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Havana

Posted: 10 Dec 2016, 17:02
by Jeemo
Anybody been. Any tips.

Re: Havana

Posted: 14 Dec 2016, 06:54
by Fonz
Try and spend at least one night at the Hotel Ambos Mundas, where there is still a room 'as it was' when Hemingway stayed there. One of the best meals I ever had was in the rooftop restaurant there, and it was where I decided to propose to my wife, which actually happened a couple of hours later on the Malecon.

Visit or stay in the Hotel Nacional. Full of old fashioned cool stuff.

There's a lot to do and see. You must take lots of photos. It's all going to change soon and you will want a record of how it is now.

I felt pretty safe there, despite the obvious poverty. They're a friendly bunch.

Take your dancing shoes!

Re: Havana

Posted: 15 Dec 2016, 12:50
by Fonz
The ' Dirty Havana Trilogy' by Pedro Juan Gutierrez is worth reading.

Re: Havana

Posted: 15 Dec 2016, 15:42
by Jeemo
Cheers Fonz, we are staying at the Parque Central. Visas arrived today, cant wait.

Re: Havana

Posted: 15 Dec 2016, 17:07
by Fonz
Jeemo wrote:Cheers Fonz, we are staying at the Parque Central. Visas arrived today, cant wait.



It's great. If memory serves, the Parque Central is where the Manic street preachers stayed, and were interviewed on the roof terrace, when they played there ages ago-it looked nice. Nice and central on a square, in old Havana.
I am jealous. We had a great time-went to Varadero for a few days, after we got engaged. Buen romantico.

Re: Havana

Posted: 04 Mar 2017, 23:32
by Jeemo
Less than a week to go.

Re: Havana

Posted: 06 Mar 2017, 10:52
by bhoywonder
Fabulous city, quite unlike anywhere else I've ever been. And that's an aamazing location, Jim. You're within 3 or 4 minutes of the best bars for music that we found. There's a big square in front of your hotel (I think), and on the right is the Hotel Inglaterra. The cafe/bar on teh pavement is a great place for people watching, watching the cars go by, and generally soundtracked by great bands. On the opposite side of the square, wandar down the main drag there and there's some fabulous places with amazing music. There was a great one with no roof, and lots of plants growing all over it. I still play the CD I bought of the house band there.

And every eveneing, without fail, watch the sunset from the Malacon. I'm most envious of you!

The museum of the revolution is worth a visit, and you can get a shuttle bus out to the beach if you want to feel like the whitest man on earth!

Re: Havana

Posted: 07 Mar 2017, 08:57
by Fonz
I'm envious Jeemo. Have a great time. Take loads of pics. It's going to change beyond all recognition over the next few years.

Have a mojito for me!

Re: Havana

Posted: 07 Mar 2017, 20:54
by Jeemo
Cheers chaps. Hopefully the French Air traffic controllers controllers strike won't hold us up, as we go through Paris.

Re: Havana

Posted: 18 Mar 2017, 09:20
by Jeemo
Sitting in Amsterdam on our last flight home. Well that was a total blast. Too much to process, will need to get my photos uploaded to make some sense of it. More to come.

Re: Havana

Posted: 20 Mar 2017, 14:48
by Jeemo
So, food poisoning kicked in twenty minutes after arriving home. Something on the plane was probably the cause. Been in bed for two days mostly sleeping, lost a few pounds though.

Re: Havana

Posted: 22 Mar 2017, 23:13
by Six String
Jeemo wrote:Sitting in Amsterdam on our last flight home. Well that was a total blast. Too much to process, will need to get my photos uploaded to make some sense of it. More to come.



Looking forward to it. Glad you're ok.

Re: Havana

Posted: 23 Mar 2017, 10:59
by Jeemo
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Re: Havana

Posted: 23 Mar 2017, 14:51
by Jeemo
What a place.

The friendliest people in the world by a country mile. People would just come up and say "Hola, where are you from?" when told Scotland which would be met with a blank stare, Escocia would then be met with thumbs up and "whisky" and then "thank you for visiting our country" very occasionally this would be followed up with a query regarding buying cigars. In the main people just wanted to say hello.

It was unusual at first when eating, to order something from a menu to be told, "we don't have it" But actually I quite liked the fact that everything wasn't available, made you appreciate how lucky we have it at home. Also a little guilty that we take so much for granted.

The structure of the city was fascinating the small streets, the width of a car going on for ever, people setting up shops in stairwells to their homes. However one building would be immaculate, the next a dilapidated shell, which is also part of the charm that it isn't pristine. Also shops would be missing windows and nobody bothered.

The service in the main was good but a bit slower than at home. Only had one poor experience when we ordered food and beers while listening to a bar band. The band were great and as time passed we were getting hungrier and noticed that the couple that had came in after us, were finishing up their food. I called the waiter over and asked about our food, he returned a few minutes later with our plates, stone cold freezing it had been sitting getting cold. I called him back and he said "i'll get it heated up" when i said no, that i'd pay for the beers and that we didn't want the food. it wasnt a problem but I suspect someone else might have got our food later reheated.

Che is a constant presence, on tourist stuff and official building, posters etc. But hardly anything of Fidel except in the Museum of The Revolution, Revolution Square and bookshops.


The Rum was brilliant. Never really drank it before but very refreshing in cocktails.

Tourist wise, lots of Americans, Germans and Spanish, not many British at all.

I just hope that it doesn't change too much in the future and it resists the multi national who must be champing at the bit to get into this untapped market.

I would love to go back and see more of the country someday but if it changes to become another identikit world city, maybe not.

Re: Havana

Posted: 27 Mar 2017, 11:04
by bhoywonder
That all sounds pretty much exactly like our experience, Jim. Glad you enjoyed it. It's an amazing city, isn't it? Sunset on the Malacon...

I don't know why they bother with menus though!

Re: Havana

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 10:05
by Jeemo
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