5th Dec 2013 - 7th Dec 2013 - Cuba
After our final morning in Trinidad, we caught a Collectivo taxi to Havana, meaning not a single public bus had we taken in Cuba! The taxi drove back to Cienfuegos where we joined the Highway and headed back to the Capital. The journey only took a few hours but felt much longer due to our drivers’ love of Marc Anthony power ballads! We were staying back at the hostel where our Cuban adventure had begun almost two weeks earlier.
We had enough time to do some exploration that afternoon so we went to the remaining two Plazas that we hadn’t already seen – Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza Vieja. The former was home to a large cathedral, whilst the latter was home to possibly my favourite statue in the whole of Cuba – a naked woman riding a cockerel holding a giant fork! We took a slow walk back along the Malecon before returning to our hostel for dinner. We ate up on the roof terrace with lots of new arrivals, sharing stories and giving them much advice as to what to make of this slightly crazy country.
The next morning, we had arranged to meet Sandra so we headed off to the Museo de la Revolucion. The museum was very interesting, though obviously rather one-sided. I lost track of the number of times Fidel was referred to as the Saviour of Cuba! When we left the museum, we said goodbye to Sandra for the final time as she was heading back to Germany. We still had 24 hours or so, so we hired an old American car for an hour and drove around the city. This is definitely the way to see Havana. It took us slightly further out than we were able to get on foot, which included a stop at the beautiful little Rio Almendares. We asked our driver to end the tour across the water at the Forteleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña – a fort we had been admiring from the Malecon every day in Cuba. Unfortunately, the fort was shut for a private function, so we walked over to the next door castle instead, where Georgia did some shopping for souvenirs. We bought another bargain 50p pizza for a late lunch, before heading back to the hostel. Later that evening a group of us went to sit on the Malecon to watch sunset.
Our final morning, Georgia and I headed down to the Museo de la Ciudad. To be honest, we were expecting more from it, but they did let us in for free which we’re not sure they should’ve done. Georgia’s flight was quite a few hours before mine, too much so for me to hand around at the airport, so she caught a taxi to the airport whilst I sat on the Malecon for a few hours to reflect on this incredible country, before following G to the airport a few hours later.