Spending time in Old Havana is like going through a time-warp. This blue and white 57 Chevy is just like my first car. The streets are filled with vintage cars, some modern ones, and many pedestrians. There are surprisingly few motor cycles and bicycles. Buildings are hundreds of years old and limited in height to walk-ups. Lots of small businesses operating out of the front rooms facing the street. No homeless and no beggars, however many folks who are quite poor. Cathy and I stayed in home-stays where we were part of a family’s day to day rituals. I will write more about this in a future blog. We ate in small local restaurants. However as tourists we paid for everything in CUC’s, the Cuban external peso pegged to the US dollar, so generally we could buy anything we wanted without lineups. The locals use the Cuban internal peso which is worth pennies and they pay very little for some basic foods that are included in their ration cards. For this they spend endless time in lineups. Here are some favorite pictures of Old Havana.
About our trip
Cathy and I spent 9 days touring Cuba. 4 days were in Old Havana and 5 days in nearby towns and the countryside. Our tour company was G Adventures and we liked how they assembled our tour Cuba Libre. There was 9 of us on a small bus, the pace was relaxing as we visited local cultural and nature sites, ate local and stayed in home-stays and hostels. As one Cuban told me ‘don’t try to understand us’ however this tour gets you closer to understanding.
We flew Interjet, a Mexican discount airline. To fly from Toronto to Havana we connected through Cancun. Our return connected through Mexico City. What was totally unexpected is that there was lots of leg room even for me at 6’2″. Kudos to Interjet. And it was a lot cheaper ticket than Air Canada.