Our (wo)man in Havana
Havana Travel Blog› entry 1 of 8 › view all entries
My trip to didn't exactly have the best of starts; after the bus driver almost not letting me get on the bus to Heathrow from my hotel, both my flights were delayed and the crowning pinnacle was to come at the airport in Havana when I dropped [and temporarily lost] my passport and the ATM wouldn't let get any cash out. Luckily I had some Euros left that I managed to exchange and get me sufficient funds to get to the hotel to meet my friend Amanda, who had flown out a few days before me. After almost 2 hours in the airport going to every Lost & Found office I had to admit defeat and head to the hotel. My luck was in the next day however when I returned to the airport to discover my passport had been handed in minus my Tourist Visa; an issue which would continue to nag at me until my departure.
Losing my passport was probably the most stressful experience I've had whilst travelling and one which I would prefer never to repeat, words of caution to fellow travellers always know where your passport is an keep a copy!
The yin and yang of good luck-bad luck was to also reoccur throughout our trip.
We then spent a few days in Havana after I arrived so I could check out the monument to Che Guevara in the Plaza de Revolucion [I have since learned that every town has one of these], visited a cigar factory and checked out the old part of town [Habana Vieja]. The visit to the cigar factory was really interesting, you got to see the actual working conditions and as a nice Socialist touch the workers are read to over a PA system; a newspaper in the morning and a novel in the afternoon, I wish that would happen at my office!
The buildings and streets of Havana are really fascinating and I loved all of the old American cars you see driving around.
All of the people we encountered were so warm and friendly and people just want to come up to you and practice their English, even the chat-up attempts from men, young and old alike, are non-threatening and generally more amusing than offensive.