I know I’m lagging behind with the reports from Cuba. The reason is that I had to carry out work for the EU right after our return. And then in the last week in Brussels one meeting after another. But more about that later. Our flight with AirBerlin to Varadero was scheduled for Monday morning. It was a great advantage that the flight went directly from Berlin to Varadero, without an intermediate stop. Of course, we had gotten up early enough, especially because we had not yet packed, but that is now routine (by and large). At some point an SMS of the airline came that the flight is delayed by an hour. Wonderful, we thought, then the taxi can come later. Ok, nevertheless, plans were disrupted a bit, but Hanna had forgotten something important, so we had to go back.
Finally arriving at the airport we thought that we were still in time, but the Checkin desk told us that we were lucky that the baggage handling was not yet closed. So it was quite hectic, especially since I still had to get the tourist card for Cuba. Ultimately everything was ok, and we were on time at the gate.
The reason for the delayed departure quickly became clear: the flight time was much shorter than planned, and an earlier arrival would probably would have affected all the transfer plans for the all-inclusive tourists. The flight was ok, especially since we had made an extra charge to get an “XL” seat in Economy, which offered some extra leg room.
The arrival in Varadero was ok, although the passport control reminded us a bit of the entry into the GDR of the 80s. The luggage handling was totally chaotic: everything was delivered on three baggage belts and taken off the belt by well-meaning helpers before the second round.
Customs clearance was surprisingly unproblematic. In front of the terminal, Nata waited, took our luggage and pointed us to the bureaux de change. It was great, however, that she also put a beer into our hands to bridge the waiting time. Our budget for the trip we had taken in cash and then changed a large part into the tourist currency CUC. Since our pickups were not there, we had some drinks next to the terminal The first Mojitos, which should develop into the main drink during the trip, especially for the female members of the group. At some point, the cars, oldtimers from the 50s, as you would expect in Cuba, were there to take us to the accommodation.
Our accommodations during the trip were all so-called Casas particulares . Our first stop was Matanzas not far from the airport and we arrived with a little timelag in the accommodation had our first Cuban meal at this place.
The accommodation was very nice, although we did not use all the facilities, like the kitchen.
But the most important thing after the flight was the bed, and that was good!