Having embarked on a wonderful tour of Cuba taking in Santiago, Baracoa, Trinidad, Bayamo, Camaguey, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara, we returned where it all began in Cuba’s mesmeric capital.
We were staying in a Casa Particulare in Old Town Havana. Casas were the staple accommodation of our trip, a cross between a State sponsored Airbnb and a traditional bed & breakfast. Accommodation was variable with pot luck on what you got.
We started with a room in a house owned by an elderly couple to the one where we now stayed – a town house that now amounted to five stories thanks to casa income funding expansion, funds which would now be significant bearing in mind the nine bedrooms available to rent.
Win, lose or draw in the casa stakes, the one thing common to all were the royal breakfasts. Our final casa was no exception in the ‘fit for a king’ brekkie arena.
After relaxing with drinks & snacks back at the Nacional, it was back to the casa for a wash and brush-up before heading to the Buena Vista Social Club. We were transported to the Nacional by bici-taxi and back by Cadillac cabriolet, each costing around €15. When in Rome……..
We had a fine time in BVSC, I will leave details for my ‘Music & Dance in Cuba’ feature to come down the track, but suffice to say the veteran entertainers provided great energy and vibrant entertainment.
The included cocktails helped in the sleep department, though climbing up five flights of steep steps was a little tricky as a result!
The day ahead would be bittersweet. We would have a great tour of the old town, but would also be saying goodbye to our wonderful guide of the previous fortnight. Pedro did his country proud – extremely knowledgeable and an all-round good egg.
The old town area has undergone a lot of renovation in recent years and is in pristine condition.
We yomped up to the top of the cathedral bell tower for excellent views of the city and across the water to Havana’s twin fortresses.
The colour of Cuba was in full evidence once more in the produce market, stuffed with fresh fruit & vegetables and a fair few characters.
We stumbled across a bunch of schoolkids celebrating Cuba’s freedom – take a look for yourself here.
The whole town was picture perfect in the winter sunshine – atmospheric squares, beautiful buildings, local characters. Hours of fun. The area is also chocca with museums if you like that kind of thing.
Havana Old Town has everything for everybody. I really want to go back!