Maddy will soon be 21, so her birthday gift was a trip to Cuba for a week. Actually it is the Christmas and birthday presents for the next 10 years. 3 nights in a room with an en suite in old town Havana and 4 nights in an all incl. resort.
No apologies, we were total tourists.
I have warned James that I spotted 3 hired motorhomes …. one day when we are dog free.
The Capitol, copied from the States, of all places! We timed it wrong to go inside, but apparently it houses one of the worlds largest indoor statues.
We estimated that every 6th car in the city was an old American 1050’s. A lot of Lada too from the post revolution close ties with the USSR.
It is true … you are told to walk down the centre to avoid balconies falling on your head.
Colour everywhere. Most bars had live bands.
I jumped halfway to Jamaica when this chap moved.
More local colour.
Cars waiting for the visitors off the cruise massive ship, which was moored up for the whole of our stay.
Our 1950’s 2.5 hour car ride. We’d booked seats, but as no-one else had booked, we had the driver and guide to ourselves. The young female guide and Maddy bonded … she really liked M’s eyebrow makeup! She told us that in Cuba you could only get the State branded makeup, which was rubbish, so you needed a friend to bring other brands in for you. She had wanted to share a house with 3 other female friends whilst at Uni. 3 of the mothers forbade it, as the community would gossip and assume they were all gay!
Revolution Square where major events still take place. Our guide said that here really was NOT the place to criticise the government, as you wouldn’t be seen again.
John Lennon in Lennon Park, not that the Beetles ever went to Cuba.
Such a strong Dacquiri, the Mama had to help out!
Open top tour bus; we both suffered sun burn despite, the sun lotion (unused) in my bag!
A huge, and I mean vast, cemetery.
View from the top of the Hotel d’Ingles, where we couldn’t get the blinking waiter to serve us, so we went elsewhere. The super posh hotel on the left exchanged some money later on and they were super pleasant and efficient.
At the Cuban Rum Museum, they had a model of a sugar planation. The guide explained how rum was a by product of sugar, but most of the raw mush is now brought in, as the sugar plantations have mostly gone.
The older run is matured in whisky barrels, so neither M nor I liked it. Later on I won a half bottle of 10 year old, but it is still at Maddy’s! And she doesn’t even like it!
At Hemmingway’s fav Daiquiri bar El Floridita. You can just spot the big man himself behind the 2 bods, who would not move!
I managed to run a few times along the sea front, dodging the water crashing over.
And dodging the drops straight into the sea underneath where man holes were missing. Most of the infrastructure was needing attention.
I told you to wear comfy shoes, and now we’ve had to swap.
Strawberry Daiquiri, just to ring the changes. We did manage a fair few Mohoitos too.
Our balcony view from our hotel in Varadero. Included in our stay was one night in the a la carte waiter served restaurant. They had really made an effort, by covering the chairs with fabric and bows and giving us a welcome glass of fizz … think sparkling apple juice … Oh that would be cider then. But the food was not good. Italian night, Maddy had mushroom risotto as the starter … long grain rice with cheese sprinkled on top and few tinned mushrooms! A number of people left their food and headed back to the buffet with its massive choice.