Day Trip into Havana....

Varadero Travel Blog

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The beautiful Habanero woman leaving lipstick on my cheek...
It was a late night but no time to rest as the day begins with a 2 hour long ride into Havana. Up by 6:30 to get some breakfast before we leave. Wow I could really use an early morning pick me up, maybe a RedBull. No worries though the excitement of traveling into this beautiful old city has me awake and energized.

Breakfast finished and the 7 of us head out to the front of the building to meet our guide for the day. She is a very nice young girl and speaks English very well. Our driver not so much but is very friendly and full of smiles. We exchange names and hop into the bus and prepare for the long road into the city. As we are driving all we get a great look at the beautiful countryside, see people riding their bikes and waiting for a bus or a ride to come along.
Revolution Square and the silhouette of Che.
As we drive along our beautiful guide, and her name I have forgotten now, begins to share some interesting facts about her homeland. One of the first things that she shares with us is that Cuba is actually a Socialist country not a Communist as much of the world as long believed. Socialism is a form of government that is not Capitalism nor is it Communism but it lies somewhere in between the two. She continues on, all health care there is free, if they require a surgery or a pill they are given what they need. They also are not required to pay for their education. There are rules with the education system though as the government will only approve so many students to enroll in certain programs based on the requirements needed by the country. The government controls the distribution of beef, so Cuban citizens are allowed to own a cow for their milk but face a prison sentence if they are caught killing the animal for the meat.
Che Guevera
In Cuba there are no real estate agents as each civilian is only allowed to own one home. If they want to move to another city they have a few options available to them. They can give their current house to a family member that does not currently own a home or they can find someone in the town that they want to move to and exchange houses with them. Many different laws and customs that what we in North America have a very interesting culture.

Finally make it into the capital of Cuba, what beauty. We exit the small bus into this little plaza and do not make it more than 10 steps before being jumped on. Females dressed in traditional Caribbean attire come right at the men. They grab your camera and as one prepares to take your picture two of these exquisitely dressed females appear, one on each cheek for the picture.
Our friendly tour guide.
They leave big red lipstick marks on your face and then ask you for money for having your picture taken. I gave them 10 pesos and we went on our way. When we entered the Plaza de la Catedral I saw men everywhere with lipstick on cheek. Yes the trick leave the lipstick on and you are left alone. The Plaza is overlooked by the Havana Cathedral, which is said to have held Christopher Columbus' remains from the late 1700's to the late 1800's before being returned to Spain.

As we strolled around the city I noticed the peace and happiness that Habaneros were filled with. They love their city and everything that it represents. Very alluring old world architecture as I gazed down streets, remarkable old cars that for the better part are keep in good running condition.
My brother and I at a little road side restaurant.
The senses are aroused with the feeling of stepping back in time, falling into a a city consumed with love and fulfilled with enjoyment in daily life.

I had become very interested in the Cuban Revolution and read a little about it before the trip and became enthralled with Che Guevera. What a figure this man is in this country even now some 40 years after his murder. As we walked into Revolution Square, the famous landmark where Fidel made many of his famous speeches, you could feel the energy and excitement that engulfed the entire area and thousands of people there to listen to their leader. On a building at the back of the square there is a huge silhouette of Che, just another sign of the great meaning this one individual has to the people of this island nation.
The Havana Cathedral overlooking the Plaza


I asked our guide if she would be able to show us where Fidel lives and her response was, "No one knows where he lives." Obviously there are many people out there that do not approve of Castro and his last 40 years of rule. There many other highlights of this majestic city, such as the capitol building which has a striking resemblance to that of the Washignton DC building. Another highlight for me was making our way to Parque Lennon. A statue of the famous Beatle sits on a bench, as you walk up and sit down on the bench beside him an eldery Habanero gentlemen approaches and inserts a real pair of glasses into slot beside the eyes of the statue. Very intriguing experience learning about the interest that he had in Cuba as did many famous artists looking for a beautiful tranquil location to think and Imagine.

Our tour has come to an end and it is time for the long ride back to our resort. The length of the day has caught up with me and I get a very pleasant nap in on the ride home, but not before watching another of those beautiful Cuban sunsets.
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The beautiful Habanero woman leavi…
The beautiful Habanero woman leav…
Revolution Square and the silhouet…
Revolution Square and the silhoue…
Che Guevera
Che Guevera
Our friendly tour guide.
Our friendly tour guide.
My brother and I at a little road …
My brother and I at a little road…
The Havana Cathedral overlooking t…
The Havana Cathedral overlooking …
The main street in front of the Ca…
The main street in front of the C…
Revolution Square where Castro mad…
Revolution Square where Castro ma…
Having a good talk with John Lenno…
Having a good talk with John Lenn…
The sunset just before my nap.
The sunset just before my nap.
Varadero
photo by: BarboraK