In an attempt to try and be a better blogger I am going to skip posts that I have still missed from last year and dive right in with my trip to Cuba which I just returned from last week! I think we can call that progress. I also have grand plans to add some more structure to this blog so keep your eyes peeled for that too!

Anyway- Havana !!! We stayed in a Casa Particular for our three nights, with a lovely lady called Yusi. We booked through Homestay so certainly check it out ! Yusi was really helpful and even found us another Casa for our return to Havana when her place was full. All this with limited English and our terrible Spanish- don't you just love friendly people.

Our Casa was in Old Havana which meant we could just walk everywhere and that is what we did! We hit up the main squares, the Capitol building, the Museum de Revolution, and even took a salsa class!

The salsa class was positively hilarious, we opted for shots of rum to help with the nerves which most certainly worked! Now I can safely say we weren't naturals, but I do now know the main steps- counts of 8 and pause on 4 and 8- easy eh!!!

Sadly for us the Captiol building was closed for tours as it is going through renovations, this did seem to set off a trend as lots of things we opted for were closed, had moved or weren't as they seemed. Throw in the fact wifi is pretty much non existent it made it hard to check up on things like you usually would. We relied heavily on Lonely Planet for suggestions which was bang on, for the most part.

The Museum of the Revolution, for me was a huge disappointment!! I'm not a huge museum person anyway if we are being honest, but this came with such rave reviews. Whilst the building was impressive the displays were not, and with a fee of 8CUC to enter it did feel a bit of a waste.

We also walked along the Malecon, and took a tour in a classic car (saving that for another post!). We drank lots of mojitos and enjoyed the live music in La Floridita. Sadly the expectation I had of salsa dancing the night away in lively bars just didn't happen. Maybe we weren't looking in the right place,  but what I imagined wasn't the reality. The "tourist" bars were fine but drinks were triple the price and it was just full of tourists which I kinda like to avoid, or at least have a better ratio of tourists to locals! People did offer to take us to a salsa bar, but we were a little nervous to just jump in a taxi with a stranger and no clue of the destination. Maybe we should have been braver, but this time we stayed sensible.

People were certainly friendly, if a little too much at time. Myself and my friend are both 20 something blondes and we did stand out. There were lots of "your beautiful" "you want boyfriend?", people stopping to stare and someone genuinely shouted "white you're so white" at me, now I am well aware of my lack of tanning ability thanks. Things like this don't usually bother either of us, and you are probably thinking it is a compliment, but my god it was relentless. We had no make up on, hair tied up and were hot and sticky- certainly not worthy of the attention. People were also really curious as to where we were from, and if we did talk to people that shouted at us that was their first question. Honestly I think they do just want to welcome tourists but a more laid back approach would have been more gratefully received. One thing which was interesting is that my friend is American and as soon as she said that they were like oooo we like the people, just not the government.

For me Havana was a mixed bag, it really didn't live up to what I had pictured, and it was generally just a little difficult which I don't usually say about a place. Don't get me wrong the colourful buildings are pretty as are the classic cars, but that is only part of the city. There is an awful lot of buildings falling down and in some places just a lack of road surface. If tourism does "boom" here I don't think the infrastructure in place is sufficient. Only time will tell !!

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.