Bienvenidos a Cuba

by Pixeltree

In September we finally left for our highly anticipated 3 week vacation. Although point and duration of our leave was set for almost a year the question of where to go wasn’t. We decided that Cuba shall be the destination a few months before the departure. And our choice was the right one – not only as a compensation for this year’s lousy summer in Switzerland. Cuba not only offers beautiful beaches and warm weather, but also friendly people, an interesting and turbulent history, and the feeling of travelling back through time and the opportunity to see planned economy and communism live (although the longer the lesser).

We flew from Zurich via Paris to Havana with Air France. The flight wasn’t bad, actually (although you hear quite some negative voices about Air France). The only problem were quite a few drunkards on the plane (one of them literally pissed himself and decided it was the right thing to just stand next to our seats for what seemed to be hours). On a side note: Paris Charles de Gaulle airport is indeed confusing…

Oldtimer Taxi in Havana

We arrived in Havana in the early evening and headed straight to our first Casa Particular (this one, highly recommended). We booked this one a few days in advance so we knew where we could stay our first two nights in Cuba. I highly recommend you do the same and book your first casa from home (there are plenty of websites to do that). Choose a good one (read the evaluations) and you will have a great time in Cuba. You don’t have to book any more casas in advance, because the owner of your casa always has a friend/relative with a casa particular in the next place your planning to go to and will happily mediate. And if his or her contact in the next city is already fully booked, rest assure that they have friends with a casa to accommodate you, too.

Enough words, let’s see some photographs (ordered chronologically by city we visited).

La Habana

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Viñales

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Cienfuegos

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Trinidad

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Santiago de Cuba

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Baracoa

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Santa Clara

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La Habana

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Toronto

…wait, what? Yes, Toronto isn’t in Cuba. It’s in Canada, way up north… We went there anyway. Why? Because Air France’s pilots were on strike for half a month (!) our flight home was canceled and we were rerouted to Zurich via Toronto (and Geneva – as it turned out our plane had a problem and we were not able to land in Zurich because of heavy fog). So instead of Sunday, 12 pm we arrived Monday, 9 pm 18pm (additional 9h delay due to the fog-thing) at home…

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