HAVANA - A JOURNEY INTO THE PAST

We're still staying on Cuba, to be more precisely: in Havana.

Havana is like traveling through time. Things are different here, not only on the outside but also humankind itself. People are open minded and curious and me and my best friend got welcomed with open arms.

The city itself is rich in contrast but also a shocking mixture of decay – eight houses are collapsing in Havana every day on an average – and splendid architecture of old times. Stucco, colors, buildings built with a love for the detail, but also wiring, hanging into puddles of water with people walking through, unsuspecting. Old-timers, some of them are in miraculously good condition but some are also held together only by duct tape. One of the cars, I've seen, had it's side mirror mounted with a stick and a rope.


There is no internet connection available on every corner.

We had WIFI at our hotel. We had to buy a card for 4,00 CUC (4,00 USD / 3,00 EUR), that's the Peso Cubano Convertible, the currency your getting on Cuba as a tourist (there is no getting at the currency for the locals, the CUP, as a tourist), and then we had two hours of internet access. Doesn't mean you're actually able to get online. You're using a access code and a password to log in and then the clock starts ticking down. You can also log off and use the rest of your time later but the internet connection on Cuba is pretty bad. There are always lots of people where WIFI is available, because the locals are also using those “hotspots”, buying cards in order to have some online-time. On Cuba, the state is delivering internet access and it's the only possibility since there is no other provider existing and you can't switch them.


Havana is a huge city and sadly, we didn't have enough time to enjoy it and see everything. There's old-Havana and there's new-Havana. Best way to see the city is using one of the old-timer cabs. They can be found on every corner and you can also negotiate a good price. Old-timer cabs are innately cheaper than the new ones.

We had taken a new cab to get from the airport to our hotel and paid 30 CUC ( 30 USD / 26 EUR), to get to the bus station of Vìazul, likewise across the city, we took an old-timer cab and paid only 10 CUC ( 10 USD / 8 EUR), here, too, you can negotiate a good price and besides, you haven't been to Havana if you haven't had a ride in an old-timer cab, which can be very adventurous sometimes.

There a two kinds of restaurants in Havana. The ones, that are promoted by the state, therefor in better conditions, and the ones, that are not. You may want to visit one of the not-state promoted restaurants. Sometimes, they don't look that inviting or like a restaurant at all but the food is absolutely delicious there and way better than at a state promoted restaurant.

If you want to buy some food for yourself, it won't be too easy. There are no supermarkets in Havana. There are some stores, providing as much as they can, similar to corner-shops. You can get some groceries there, as well as fabric for sewing, engine parts or washing powder but only while stock lasts.

We wanted to buy a big bottle of water for our bus ride from Havana to Varadero, but there wasn't any water available on this day and the shop owner told us that he didn't know when he would get a new delivery.

On Cuba, there is only one company, producing everything, from water to coke and lemonade.

Food is very delicious on Cuba, after all. We couldn't complain, but our hips did ;)


Altogether, I really enjoyed Cuba, Havana in particular. It's a different life, a different atmosphere and a different time, you should have seen at least once in your lifetime.

Until then, happy traveling.

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