Monday, January 01, 2007

Day 1 - Havana

It's January 17th today, I'm back from Cuba now, after a truly amazing holiday. Here's my account of our pursuits, dated as it happened.

After a rather rude awakening this morning at 6.30am, we set off for Orly airport, with only the mist and darkness for company. Our taxi whisked us there in under 30 minutes, a record for us.

The flights (changed in Madrid) were pretty uneventful, Air Europa is quite similar to Air France, except that it's run by the Spanish and not the French. I watched In Her Shoes which was surprisingly good, and Cinderella Man which wasn't bad either.

Arriving in Havana was amazing. The air was hot, humid and smelled like fuel. Our taxi driver whisked us to our city centre hotel in what seemed like the only post-1970 car in the area. We drove past hundreds of hitch-hikers having what looked like a roadside party - later we learned that the side of the road in Cuba is frequently a venue for get-togethers of all kinds, but mainly the numerous crowds are just waiting for a ride.

I'm sure I'll mention them again, but the cars in Cuba are truly amazing. There are old Buicks, Cadillacs, Beetles and Chevies all over the country. Every street is like a classic car rally. Here are just two examples...

We went to a restaurant in the Vedado area of Havana, near to our (basic) hotel and experienced our first rice and chicken of the holiday... there would be much more.

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