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Old 13th January 2019, 13:47   #1 (permalink)
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Long time coming Cuba holiday!

Hi fellow members
Having a change from Turkey holidays and its nearly that time for 2 weeks in Cuba first 3 nights in Havana then on to AI for R and R.... flying out 31st Jan any must see/do in Havana, any tips at all.
I know about cigar factory, Rum factory and the CARS going alone, although I feel like I have paid for a invisible friend to come as well, never mind now, all paid up. Any hints, tips recommendations on the sight seeing welcomed in Havana any thing you could recommend doing/seeing appreciate.
Cheers Guys/Gals
Mo xx
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Old 13th January 2019, 14:24   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Long time coming Cuba holiday!

Its nearly 20 years since we were in Havana but I would recommend revolution square, a trip up the tower for a cityscape view, a trip to the revolution museum, not huge but interesting.
Try old Havana where when we visited many of the old colonial buildings were being renovated, fab architecture.
There is a street called O'reilly Street that we visited on St Pats day hoping for some Craic, we even went in O'reillys bar there was live music on but it was very much Cuban music, no didley dee stuff, thank god.
We also went to the Tropicana nightclub, had a great night in there.

I would advise going on as many organised tours as possible as there is so much to see and it would be a shame to miss anything.

Martin
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Old 13th January 2019, 15:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Long time coming Cuba holiday!

We concur with Martin , Mo....fab trips all of them . Revolution square was a highlight , whilst there a huge cortege drew up and Fidel's white uniformed female guard stood in attendance on the national monument . I cannot say we saw him but it was an impressive sight , moreso as the police allowed us tourists to watch and take photo's .

Always felt very safe , the whole time Mo .

Steve
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Old 13th January 2019, 18:22   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Long time coming Cuba holiday!

I must admit, Havana was not what we expected, a bit of a let down as in our head we had it as something different. We did hire a guide so as not to miss anything. Though, please be aware of asking locals for directions. We were looking for a shopping area, and asked a well dressed young couple for the directions, they offered to take us, so we went with them, only to be taken down back streets, and I said to Anthony I don't like this, so we said to them we need to turn back as we were meeting friends ( we weren't), and they demanded money off us for milk for the baby, we said we didn't have any money... and tbh we felt we had a lucky escape, it could have turned out alot worse. Enjoy, have fun but stay away from well local dressed young couples xx
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Old 13th January 2019, 18:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Long time coming Cuba holiday!

I must agree with Sue. My brother, and our daughter and son in law have been to Cuba and loved it, but we werenít over impressed.
Beware of seemingly friendly locals on street corners offering to take you to local events. Also offers of cheap cigars.
Chances are, you will go and love it. Itís all about experiencing new places.
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:16   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Long time coming Cuba holiday!

We were approached by a young man asking for money. He showed us the scars on his neck from where someone had tried to kill him. He said he was desperate to get out of Cuba, but could not get a passport. We gave him a small amount just to get rid of him.

Beware of small children, usually boys, who trail along with you asking for money. One will take your hand and deftly undo your watch strap while you are talking to his friends!

We spent an afternoon in the Capitolio. The domed ceiling from the inside is quite spectacular. Cafe on the first floor. We put a video camera on the large balustrade, aimed at the street below,and let it run. Quite interesting to watch after.

We also did 3 days in Havana then on to the resort. We paid extra so we could have a full two weeks in the resort. Only one night in Havana on the way back.

We went twice. The first time was 25 years ago, then again three years later. I suppose like everything, it has changed, but we spent two days playing "hunt the shop".

We found the excursions very interesting and, depending upon who your guide is, also very informative. We went on a trip that ended in the Bay of Pigs. I went for a swim in the sea, but hubby wouldn't go and leave me with the belongings on the beach. Quite a few unsavoury looking types about.

The resorts were good. The first time we went to Varadero the second time to Santiago de Cuba. The flight down to Santiago from Havana was priceless. Many people with anonymous brown paper parcels, and even a crate full of chickens!

The people at that time were, in the main, desperately poor. We were asked many times by passersby (normally men) if we would like to join them that evening at their house for a lobster supper. This was quite common. You paid them of course. Beware the men on the beach who open their jackets to show loads of cigars. Our tour guide told us these were made from banana leaves. Only buy from reputable sources. Also, on the beach the women trail up and down offering various fruits. Hubby ignored one woman, pretending he was asleep, and she bombarded him with grapes!

We went for a walk along the "front". Good views. Whilst I was taking some photos, two policeman came along on a motorbike with a sidecar. They called out and asked to have their photo taken. I obliged, and off they went with many "thumbs up" and big smiles.

We also booked for a sunset cruise. About an hour before we were due to leave, we had a telephone call to say that no-one else had booked for that evening. Did we want to wait, or go on our own. Well, naturally we said we would go. Fantastic experience. We were collected in the harbour area. I sat on the prow on the way out. Big mistake! As soon as we were out of the harbour, the "driver" turned up the speed and big waves came crashing over the prow! The crew were falling about laughing, but they did rescue me!

Unforgettable holidays even though a long time ago now.

Maisie
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