As you may know from my previous post, we’ve spent our honeymoon in Cuba with my husband.
Saying that we were not prepared for that is equal to saying nothing. Normally, we book hotel rooms and apartments from booking.com. But not this time.
My sister, who has traveled to Cuba for a couple of times already, told us that there is no need to book any hostel or apartment in Havana. She also said that a dozen of offers for a good price we will get directly at the airport. In any case, I contacted to some landlords trying to rent a room, but, unfortunately, they were already full. So, we had no other option and followed her advise.
This is how our crazy honeymoon started, and how I learned
Things no one told me about traveling to Cuba.
Can you imagine our feelings when in the airport we could find only one person offering apartments for rent?! More than that, she had no spare rooms! (I panicked a little, all I was dreaming about was a shower and a bed). However, a nice lady gave us an address of some Casa who offers rooms or apartments for rent. I thought we are saved.
We took a taxi (a nice green MOSKVICH approximately 1960s year of production) and headed to that address to meet people that we don’t know in the city where we’ve never been (only now I realize how crazy that was).
So we came to that place. It was a house of some family (a family business, I guess). Guess what they told us! They are full! “The trip is just getting better and better“. But they offered a very nice sweet coffee and promised to help us out.
It starts to get dark outside and, finally, a woman tries to explain us in Spanish (none of us speaks Spanish) that we are lucky and she found a flat for us. She even brought us there by car, so nice)).
I was not expecting anything super luxury. The flat was looking nice and clean, the windows were opening a marvelous sight to… the inside stairs of the building. Whaa..?
OK. Lesson learned. 1. Take your time to pick a place to stay, especially if you travel to a foreign country.
After settling in the apartment, we had to start looking for a food. Another challenge. In Havana, you cannot find any fast food restaurants. All we could find in the dark was a literally Restaurant with table clothes, looking a little bit old-fashioned. Also, we saw a pizza shop not far from the apartment, but there was a long queue there. Must be really good pizza, but we couldn’t have a chance to try it. The next day, we found so many cafes and restaurants on Malecon in the opposite way from where we walked the day before.
2. Long story short, cafes and restaurants in Havana are expensive, and you may not find any special national food there, BUT no matter where you choose to eat, you can always have a really nice cocktail with their special rum in it.
We stayed in Havana only 2 days. We walked a dozen of km’s around the city, enjoyed the view of old buildings and retro cars, and entered each museum that we saw on our way.
There is one very important thing I want to warn you about. 3. Wifi in Cuba is not everywhere. You need to buy special internet cards to use it. And not every wifi point works with tourists’ cards. We’ve spent so much money on internet cards, and we’ve found so many wifi points on streets. However, some of them were only for local citizens. As tourists, we had to use wifi in hotels, cafes, and around touristic places. It’s not so comfortable when you are not prepared for the trip and you need internet for finding everything. Once we had a lunch in an expensive hotel restaurant just for the chance of using their internet.
After a couple of days in Havana, we headed to Varadero. A heaven on earth. The road was not so far, a couple of hours by taxi. We thought to rent a room in any hotel we stop first. However, wherever we stopped, all hotels were full. Our poor taxi driver had to go round and round in Varadero, helping us to find a place to stay. In the end, we decided to check hotel rooms from booking.com, and voila! Dozens of rooms in different hotels were just waiting for us there (and, yes, for the wifi, again, we went to a city center). So funny, we were coming back to a hotel to get our reserved room just half an hour later after they told us, they are full. 4. It makes a point to prebook a hotel room as well. Sometimes, administrators are not aware if they have any spare room or not.
Lucky for us, we could get a room with a fantastic view in a great hotel. At last, we could relax for the next few days and enjoy sun, ocean, and peacefulness.
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