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.