Cuba Episode I: Things to Know, Getting Started and First Impressions

Cuba, a story destination. Thoughts to the homeland were enveloped by sweet air, pleasant mournfulness, heat in salsa, dance, dance, cigar and rum. Plus chevrolettes and people who enjoy life, idealists and soulful qualities, gorgeous women and macho men. Only a cousin did not understand why I wanted to go there when everyone did not know how to go, insisting on talking about something other than the one I was prepared to digest, and I did not have the ears for such things anyway.

Sometimes I am impulsive when it comes to traveling, and so it was in the case of Cuba. I wanted enormously and almost always to come here, a dream that came closer and closer to X: when we just accidentally found an Aeroflot promotion and took the ticket. Bucharest-Moscow-Havana and return, over 3 weeks! So put on the study and choose the route, read, informed.

Prado Street

 

Hot cubano girls

 

Choosing the Itinerary. Is Cuba a safe destination?

Very important because I did not aim for an all-inclusive trip to a 5-star resort, although it is certainly a fantastic experience: sun, beautiful beaches, etc., but this is all over Central America and beyond. No, I have proposed that if I manage to get here to understand as much as possible, to be in private homes, to walk alone in the streets where I want to have freedom of movement.
I knew it was a quiet destination, that there were no problems, but I reverberate the information about Cuba: low crime rate, violence to 0 tourists, rather than theft if you do not supervise your personal belongings, complaints are generally about scams, etc. Good. Safe for single women? YES, with no violence, rape, etc. on tourists (which is not the case in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for example).
2 weeks and a little, what to choose first? The tour of the island? It sounds tempting, but so, out of the car, you see a lot, nothing to say, but in the ticked way, you do not have enough time to assimilate too much, to know people, even though you have an idea. What to do? From the start I decided it was not the case to go to Varadero – it is almost totally tourist, beautiful, nothing to say, but not now.
I decide and make a reservation for a private home in Havana, 3 nights, the next 3 nights in Vinales at the hotel (for the incredible view we even had from the balcony!) 1 night on Cayo Levisa, a small paradise island, bungalow on the beach and from here I left for the surprise factor. I have printed some private house addresses, that Cuba’s interest is not a supersonic snail speed … anyway, we found out that you find accomodations on the spot. Likewise, I printed all the travel options inside the island, routes, etc.

The view from Vibales Resort Hotel

Which month is good to visit Cuba?

I said and I support it: a place where people live permanently can be visited at any time. BUT depending on your preference. I think the most beautiful period is May-June, even July if you take good heat, for the carnival that takes place in Santiago de Cuba, I’ve lost it, but I’ll get here and fixed in this period, it’s something to miss beautiful and animated.

The period in which the biggest hurricane threat is June-November, but it is only a possibility, very small which increases to August-September, etc.

Many tourists prefer December to April, but I would not go in this time because it is winter and there, the temperatures are lower, especially in the evening and not the same. I liked Cuba like this: warm and musical. I was in June and I caught a single rain of 1 hour in Vinales. It was great: at a terrace in a colonial house with pina colada and a good book and that rain, I think one of the most beautiful memories in Cuba. And immediately after the warm rain again and everything has dried out quickly, the rain does not spoil the fun unless you want to stay all day at the beach. But as I said, I caught a single rain in two and a half weeks. And I have friends who were in September and it was very nice.

But if you want to avoid heat and humidity but still be warmer and more festive, go in April – May. My recommendation, although it is nice to go to Cuba and when we laugh at it, but then and there is winter, so I had to say :). It’s a wonderful country and it’s worth exploring anytime you can.

 

What to take with you in Cuba

Clothes: ignore the tips by taking the most ugly, dress up nicely, neatly, show them that you respect them, they will appreciate. All you need in terms of cosmetics, creams, shampoos, many moist towels, instant disinfecting solutions, dry napkins and medicines: nurofen, aspirin, paracetamol, stomach, car bad, some broad spectrum antibiotics, etc. In Cuba, it is very difficult to find medicines and those we are used to only a few, very rare pharmacies, not everywhere. As with personal hygiene items, you should keep in mind that besides hotels, private houses and some very good restaurants, toilets are disaster, even if you pay for cleaning someone else’s. That’s not the problem, but they’re actually dirty in most places. Keep disinfecting wet napkins, dry napkins, etc. at all times.
Euro or dollars? Euro, clear; although their convertible currency, the JCC has the US dollar parity, if you change from a 10% penalty to a penalty.

Neptun Street in Havana

Neptuno-Street-in-Havana-Cuba

My first pictures from Cuba

 

Where is good to stay in Cuba

Parental: If you want to stay in private homes: ignore the advice on the net like: bring a bicycle cable and grab your suitcase from the heaviest room in the room, yes, I gave this advice and it’s absurd: making a complaint to your hosts can lose their license and therefore the bread and even get jail, you are more likely to be stolen at a 5 star hotel in Cuba than at a private house. I mean, you can leave the suitcases locked with the more valuable things inside, I did this, but with my heart, because the people I stayed at were really extraordinary and I felt sorry to show them the lack of confidence, but I said that better save than sorry.
So we got to the private home at 6 o’clock in the afternoon. My hosts, two very good ladies and my first and second youth meet me with a cuban-free, very friendly, although with the tourists’ plaque, my house is home, a little fake, however benevolent and communicative. Originally I was a little bit queer about this idea of โ€‹โ€‹sitting at someone, but they were great and especially abuela (grandmother), older lady, very warm, world very much to them almost always, neighbors, relatives, talk to you as if I’ve always known you, I’m curious to find out how many, I’m glad I got here. But I was very determined to make the most of my time in Cuba, so after dinner I dressed and left for the House of Music. My hosts recommend me to take the taxi, and I call a taxi driver, 5 CUC, who fed me well (the next day I discovered I was 4 minutes walk).

 

Casa dela Muzica Habana Centro

Casa de Muzica is a live music discotheque, every day’s show and you have the opportunity to see the best Cuban troops of the moment. I’m about in every big city, in Habana even two.
I arrived very early and I had to wait for something outside until I got inside, I had time to study the world. As I stayed, I ask the world where I am, I say from Romania, to which, happy: gipsy from Romania! NOOOO. Anyway, I differentiated myself a bit, I was the only one with the dress she took :). As for the Cuban people, what to say: as short as possible, as high as the high heels and many very colorful holdings. Although most are not necessarily beautiful, ALL are incredibly HOT: HOT HOT HOT, even if only by attitude: as if everyone was the most beautiful woman in the world. I liked it, I do not know how Cuba would look like girls dressed sporty and comfortable ๐Ÿ™‚ nor would I want to know!
Inside I was able to have dinner, too early, the spectacle, crazy dance, I stumbled into a chair and contemplated. And I also had a lot of shows on YouTube. But there is much reggaeton :). I set myself to hold the world at a distance, that there were a lot of doubts in the area. AAAA had to leave my wardrobe bag, I can say that I had some emotions, but no problems.
Some girls also came to my table, and then three young Italians, along with their Cuban guide, Henry, cute and a little bit excited, amused me that they wanted to talk to some girls but they did not have the cravings ๐Ÿ™‚ )). But not their guide, which fell on my head, ok, I dance a few songs but with the dress after me (I think subconsciously I chose it strategically, to keep the world at a distance). And Henry starts the attack: you are asked if you are married, if you have children, somehow in Cuba everyone is curious about this !!!! after which he tells me of his: 26 years, life is tough, two children, separated, please, a few compliments and the big question: how can I win my heart? Well can not and especially with such a presentation! He amused me terribly, I can not fall over the Cuban charm, or I’m too insane, I do not know, I wonder.
Around a lot of strange couples: Cuban, very beautiful and young with elderly tourists, many Cuban youngsters with elderly tourists, many girls with overweight Nordic features as well as Cuban couples, balanced couples, nice to look at and of course many single girls, the same way, like any club.

House of Music in the center of Havanna

At some point I decide to go, I’m called a taxi, I get up quickly, I open the heavy door at the entrance, I had a key, Beautiful feeling: Empty street and you use a key to get into one of those old Cuban houses, so I personally come to the second floor, stay a little on the balcony thinking about what I saw, experienced and finally, with fatigue, I decide to try to sleep: I was expecting a new day and Cuba to discover it!

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