Chris and Penny Manley
Wed 18 May 2016 16:52
We caught the 12 noon bus into Havana, which takes about three and a half hours to get there. We had contacted a casa particulares before we left. It is just outside the old town. They did not have any rooms available, but said if we arrived there they would have a room available in another casa. At the bus station we got a taxi across town. The bus station is south west of the old town, about a 20-30 minute drive. We don’t think our “taxi” was a licensed one, just a chap wanting some extra income, as when we got near the address Chris had to guide him with the help of out Havana map and Google maps on the i-pad!
Our casa, run by Jose, was fine. Windows a bit low down – the room was obviously an add-on, but it was clean, nice bed and an en-suite with a decent shower. Breakfast was in the casa we had booked through.
We think we covered all the sights in the old town. Narrow streets with the main calle – Obispo – pedestrianised. We had drinks and one night a dinner, in the hotel bars where Ernest Hemingway and Graham Green drank, a Papa Hemingway daiquiri in the Floridita bar, with a bronze statue of Hemingway in the corner.
The street where our casa is located looked like a bomb site, mainly because the road was being dug up to lay new water pipes; but many of the buildings are crumbling but still with people living in them. And there were lots of what must have been very beautiful buildings. The pink cadillac open top taxis are everywhere offering, city tours. We opted for the open-top tour bus, but may have been better with a taxi. We walked ourselves to death visiting the city museum, Museum of the Revolution (more pens that belonged to a rebel, another pair of Castro’s trousers). We had hoped to visit the car museum and the house of Simon Bolivar, but both were closed as it was Monday.
After two and a half days of walking and having beers in various bars in the squares, we were quite pleased to get back to the boat for a rest.
Now it’s off to the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas as soon as the weather is suitable...