How to get out the door Cuban style

Havana Travel Blog

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Trying to open the door

The morning after you arrive to a new country after a long flight is always a bit of a challenge. It can be a bit hard getting out of bed early in the morning. I sort of had this problem once again here in Havana. The concept of sleeping in this morning seemed quite attractive. But finally I manage to get out of bed and get ready to go out the door.

Usually when I finally decide it is time to leave a hotel room and go out to explore I actually tend to get out the door fairly quickly. But this is not the case in Cuba. We get out the door from the apartment all right and walk down the stairs to the door leading out to the world outside. The door is locked but I got a key which should open it – so basically it’s a piece of cake and we are ready to go out and explore the amazing city of Havana.

The lock finally dismanteled

But cake in Cuba isn’t something you find easily. And the piece which could open the door is a bit off. The door is locked and the key won’t open the door. We ask a random man living down at the ground floor if he can help opening the door. He is very helpful tries to open the door – unsuccessfully. He calls a neighbour to try and open the door from the outside – once again without any success. I go up stairs to the apartment and get somebody to go down and help me open the door – once again there is no success in the attempt. By now we got a good handful of people standing around taking turns opening the door – and nobody is successful. Hence we may end up spending our entire holiday in Cuba locked inside this casa. Fortunately they are remodelling one of the rooms at the casa so there are a handyman present – and after everybody has given up in opening the door using the key he is called in.

Local transport
After a few tries he manage to dismantle the lock and remove it completely so we can finally get outside and explore the town.

We don’t get more than a few meters away from the front door before some “friendly” locals decide they want to take us out for a quick tour of the neighbourhood – free of charge off course since it is only some other hustlers who will charge us they assure us. We walk a bit away from the casa and get to go to some sort of artist area where the walls are painted with different paintings and a few people are present making paintings. Of course this free tour involve several stops where you can buy the different necessities you can’t be without when it comes to art and souvenirs. Since it is the first day of the trip and we have to carry whatever we buy for 3 weeks around Cuba none of us are in the market to buy stuff – much to the frustrations of our volunteer guides.

Old cars - running forever
After a bit we leave the area and move on to go towards the centre. And which state our volunteer free guides suggest a bit of a tip – no hustlers here for sure. After leaving no tip they go away with a bit of a disappointed attitude and we head for lunch down at the coast road.

Walking along the road gives a great impression of one of the most famous features of Cuba. The old 1950ies American cars. Yes they do still run on the streets all over Cuba – and they are no tourist attraction but a necessesary part of daily life on Cuba. The houses in the area are even older than the cars and there are a bit of a variety between them. Some of the houses are amazingly well kept while others look more like a ruin. But the contrast is just some of the charm of old Havana.

Artist area

We get to a square in what is the outskirts of old Havana and starts to walk along the different squares. We continue walking until a sudden shower makes the prospect of walking any further without an umbrella seems very unattractive. Instead we go for refuge at a hotel on a square. It’s a pretty big hotel so we decide to go for a late afternoon cake – after all a big hotel in a major city naturally offers cake. Not so in Cuba. Getting a chocolate cake in Havana and anywhere in Cuba shall prove mighty difficult. So instead it is time to go for the natural substitute of chocolate cake – mojito’s.

pools_spa says:
Great blog, we are going to Havana next April. Do the hotels offer non smoking rooms? Do people smoke in the restaurants?
Posted on: May 11, 2015
zee333 says:
nice bloge :)
Posted on: Feb 16, 2014
sylviandavid says:
Congratulations on your featured blog.... Love the car pictures...
Posted on: Sep 30, 2012
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Trying to open the door
Trying to open the door
The lock finally dismanteled
The lock finally dismanteled
Local transport
Local transport
Old cars - running forever
Old cars - running forever
Artist area
Artist area
Yunni with our volunteer guides
Yunni with our "volunteer" guides
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Local artist
Local artist
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Street arts
Old houses at the ocean road
Old houses at the ocean road
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
General statue
General statue
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Old fortress in Havana
Usual murals of the revolutionary …
Usual murals of the revolutionary…
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
National capitol
National capitol
National capitol
National capitol
National capitol
National capitol
National capitol
National capitol
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photo by: mario26