Hermed følger Drew's rejsebeskrivelse.
When my good friend Michael asked me if I was interested in taking a trip with him to
Cuba I immedialy agreed. At first I was worried though, worried about the poverty and
possible crime I might have to deal with in a nation which has been blockaded so long. But
my leftist side got the better of me and I overcame my fears, within a month I was on my
way to Havana, Cuba.
Michael is part of a Methodist church group in Cuba which despite what our government
says about Castros repressive regime, operates fine in Cuba with plenty of members.
I was able to go threw the church group saying I had religous reasons. I worked. When I
got there however I have to admit I broke a few American laws because I spent as much
money as I pleased on Cuban goods and restraunts. Oh well.
Upon approaching the Island I could see beutifull beaches and preserved forests along
the cost. I actually thought that the costline was prettier then the bahamas costline. But
that is just my opinion. I could even see from my non-cuban airline plane(It is illegal
for americans going to Cuba to use a cuban-airline plane, yet another stupid rule I
discovered when I wanted to make a trip to Cuba) the beutifull spanish colonial
architechure from afar. I was hoping to see the famous Fortress of Havana from the
airplane, I wasnt able to see it till later, we probably passed by it while I was
eating the complementary pretzles.
The landing was okay, I got threw customs with relatively little hastle on the Cuban
side, but quiet a lot on the American side. I went with Michael who had been before and
knew his way around and it was a quick and painless process. Having only a few duffle bags
and being very cheap both of us we actually decided to find the public bus. It took us
less then five minutes to find the public bus, during which time I stumbled behind my
traveling companion trying to take in everything around me, and wishing I had carried less
in my duffle bag. When we did get the public bus it seemed rather outdated on the outside.
The bus was unbelievably cheap, apparantly made so that all Cuban workers can afford to
get around the city. I think it was somewhere around 5 cents, american. Despite this the
bus similar to the streets was very clean, much cleaner then the buses I take around
Manhatten. The bus was basically mixed, few whites and a few blacks, my first sign that we
werent in some country where there were different forms of transporation for each
race or group. We arrived, Michael jerked me off my seat and we headed out. We walked less
then a block and found a modern building with the methodist name on the door and entered.
My new lodging for the next few weeks. Lodging there was good, I wanted to stay in one of
the new hotels....but I was also afraid at the time that I would be breaking some American
law by doing so, so I didnt.
Not having much time to see this city, only four days actually, we decided to make only
the most important trips. I was always a huge fan of Che Guevera and so Michael suggested
we head over to the "Museo de la revolucion". I agreed. On the way I wanted to
pick up a cuban newspaper to see what kind of news they printed, as I browsed threw it I
looked to my side and saw a middle aged black man looking at me with a wide grin on his
I did my best and replied that yes we were Americans, and I asked him
how he knew. He then pointed at my tee-shirt which was actually a New York yankees
baseball shirt. I laughed and so did he, then he told me to enjoy Havana that it was a
beutifull city. I said goodbye and we continued our little excursion. He was the first of
many examples I would see of friendly cuban citizens of all races chatting and working
together. There wasnt an abundence of cars on the road blocking up traffic, plenty
of room for pedestrians to feel safe. The cars that were on the road however made me feel
like I had been transported back to "leave it to beaver", I mean they were
almost all very old American cars. Old chevies and fords from the 50s mostly it
seemed, very nice, mostly well kept. I thought it was a very pretty touch to the
atmostphere of Havana.
We arrived at the Museum later in the afternoon, I found it a terrific museum actually.
It was loaded with historical things, weopens, pictures, even a tank from the revolution.
It was a great museum with plenty of fun stuff. For the more scholarly individual it has a
load of old documents and essays from the revolution and Cubas history. Even a room
dedicated to my idol, Che. It was great. I didnt get to see the whole museum
unfortunatly, we were in a rush to see as much of Havana as possible in only four days. I
made a vow to myself that when I returned I would do so allowing myself a good month to
see the city.
We spent the night barhopping which was fun. Getting very drunk and mingling with the
Cuban ladies. It was a fun. We went to a salsa club and discovered that us Americans have
no rythem whatsoever. We were going to go to a few other music clubs until one of
Michaels buddies who was staying with us at the Methodist church also starting
vomiting right there in the middle of the street. So we had to go home, but it was fun
anyways. All the time I felt very safe for some reason. I didnt see any crime the
entire time I was there, and amazinly unlike my trip to Dominican Republic I did not run
into a single person begging for money.
Food could have been better I guess. We ate one time in a state-run restraunt, where
workers could eat plenty of food for almost nothing. The food was okay with little
selection. There were private restraunts also were the food was still very cheap but much
tastier none the less. I shopped a bit in some "dollar stores" where I could use
my dollars to get anything I wanted basically, but the "non-dollar" stores also
accepted dollars very gratefully. I guess dollars are in need overthere.
Old Havana was great. The colonial architecture still remained in most parts, with
pretty balconies overlooking the street and romantic-like buildings. I dont remember
the specific name of the Cathedral of Havana, I remember that it was built by jesuits or
something and that I feel it compared with any or most of the cathedrals of Latin America
and possibly Europe. The Fortress of Havana was in Old Havana as well. With a good history
behind it and a breathtaking view. I didnt get time to see anyother historical
sites, those two sites were very important Cuban tourist sites I think so I am at least
proud of myself for having visited them.
I know I already mentioned it, but the nightlife was fantastic. Plenty of bars and
clubs with any kind of caribean or American music you could imagine. Just thought Id
mention it, because I would go back just for the nightlife. There were also theatres and
ballats for the more sophisticated traveler. Neither of which I went to because
unfortunatly I am not the sophisticated traveler. I do however love watersports and any
sport for that matter. Michaels friend Tony had a sailing license (youll need
that to go sailing over there) and we bummed a ride on his boat. beautifull tropical fish,
clear waters, it was all great. And of course nice filling beer. That was another of our
day excursions, we sailed along the costline, taking glimspe of how beutifull it truly
was. And as I said before I think the Cuban costline and beaches are nicer then those of
the Bahamas. But once again, that is my opinion.
The fourth day came sooner then I could have imagined and I realized in my lazy tourist
attitude I had seen almost nothing in Havana! Besides a few major tourist attractions, I
still had a ton to see. Well I am happy to say that I will be returning to Cuba next
summer this time for a full month! And will write about even the most insigificant places