Showing posts with label Havana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Havana. Show all posts

Hola Cuba! Day 8: Havana last look

On our eight and last day in Cuba Luxy, Ciara, and I took one last look at Havana. We had spent two days in the capital exploring Old Havana by foot, and toured Miramar, The Revolution Plaza, and The Malecón seafront in a 1950s classic car. Our first proper day in Havana was a Sunday and it so happened that our last chapter in Cuba would too close on a Sunday. But what a beautiful day to bid farewell to Cuba too! There is nothing so colourful, chaotic, and cacophonous as Havana on a Sunday. 

June 17, 2014

Hola Cuba! Day 8: Havana last look

On our eight and last day in Cuba  Luxy , Ciara, and I took one last look at Havana. We had spent  two days in the capital exploring Old H...

Hola Cuba! Day 7: Fábrica de Arte Cubano

The sixth instalment of my (shamefully backlogged) Cuba blog posts. Cuba was over, like, two weeks ago.

On our seventh day in Cuba, Luxy, Ciara, and I bid goodbye to the paradise that is Cayo Largo Del Sur and flew back to Havana in the evening. Our plan of attack was to have a proper night out as our Cuban trip so far was less 'gals on tour' and more 'family friendly'. Even the old people staying in Sol Cayo Lago were partying harder than us, they were thumping away to the beats of...I don't know, disco bingo? while we lay in our beds at midnight wondering if we had put on enough organic anti-mosquito body cream. 

We had some serious catching up to do, and what better an opportunity than a Saturday night in Havana? A gorgeous Cuban local we met, who we shall just call Alejandro (don't call mah name, don't call mah name, Ale-ale-ale-jandro! I'm notcha babe I'm notcha babe) valiantly volunteered himself as our guide to the real Havana and not the tourist traps (Buena Vista Social Club? Casa de la Musica? Ptuiii! *spits in your chips*). 

Enter Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the only place to be seen in Havana on a Saturday night. Or Friday night. Or better still Thursday night. Saturday is when all the 'kids' (anyone under the age of 23. I'm old) show up to poster and peacock.

Interestingly, on the one night I intended to disengage from any real 'learning' ie. take a break from historical outings and instead get trollied on £1 mojitos was the night I learnt the most I ever did about 'the real Cuba'. That night we spoke to many Cubans mostly our age who were wealthier or from more well to do families, which was the only way one could afford to frequent Fábrica de Arte Cubano. From speaking to these locals we learnt the truth about the class system, the government, how (sadly) affluence go hand in hand with being well-informed and educated about 'the outside world', and the dissonance among those who believe that a socialist, communist paradise is nothing but a fallacy. It just doesn't work. The only other place where this is more apparent is China, ironically the consumer capital of the world.


But first, an introduction to Fábrica de Arte Cubano, or Cuban Art Factory in English. 
June 11, 2014

Hola Cuba! Day 7: Fábrica de Arte Cubano

The sixth instalment of my (shamefully backlogged) Cuba blog posts. Cuba was over, like, two weeks ago. On our seventh day in Cuba, Lu...

Hola Cuba! Day 2: Havana good time

Exhausted by the pavement pounding from our first night in Cuba and also the excitement of Sunday, on Day 2 (Monday) Luxy, Ciara, and I gave our sandal-clad (espadrilles for me) feet a break. 

May 29, 2014

Hola Cuba! Day 2: Havana good time

Exhausted by the pavement pounding from our first night in Cuba and also the excitement of Sunday, on Day 2 (Monday) Luxy , Ciara, and I g...

Hola Cuba! Day 1: Havana Laugh

This is going to be a long blog post (I counted over a hundred photos) so you might want to pour yourself a drink. Make it a mojito. Havana Club rum, naturally. And fire up a Cohiba while you're at it.

A couple of Saturdays ago our long awaited trip to Cuba kicked off. Luxy, Ciara, and I spent two nights in Havana of sightseeing, then flying down to Cayo Largo Del Sur for six days and finally retuning to Havana for another night. This trip has been a long time in the making and would not have been possible without Luxy's amazing micromanaging skills (she even made a Powerpoint presentation), so muchos gracias Catarina (her new Spanish name for when we were in Cuba. Mine was Jazmín)!

All I knew about Cuba before this trip was that it is a 'socialist paradise' and practically inaccessible to most Americans. What I didn't know was that this was thanks to the embargo which also meant that internet is more or less non-existent. And here I was asking innocently 'Do they have Uber in Cuba?' Are you Havana laugh? But in all seriousness, can Cuba make 3G more widely available? Then they can start a taxi app called Cuber. *waits for applause. Gets none. Awkward*

So I flew to Paris with the girls before enduring a ten hour flight (Air France, economy class. An ordeal) to Havana to see for myself the charming communist country steeped in a history of revolution, and home to the best cigars and rum in the world. And also the catalyst for all the Che Guevara tees that years ago were so popular with clueless bros who have no idea who he is. I like it when the Cubans wear Che tees because he is their hero, but I wouldn't, because...well wouldn't it be a bit odd for my London friends to wear tees with Tunku Abdul Rahman's face on them? Who's Tunku Abdul Rahman you ask? Exactly my point.

We checked into our charming B&B, Casa Cristo Colonial (more on that in the next post), a short walking distance from Old Havana on Saturday night, and devoted our Sunday to exploring the city.


I posted this photo on Instagram, mistaking this dude for Carlos Manuel de Céspedes aka the Abraham Lincoln of Cuba who with his grito de Yara (war cry from Yara) freed his slaves, called for the abolition of slavery, and called upon his fellow Cubans to rebel against Spanish rule. I was wrong, apparently this is Jose Martin. Oops. Anyway, good man.
May 28, 2014

Hola Cuba! Day 1: Havana Laugh

This is going to be a long blog post (I counted over a hundred photos) so you might want to pour yourself a drink. Make it a mojito. Hav...