfuegos (literally translated A Hundred Fires) is a nice port on the South Coast of Cuba. We spent 2 nights here, and even though in the beginning we didn’t like it too much (we were home sick after 2 weeks of traveling and the atmosphere was totally different than Vinales or Havana), we ended up loving it, and it is now a wonderful memory.


romania_flagCienfuegos mai este numit si Perla Sudului in Cuba. Este un orasel linistit la vreo 250 km de Havana, pe coasta de sud a Cubei. In traducere, Cienfuegos inseamna “o suta de focuri”. Am petrecut 2 nopti aici si, desi la inceput nu prea ne-a placut, atmosfera fiind diferita fata de Vinales si Havana, plus ca ni se facuse si dor de casa dupa atatea zile de calatorit, am ajuns la final sa il indragim si acum a ramas o amintire foarte placuta.

cinefuegos in cubaTypical street in Cienfuegos / Strada tipica in Cienfuegos

park cienfuegosJose Marti Park / Parcul Jose Marti si eleve in uniforma

center of cienfuegosPedestrian Promenade/ Promenada pentru pietoni. Vedeti telefoane publice, care inca se mai folosesc in Cuba.

palacio cienfuegosPalacio de Valle / Palatul de Valle

malecon cienfuegosPrado

water cienfuegosThe Promenade along the water / Faleza

cienfuegosThe cityhall / Primaria din Cienfuegos

park cinefuegos cubaCienfuegos Cathedral / Catedrala din centrul orasului Cienfuegosport cienfuegosThe Port / Portulbreakfast in casa particular cubaBreakfast in the Casa Particular / Micul dejun in Casa Particular

cienfuegos cuba

horse and carriage cienfuegos

cienfuegos cuba dog and windows

shop in cubaShop / Magazin  streets cienfuegos in cuba

cienfuegos building

tiles floor building cienfuegos

cuba cienfuegos

me in cienfuegos

columns cienfuegos cuba

old car colonial building cuba

fisherman on prado cienfuegosFisherman / Pescar arunca plasairon grid on windows cuba

cuba old car

cienfuegos puntaPunta Maria Gorda – in sudul orasului Cienfuegos. Un loc linistit cu aer curat!punta gorda cienfiegos fisherman cuba

mojito cubaMojitocinefuegos lion catedral

me in center cinefuegos

old car white and red in cuba

pool hotel cienfuegos cubaThe pool of a hotel in Cienfuegos / Piscina unui hotel din Cienfuegoscasa particular in ciefuegosThe living room of our Casa Particular / Sufrageria in Casa Particular in care am stat

cienfuegos arch

Don’t miss my other posts with photos from Cuba!

Cayo Jutias, Cuba

A day trip from Vinales to Cayo Jutias – a beautiful beach with turquoise waters in Cuba. Our taxi was an old American Chevrolet. Jump for joy!


O excursie de o zi la Cayo Jutias (Plaja Jutias) de langa Vinales, in Cuba. Taxiul care ne-a dus acolo era un Chevrolet vechi! Mi-a placut!

 

cayo jutias cuba

cayo jutias

cuba jutias

cayo jutias pelican

cayo jutias day trip from vinales

DSC_5261

cuba beach

DSC_7963

drifted wook cayo jutias

on cayo jutias

road to cayo jutiasRoad to Cayo Jutias / Drumul spre Cayo Jutias

taxi to cayo jutiasTaxi to Cayo Jutias / taxiul care ne-a dus si ne-a intors din Cayo Jutiasvinales cayo jutias

on cayo jutias (2)

Viñales Valley, Cuba

united_kingdomThe beautiful Vinales Valley is located in the West of Cuba, a few hours by bus from Havana.

The main attraction in the Valley, and typical for this region, are the Mogotes – rocky flat mountains (the first photo).

The area is perfect for hiking or, how many people choose: horse-back riding (we didn’t ride horses and we don’t recommend it, because the horses seem to be underfed and sad).

I loved the views, the palm trees and  the mountains – beautiful and quiet.


romania_flagIn Vestul Cubei se afla frumoasa Valea Vinales si micul oras Vinales. In prima poza vedeti Mogotele, formatiuni muntoase turtite, reprezentative pentru Valea Vinales. Zona este superba pentru plimbari si excursii, intr-o liniste desavarsita. La mare cautare sunt traseele calare, dar noi nu am vrut sa facem asta, ne e mila de animale, multi dintre cai parand slabi si tristi.

Nu am mai vazut niciodata munti si palmieri in acelasi loc. Nu-i asa ca e frumos?

vinales mogotes

restaurant with view over the valley of vinales

vinales valley palmtrees

tobacco house vinales cubaTobacco farm / Ferma de tutun

horseback riding in vinales

vinales landscape

 

Vinales Town

united_kingdomNear Vinales Valley is the small town of Vinales.  All the houses here in Vinales have porches with rocking-chairs where you can sit and enjoy the street life.

Our Casa Particular had them too, and we sat in them during evenings to read or just observing the street life.


romania_flagLanga Valea Vinales se afla oraselul Vinales (e atat de mic, parca e sat)/ Aici toate casele au verande cu scaune balansoare. Si Casa Particular in care am petrecut cele 4 nopti avea balansoare pe veranda. Am stat in ele sa citim sau sa cascam gura la trecatorii de pe strada si la vecini.

In Cuba in general, mai ales aici in Vinales, toata lumea sta cu usile deschise la casa, toata lumea se cunoaste cu toata lumea, vecinii se viziteaza si exista un spirit de comunitate si prietenie. In lipsa internetului si mijloacelor “moderne” de comunicare, oamenii in Cuba chiar socializeaza. Oamenii de aici stau in usa, sau pe strada, si sunt foarte vorbareti, schimba doua vorbe cu toata lumea si sunt foarte veseli.

on the porch in vinales

porche house vinales

vinales center old car

town of vinales

vinales center church

The town center in Vinales / Centrul oraselului Vinales

church palmtree and moon

in vinales

square center vinales

hike in vinales valley (2)

vinales

sitting on porch

man and bulls in vinales

hike in vinales valley

in hammock with view of vinales valleyRestaurant with view over Vinales Valley/ Restaurant cu vedere asupra Vaii Vinales. V era in hamac

me and v with beautiful view

restaurant vinales valley

food in cuba rice black beans salad

view of vinales valley

banana tree flowerBanane

the valley of vinales

black cow in vinales valley

black bird cuba

brown cow in vinales cuba

palm tree vinales valley

man and old car in cuba

cart with bulls in vinales

vinales (2)

dog vinales

horse and carriage vinales

old car in vinales

vinales mogotte

vinales tobaccoTobacco / Tutun

 

Don’t miss the photos from HAVANA on this blog

See all posts from CUBA.

photocory facebook corina mitrescu

 

Playas del Este, Cuba

united_kingdomBeaches of the East in Havana, Cuba

At 18 km East of Havana you find this oasis of relaxation and fresh air. To Playas del Este you can go by bus, taken from Jose Marti park in center of Havana, and in 20 minutes you are there. The bus to Playas del Este is 5 CUC per person the whole day.

We had lunch and Mojito at the edge of the sea, the ocean was warm and the outside temperature maybe 25 degrees Celsius and windy. Super relaxing!


romania_flagPlajele de Est, langa Havana, Cuba

Desi picura si era vant, am vrut sa facem o pauza de oras ca sa respiram niste aer curat la mare. La plajele de est, aflate la 18 km in estul Havanei, se ajunge in 20 de min cu autobuzul pe care l-am luat din centru, pentru 5 CUC dus intors de persoana.

A fost foarte relaxant, oameni putini, am luat pranzul fix pe sezlong pe plaja (sunt chelneri de la diverse restaurante care vin cu meniul pe plaja si faci comanda) si am baut Mojito (Rom, lamaie, menta, gheata). Apa era foarte calda, iar afara sa fi fost vreo 25 de grade cu vant.

 

playas del este habana

playas del este habana

playas del este (2)

playas del este

playas del este havana cuba

palm trees playas del este

crab beach cuba

me at the beach

shell on beach in cuba

V on the beach

beach havana

blue atlantic ocean habana beach

couple on beach

cuba havana beach

DSC_7677-2

habana beach

palm tree blue sky

beach habana

palmtrees blue sky

straw umbrella beach habana

tropicoco beach havana

tropicoco havana beach

walking on beach in cuba

Havana, day 4

united_kingdomDuring the 4th day in Havana

  • we moved across the street in Casa Raquel (old style apartment, with really high ceilings).
  • Then we visited the Tobacco Factory
  • and later El Museo del Ron.
  • In the evening – sunset walk on Malecon.

romania_flagIn a patra zi in Havana

  • ne-am mutat vizavi in Casa Raquel. Casa Raquel e un apartament in stil mai vechi, cu tavanul foarte inalt.
  • Apoi am vizitat Fabrica de Trabucuri
  • si Muzeul Romului.
  • Iar seara – apusul pe Malecon.

casa raquel habana

united_kingdomWe walked for about 20 minutes to the Partagas Tobacco Factory, as taxis (even bici-taxis) were asking too much for such a short distance (5CUC). I was glad to walk, like this we saw and photographed things which we would have missed if we were in a taxi.


romania_flagAm luat-o incetisor pe jos spre fabrica de trabucuri Partagas, vreo 20 de minute de mers din centru. Taxiurile (chiar si bici-taxi) cereau enorm de mult pentru o distanta asa de mica (5 CUC = aprox. 5 Euro, fara loc de negociere). Si bine am facut ca am mers pe jos, astfel am avut ocazia sa vedem si sa fotografiem momente pe care din taxi le-am fi ratat.

balconies havana

green old car havana

santeria havana

on prado havana

in havana

on the streets of havana

havana cuba street

race car old in havana

havana park

dog balcony havana

simon bolivar street havana, slogan

swings for children havana

in havana, green car

old cars on prado

beautiful cars in havana

old blue car havana street

old cars havana

che guevara oldsmobile havana prado evening

books havana

old green car havana

united_kingdomPartagas Tobacco Factory in Habana

The entrance is 10 CUC per person. The tour was very interesting. We saw the workers rolling cigars. The guide explained the difference between cigars and what layers they contain.

The cigar: 

  • The filler – mixture of tobacco leaves that gives the flavor and combustion. The thicker the cigar, the milder and flavored it is. The thinner cigars are stronger and less flavored
  • The binder– to hold the cigar’s shape, doesn’t affect the taste.
  • The wrapper – the pretty tobacco leaves that cover the cigar

romania_flagFabrica de trabucuri Partagas

La fabrica de trabucuri (10 CUC de persoana) am vazut muncitorii ruland trabucuri, iar ghidul ne-a explicat diferenta dintre trabucuri si cum sunt facute din diverse foi de tutun.

Trabucul

  • Stratul interior (umplutura) – mix de foi de tutun pentru combustie si aroma. Cu cat e mai gros trabucul, cu atat e mai aromat si mai suav. Trabucurile subtiri sunt mai puternice si mai putin aromate.
  • Stratul de legaturafoile de tutun tin trabucul in forma lui, si nu afecteaza gustul.
  • Stratul de infasurare – cele mai frumoase foi de tutun dau aspectul exterior al trabucului

Din pacate nu ne-a lasat cu camera foto in fabrica, dar am reusit sa fac rapid doua poze cu telefonul:

tobacco factory havana

united_kingdomEl Museo del Ron

The Rum museum, short tour, 7 CUC/person. At the end we tasted Havana Club 7 years old, it tasted like caramel.


romania_flagMuzeul Romului Havana Club

Dupa asta am vizitat muzeul Romului. Tur scurt cu ghid, 7 CUC/persoana. La final am degustat Havana Club 7 ani, avea gust de caramel.

Trabucul si romul sunt reprezentative pentru Cuba, aici pamantul fiind propice pentru cultivarea tutunului din care se fac faimoasele havane si trestiei de zahar din care se face romul.

el ron de cuba havana club museo havana

museo del ron inside

havana club rum

havana museo del ron bar

havana museo del ronRum for 1700 CUC / O sticla cu rom de 1700 CUC (adica vreo 1700 de euro)

united_kingdomSunset on Malecon

The evenings on Malecon gather couples in love, groups of friends and music players. The atmosphere is very romantic.


romania_flagApus pe Malecon

Seara pe Malecon (faleza Havanei) se aduna cupluri, prieteni si cantareti. Atmosfera este frumoasa, romantica, parca rupta dintr-un film.

singers on malecon

waves malecon sunset

people on malecon havana

fort havana malecon

My other posts about CUBA

Havana, day 3

united_kingdomIt was Jose Marti national day, as we found out due to groups of pupils in uniforms marching and drumming on the streets in Havana. It reminded me of Romania in the 80’s communism when we were marching for Ceausescu’s delight on national days.

(Jose Marti is one of Cuba’s National Heroes. Read more about him on Wikipedia if you want, ’cause this blog is not about history, is about photos).


romania_flagIn a 3-a zi in Havana am aflat ca e ziua nationala Jose Marti (un erou national cubanez), pentru ca pe strazi  marsaluiau zeci de elevi in uniforme, in sunet de tobe. Mi-am adus aminte de anii ’80 din Romania, cand, copil fiind, participam la astfel de marsuri comuniste in centrul Targovistei, in plin soare si caldura.

jose marti national day cuba

drums jose marti day havana 2015

marching on jose marti day in cuba

pupils march jose marty day shoe laces students jose marti day cuba

viva cuba

 

united_kingdomTook taxi (17 CUC both ways) to Viazul bus station to buy tickets in advance to Vinales, where we will be going in a few days. We bought to Cienfuefos as well. The Line was moving very slow.

After that, we returned to center and walked on Obispo street – somewhat crowded (both Cubans and tourists). Very nice weather. Took a coconut from street vendor. Sat on a bench in a square. V is not feeling well, he is having some nausea, headache and muscle pain. We walked towards Piazza Vieja, had a strong Cuba Libre (’cause I asked the waiter to make it stronger) and a tuna sandwich. Cute waiter chico cubano.

Visited Museo de Naipes (playing cards Museum in Piazza Vieja). We wanted to go to Rum Museum but V wasn’t feeling well (high fever) so we went home instead.


romania_flagVremea e foarte frumoasa, cald si soare. Am cumparat o nuca de cocos de la un vanzator ambulant. Am cumparat si Churros, un aluat prajit, cu gust ca o gogoasa. Ne-am indreptat spre Plaza Vieja unde am baut un Cuba Libre (cola cu rom; doar eu am baut ca V nu se simtea prea bine, febra, greata). Chelnerul nostru foarte simpatic si dragut (poza), reprezentativ pentru mai toti barbatii cubanezi – freza perfecta si muschi.

 

sipping a coconut

fruit shop havanapeople balcony havana

eating churros

empty market place habanaMarket place – not many products, yet full of people / Piata – foarte putine produse, totusi f multi oameni

dressed dogs havana center

men with suit and hat havanadrinking cuba libre in havanaCuba Libre in Piazza Viejacico cubano cuban car havana havana caron bench jose marti parkJose Marti Parkjose marti park havanaJose Marti Park and Capitol in the back / Parcul Jose Marti si Captitolul in spate

My other posts with photos from Cuba:

 

Havana, day 2

united_kingdomIn our second day in Havana we took the T1 hop on-off bus bus for 5 euros per person all day. It was a bit cloudy and windy (especially on Malecon) but the ride was beautiful, as we saw the other parts of Havana – Vedado and Miramar, we passed by Plaza de la Revolucion and we admired Havana and its people from the roof of the bus.

We got down to visit Colón Cemetery, and open air museum with impressive marble statues.


romania_flagA doua zi in Havana

De dimineata am luat autobuzul turistic T1 hop on-hop off, adica te dai jos la ce statie vrei si il iei pe urmatorul dupa cat timp vrei, pentru 5 euro de persoana valabil toata ziua. Desi a fost cam innorat si vant (mai ales pe Malecon) turul a fost frumos, caci am vazut si alte parti ale Havanei – Vedado si Miramar, am trecut pe la Piata Revolutiei (cea cu urasele fete ale lui Che Guevara si Fidel pe cladiri), si am admirat Havana si oamenii sai de la inaltime (am stat in partea de sus, deschisa, a autobuzului).

Am coborat sa vizitam cimitirul Colón Cristóbal, care este nespus de frumos, cu monumente sculpturi din marmura, ca un muzeu in aer liber. Am sa dedic o postare separata cimitirului, pentru ca am multe poze frumoase sa va arat.

hop on off bus havanaThe Hop on-off T1 bus in Havana / Autobuzul turistic in Havana

malecon cars buildings

havana tall buildings

waves maleconBig waves on Malecon / Valuri mari pe Malecon

che guevara plaza revolucionChe Guevara in Plaza de la Revolucion

yellow bus habana

paiting a wall

autobus in havanaLocal bus / Autobuz pentru localnici

street in habanaTraffic lights in Havana – horizontal with timing / Semafoarele in Havana sunt orizontale si cu timp

old cars havanaOld cars in front of Colón Cemetery / Masini vechi in fata cimitirului Colón

Colón cemetery habanaSuperb tombstones in Colón Cemetery in Havana / Superbe statui funerare in cimitirul Colón din Havana

market line cubaLine at market…brings back memories from the Romanian Communism / Coada la piata…amintiri din comunismul romanesc

cuban people

street life cuba

old man in havana

cleaning windows hotel

street three lane cuba havanaLook the pollution coming from the blue car / Vedeti poluarea lasata de masina albastra?

houses in vedado

bus station habana

dental faculty havanaDental Faculty / Universitatea de Stomatologie

coco taxis on maleconCoco Taxis on Malecon / Coco Taxi (cele galbene) pe Malecon

malecon waves habanaWaves on Malecon / Valuri pe Malecon

vedado habanaVedado, the fancy neihbourhood in Havana / Vedado, un cartier mai fitos in Havana

t1 bus havana

 

united_kingdomAfter finishing the bus tour, we walked slowly from Malecon to the Habana Vieja: souvenirs, Plaza de la Catedral, then lunch in a green square with a fountain and singers. After that we climbed the San Francisco tower for a killer view over Havana. After all this we went to Plaza Vieja where had an awful and expensive Daiquiri and Mojito, but with lovely view. Good memories! 🙂


romania_flagDupa ce am terminat turul cu autobuzul am luat-o pe jos de pe Malecon pana in Havana Veche (Habana Vieja): suveniruri, Plaza de la Catedral, apoi pranzul intr-un scuar cu o fantana si cantareti, dupa care am urcat in turnul catedralei San Francisco aflat in Plaza cu acelasi nume – vedera panoramica asupra Havanei e superba! Dupa toate astea am baut in Plaza Vieja (plaza Veche) ce consider ca e cel mai scump si nasol Daquiri si Mojito facut vreodata, dar a compensat cu o vedere minunata din balcon.

 

in plaza de la catedral habanaPlaza de la Catedral

lunch in havanaLunch with singers on the bench far left  / Pranz in aer liber si cantareti pe banca (in stanga pozei)

tower san francisco de asisIn San Francisco Tower / in turnul din Plaza San Francisco

san francisco squareViews from San Francisco tower / Vederi din turnul San Francisco

in san francisco tower

havana view from tower

plaza de la catedral dogDog in Plaza de la Catedral / Catel vagabond in Havana

havana homeless dogHavana old center/ Centrul Vechi in Havana

drum player havanaMusic everywhere! / Muzica peste tot

slogan cubaSlogans everywhere! (“study, work, rifle”) / Sloganuri peste tot (“Studiu, munca, arme”)

view from balcony plaza vieja havana

With the worst Daiquiri possible but still happy for the great view of Plaza Vieja. / Daiquiri din mana mea poate castiga usor titlul de cel mai prost cocktail facut vreodata, dar locatia frumoasa in balcon in Plaza Vieja compenseaza!

plaza vieja balcony

me with an old car in havana

My other posts with photos from Cuba:

Havana, day 1

united_kingdomAfter an awesome breakfast at our Casa Particular, we walked towards the Capitol. We enjoyed the old cars, staying on the bench on Prado, looking at people. The pollution is intense, the old cars leave clouds of gas behind them.


romania_flagDupa un mic dejun copios am luat-o pe jos spre Capitolium (replica celui din Washington). Am admirat masinile vechi, am stat pe o banca si ne-am uitat la trecatori pe Prado (bulevardul ce leaga Capitoliul de Malecon). Poluarea este intensa, masinile vechi lasa nori de gaz in urma lor.

old cars habana cuba

 

Lion on Prado

havana streets

dog havana

repairing old car in havana

old cars in havana

havana old cars

on prado

havana building black man

waiting in line for bus in havana

havana

capitol habana

cuba people

in havana

united_kingdomWe are taking a break in Plaza Vieja, absorbing the sun and the atmosphere. The music sound is coming from restaurants. The real cuban experience! Vlado is taking photo of me while I am writing this (on my little notebook). There are some tourists, but not so many to ruin the authentic cuban feeling. Cuban people seem to hang out on the streets – I am not sure what they are doing. They just stay, talk, walk.

Our attitude towards sightseeing is pure leisure. We are taking it easy. Maybe to easy. We don’t really care to mark the checkbox for every sight in the guidebooks. Instead, we walk, observe, enjoy.


romania_flagAm ajuns in Plaza Vieja unde luam o pauza, absorbim soarele si atmosfera. Se aude muzica de la restaurante – ah, muzica, adevarata experienta cubana. Vlado imi face poze in timp ce scriu asta (in carnetel). Sunt ceva turisti, dar nu atat de multi incat sa strice senzatia ca te afli in Cuba. De fapt asta mi-a placut foarte mult, ca sunt mai multi localnici decat turisti. Cubanezii stau pur si simplu pe strazi, la geamuri sau in usa. Nu stiu care e treaba lor, probabil ca nu au nimic de facut.

Atitudinea noastra de vizitat orasul e o relaxare totala. Nu incercam sa bifam toate obiectivele turistice din ghiduri, ci din contra, ne plimbam si observam viata strazii.

 

when in cuba

boys playing baseball on the streets of havana

cuban man stitting on balcony

in plaza vieja

people in havana

playing with chihuahua

plaza vieja habana

plaza vieja in habana

united_kingdomWe finished the walk on Malecon, which is more beautiful than I imagined.


romania_flagAm terminat ziua cu o plimbare pe Malecon, faleza Havanei.

havana malecon at sunset

havana boats and fort

malecon havana

 

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.