Havana and homewards

Havana Travel Blog

 › entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
That's the way to travel!

By taxi back to Havana, a more interesting journey avoiding the autopista and along the north coast, badly affected by the summer hurricanes. Lots of houses were still under repair.

Candida is away at her daughter's in Germany. A new casa 100 yards away was found and we booked in at Milagro's. It's a large flat, up steep marble stairs, in a 19th century colonial building, with huge high rooms, double doors and a chandelier in the bedroom, all with a faded elegance. But senora has recently travelled in Europe, found London horrendously expensive and "preferred the socialist system." Again her "help" arrived in the morning to clear up breakfast, and clean and tidy.

We decided to catch the hop on/off tourist bus but after 90 minutes wait in glorious sunshine as the queue ebbed and flowed, we guessed it was off today.

Students on the march
We walked idly along the Malecon instead. We whiled away time on the terrace of the Hotel Nacional, forcing down a pina colada and a ron collins, and a sandwich lunch. We then hired a 1950s convertible open Ford, pink and white, to take us back to town. Silly but great! Calling at the tourist office, Hil discovered that the tour bus wasn't running because of a major youth procession commemorating the 8 medical students shot by the Spanish in 1871. So we went to watch. The crowd stood to attention as the national anthem played over the sound system. 7 goose stepping USSR style uniformed youngsters led a huge parade of 1000s, with their flags, banners and revolutionary placards. The loudspeaker extolled the country, the leadership of Fidel and Raul, the Party and 50 years of Revolucion.
Up the Revolucion!
It's easy to forget that Cuba is still a communist country. Here was evidence, but as the youngsters passed they were clearly having a great day out too.

So our last few days in Cuba. Friday out to the palm fringed beaches of Playa del Este to top up the tans and to see the all-inclusive tourists from Hotel Atlantico with their bracelets giving access to the hotel restaurant, the free drinks, the pool, while we looked over the fence, and ate our biscuits! Saturday, the hop on/hop off was working, so we toured through upmarket Vedado and Miramar, with some buildings that wouldn't be out of place in central New York, and others on Miami Beach. But maybe a bit more dilapidated. We reached the Marie-Celeste like Marina Hemingway, and so hopped straight back on the bus to go and have a last look at Havana Centro with its bustling crowds, life and crumbling buildings.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Thats the way to travel!
That's the way to travel!
Students on the march
Students on the march
Up the Revolucion!
Up the Revolucion!
Up with Fidel and Raul!
Up with Fidel and Raul!
Playa del Este
Playa del Este
Havana - Chinatown!
Havana - Chinatown!
Over Havana Viejo towards Centro
Over Havana Viejo towards Centro
Havana
photo by: mario26