Discovering Havana – Day 2
We started our day off with, I mean it, THE BEST breakfast on this trip so far! I have heard about how nicely the casa owners treat their guests, but I didn’t expect this from such a poor country:
Yolanda’s maids made us fresh scrambled eggs and mango juice, and served us a variety of fruits, veggies, bread and cheese with it, accompanied by as much hot coffee as we wanted. Omg, it was the best feeling ever, and made me feel like home instead of being a guest. All the maids were so nice, especially Lole who had such a sarcastic and funny humor :D We took our time and sat talking to them for almost an hour.
After our long breakfast, we wanted to change some of our Pesos convertibles into Pesos nacionales, the currencies that the Cubans pay with. We heard that at some places you could get better prices by paying with nacionales so we went to a Casa de Cambio (Cadiga) and got 240 nacionales for 10 convertibles.
We made our way through the city of old Havana and discovered the neighborhood for a bit. By we, I mean me, Hans, and an Austrian couple we met at our building. We clicked right away and it was nice having someone to walk around and discover Havana with.
On our way to the Cadega, our professor friend from the day before appeared again. He asked us if we wanted to have a tour in one of the old cars that the Cubans still have. Dah, of course we wanted to! So, he called his friend and told us we could ride for 1 hour paying 30 pesos convertibles. Why not, since we were 4 people we figured it’s a reasonable price to pay.
His friend picked us up close to our apartment, we paid him 60 pesos (we decided to go on a tour for two hours) and there we were on the coolest car ever, driving around in all of Havana!
Our driver was really nice, took us to all the places to see in Havana vieja, Havana centro and Miranmar, and told us a lot of information on every spot we passed. He even stopped at several famous sights to take a picture for us in the car – ain’t that cute??? He only spoke Spanish, but my tour mates didn’t, so I translated as much as I understood for them, which wasn’t easy since the Cuban Spanish is really hard to understand. Especially when they don’t focus on talking slowly, I had a really hard time understanding them. My Spanish isn’t the best, but it gets better and better ever since we arrived in Mexico where I was forced to speak Spanish.
We saw so many amazing spots and this car tour really gave a great overview of what there is to see in the city. I can strongly recommend it, and come on, that car is so fancy!
The picture you get when driving through the streets of Havana is so diverse: There are poor people, there are “normal” people, but what’s the same is that all the houses look unbelievably unstable and old! It’s not rare to see half of the balcony fallen down on the streets and sideways, actually really dangerous walking there even though nothing happened when we were there.
After our tour, we were so exhausted by the heat, lack of water and all the impressions we got that day. We walked down Calle Obispo and found a cute little restaurant/bar with live usic, where we sat down and had beers for 3 hours I think. It was good getting to know our Austrian friends Nina and Frido a little more, listening to Cuban music and just suck in all the impressions that this beautiful city has to give.