Cuba - It iiiis possible to travel back in time!

It is like in a movie or in a big organized event. Watching these old cars driving around the old buildings of Havanna feels totally unreal. They don't have money, they have super slow internet, but, they have coolest cars to drive around.

Having a two-week itinerary in Cuba and after visiting Havana, I will go to the harbor Jucaro, where the taxi boat brings me on a three hour trip into the Caribbean ocean onto the liveaboard "Tortuga" in the Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen). There I will spend one week doing scuba diving and after this, I will visit Ciego de Avila, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and then fly back home.

With Tortuga in the Jardines de la Reina

This post contains Cuba mainland

As scuba diving in Cuba in the Jardines de la Reina was perfect for making photos with Sharks, Whalesharks and, yes, Crocodiles, I made a separate post for the diving in Cuba.

Report about diving with the crocodiles:
How is it to dive with saltwater crocodiles?

Report about the whole week of diving in Cuba is located here:
Diving in Cuba on the liveaboard "Tortuga"

November 16 - Havana, with Cohiba and Rum

Long flight during the day to Havana yesterday. Didn't want to sleep on the plane so that I can sleep in the evening when arriving in Havana. The immigration itself was easy, as I skipped the line with a few dozen people and so only had to wait 2 minutes :D. But this didn't help me saving time, cause the baggage claim was a real disaster. The baggage was delivered on two different belts and all the passengers from two big international planes had to run from belt 1 to belt 2 and vice versa, to find the luggage. With a few hundred passengers standing there and waiting for searching for the luggage for two hours, it was a nice "hello" message from Cuba :). After this it was time to find some currency exchange and already the second funny thing I found here - they have a three Peso note. Does any other country has something like this?

Three peso note from Cuba

Walked around Havana. From the Malecon to the Old Havanna and up and down through all the streets, which all together were just fantastic to make a photo. Especially with all the old cars. I thought these old cars were just for show and mainly to attract tourists, but I was completely wrong in this thinking. Most of the cars were this old and newer ones were still seldom to find. Only knew these old cars from events or shows, and it was great to watch and hear those driving around, with open windows where drivers their arms the cool way on the open window. Cubans maybe belong to the poorest people, but hey, they own the coolest cars and best cigars on the planet :).

Cuba - Fascinating to watch these old cars driving around everywhere. Walked along the Malecon, which a long stretch all along the waterfront. Its nice to walk there, looking on all those nice cars.
Fascinating to watch these old cars driving around everywhere. Walked along the Malecon, which a long stretch all along the waterfront. It's nice to walk there, looking on all those nice cars.

View onto the whole Malecon.
View onto the whole Malecon.

Castillo de los tres Reyes del Morro. No idea what exactly the history of it is, but it looks nice.

First time I saw a horse taxi along the other normal ancient taxis, I thought it might be a special occurrence. But a few minutes later I noticed that also this kind of transportation is the norm all over Cuba.

Old Cars havana

Export old car from Havana

El Capitolio in Havana

November 17 - Vedado and the Revolution Plaza

Had breakfast in a panaderia, where I found some of the best croissants I've ever eaten - what a surprise. Spent a little too much time there, but I probably had still some kind of jetlag and needed two cafes con leche to get back on the foot.

The University of Havana. Its old and it also looks like that. But its a nice building. 
University Havana

Havana Baseball Stadium:
Havana Baseball Stadium

Continued the walking session in Havana and this time the other direction, direction South towards the Revolution Plaza. On that place, there are two big buildings, one with a big face of Che fixed on it and the other one with Fidel. Thankfully the weather wasn't too hot and so the long walk there was a pleasure, especially along the street with all the old cars and trucks everywhere.

Revolution Plaza. There we go - Che on the left, Fidel on the right.

Revolution Plaza. There we go - Che on the left, Fidel on the right.

2018 Jose-Martin Memorial

Its easier to get a bottle of rum than water

All the way down here to the plaza was a long and time-consuming way. The weather wasn't thaat hot but it made thirsty anyway in this humid area. However buying water wasn't so easy along this road, as there are no drive-through-restaurants :). Even the big bus station didn't have water. There were about seven shops in the bus station, with alcohol shop, a bakery, a laundry and so on, but none of them sold drinking water.

Also, advertising is basically inexistent in Cuba and so there was no sign anywhere that somewhere might be a supermarket.

Finally, I found a small shop with water and it was located right under this tower-building on the other side of the Revolution Plaza, which is called the Jose-Martin Memorial.

Now, it was time to walk back to Havana center.

Havana Club Factory

Marabana en Habana

Again, another photo of the beauiful El Capitolio in Cuba

18.11-25.11.2017 Diving in Jardines de la Reina on "Tortuga"

Had a break from mainland Cuba and went on the Liveaboard Tortuga, which is located about 3.5 hours by boat from the mainland. Spend one week there. Report of Diving in Cuba with 3 main reasons to must go scuba diving in Cuba

November 25 - Vamos a Ciego de Avila

After this amazing week of diving, I didn't just want to go back to Havana as it is a 5-hour ride from harbor Jucaro. So this morning after the three-hour taxi-boat from the liveaboard, I came here to Ciego de Avila to continue visiting the mainland of Cuba. Ciego de Avila seemed a good choice for just doing nothing but walking around a bit the old squares and drink coffee all day long :).

November 27 - Trinidad. Let's ride the time machine to time travel

After a quiet day in Ciego de Avila, I took the first bus at 4:30am direction, Trinidad. I didn't expect that it will be a much bigger difference between Trinidad and Havana or Ciego de Avila, but I was completely wrong. Trinidad is much different as nearly all the streets in the center are made of cobblestones. Therefore not so many horse taxis around and I was glad having driven such horse taxis in Ciego de Avila already :)

The only bakery I found that still had bread for sale on this Sunday morning. Thankfully the selection wasn't difficult as there was anyway just one kind of bread available, as any other day too. And it was the famous bread of Cuba, which probably is only famous in Cuba. Freshly baked bread, fresh from the oven. However, that's the best part of the bread. One bite from this good smelling bread and it cracked into hundreds of crisps with a sound it made like eating a two-week old bread :). While dipping it in coffee before, it was OK to eat anyway.
The only bakery I found that still had bread for sale on this Sunday. 

November 29 - Cienfuegos is like a tiny Havana (and quiet one)

Came here yesterday morning with the bus and the owner of the apartment was already waiting with a paper and my name on it at the bus station in Cienfuegos. Incredible how well organized and easy this accommodation network is in Cuba. I organized it from the other place I was before, while I simply asked the owner if they know some apartment owner in the destination place. They made a few phone calls and the accommodation was organized.

Cienfuegos itself was more modernized in comparison to Trinidad. It feels a little bit like a small Havana, it's much busier. For breakfast, I didn't try again this Cuban bread but instead, I noticed that many people here eat bread with ham and I figured out that this is indeed one of the most common snacks in Cuba. Bread with a slice of ham - sometimes grilled, sometimes freshly cut from a big piece of ham and sometimes just ham from a package. Liked most the freshly cut ham and every time I saw a new corner where they sell bread with freshly cut ham, I couldn't resist :). Walked around all day and also all along the Cienfuegos waterfront which is about 2km and one long stretch of a road.

November 30 - Back to Havana and back to the future

Came back Havana yesterday afternoon and am now slowly preparing for going back home.

Finding accommodation was easy as nothing with the same process as doing before. Asking the previous owner if they know someone in the destination who has an apartment. Just giving the approximate location where I want to have the accommodation and they knew immediately which owners they can make a call to.

Back in Havana, I did roam around again, sometimes to the same places I have been before at the beginning of the trip, cause visiting some places twice is nice too, especially when they are so unique as sometimes here in Havana.

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