I’m not always the fastest, when it comes to transforming my trips into blog posts, but this post about Cuba must be an all-time slow. Are you ready?
Back in 2006 (!) I went on a short trip to Cuba. It was one of those spontaneous trips with no plans and no guidebooks, and it’s probably one of the most chaotic trips I’ve ever been on. So if you’re thinking about visiting Cuba, consider a more structured approach than mine.
My flight was delayed, so I missed my connecting flight from Paris and arrived one day late in Havana. I couldn’t get in touch with the person arranging the casa particular (homestay) I had booked, so I had to go for one of the state-owned hotels instead. It was quite an experience including bed bug bites and canned spaghetti for breakfast.
The airport ATM ate my credit card, so I spent 2 hours in the airport waiting for someone to unlock the ATM and give me my credit card back. They told me it happened all the time, especially for cards issued in USA. No apologize, just a big smile.
The first evening I went to Casa de la Musica, which is a famous salsa club in Havana. At that time, I took salsa lessons back in Sweden (no, I’m not kidding), so Casa de la Musica was something I had been looking forward to. I had a really great time there, but at some point, I dropped my camera, and the memory card fell out. Looking for a tiny memory card on a crowded dancefloor was a mission impossible, so I decided to go back the following day instead and ask the staff to look out for it.
Unfortunately, the memory card hadn’t been found, and my camera only had built-in storage for 12 photos. I went to a lot of shops in Havana, but none of them were selling memory cards, so the photos in this blog post are the only photos I have from my trip to Cuba.
One of the days, I was walking around the streets of Havana, when I was approached by what seemed like a nice, local guy. He spoke a really good English, and he told me about how hard it was for him and his wife to feed their little baby. Could I help him buy some formula? Of course I could. In the store, “some formula” turned out to be a bunch of formula and other baby stuff adding up to 300USD, so I realized it was a scam. I told him I would buy him two sachets, and suddenly, I wasn’t friend potential anymore.
Another day, I went to see a rum museum along with a group of Russian tourists. There were plenty of samples, so it took hours for the Russians to walk through and I’m sure some of them woke up the following day with quite a hangover.
It was really quite a trip, and it was in Havana I first started playing with the thought about writing a travel blog. It took 5 more years before I got started, and almost 10 years before I blogged about my visit to Havana. Thank you for your patience:)