On Thursday we again took a large taxi under the guidance of Alejandro. It went to the second stop of our trip: to Havana. The trip takes about 3 hours, interrupted by a viewpoint overrun by tourists (all guiding tours see the point as a highlight on the route, may be due to the fact that most tourists find a Pina Colada from a coconut absolutely great. Got me into the queue waiting for our driver, but he appeared before we became too restless.
Somehow we then suddenly were in Havana going through many streets and then the minibus stopped. Honestly, I did not know what was going on until it was clear at some point that we were at the accommodation for Hanna and myself (and for Sandra, who was scheduled to meet us later). So luggage was unloaded and then we went up an adventurous staircase to the first floor of Casa Carlos y Graciela. Hanna will surely have thought that she will never go down or up again, but the wonderful terrace on the first floor convinced her.
It turned out that this terrace should become a meeting point of our group in Havana. By the way, not only the advertising signs were a highlight, but also the plants, which Carlos jr. took care of with great dedication.
Actually, it was arranged that we should wait for Sean’s sister, who was to fly from Canada to Havana that day, while everyone else should go to their lodgings about 500m to 800m from our Casa. But somehow Sean arrived (as usual with a can of beer in his hand) and took us off as everyone else waited in a restaurant having lunch, while Sean had had a sandwich in a local “Hole in the Wall”, which should turn out to have fatal consequences the net day.
While going to the restaurant where the others were, we met Sandra, Sean’s sister, by chance one or two corners don from our lodgings. Her taxi driver had not found the address, and a Cuban had offered to show her the way. It is not clear whether this was our bad day … In any case, when Sandra asked him if he wanted to have something, he directed Sandra to the milk shop at a the corner and then bought some dry milk for 10 CUC which Sandra paid for. Dry milk or milk is hard to get with Cuban currency, but Hanna thought the man was under drugs.
After Sean had brought Sandra’s bags to our Casa, we went to the restaurant, where everyone else was waiting. A very traditional looking restaurant.
Here, however, they have tried to rip us off. After thorough inspection, they had billed themselves over 40 Euros to our disadvantage, making Alejandro visibly embarrassed. But we could clarify everything and they corrected the bill.
Before Alejandro departed for good this time, he took us on a tour of Havana from which this sculpture of a wall (Che Guevara) on Revolution Square should be enough for now, we had a second tour of the city later.
In the evening we played then the “eating out” which is not easy in a larger group. We landed in a crowded tapas bar, not surprising when the Lonely Planet not only records this, but also positively mentions it. We got a table on the first floor, cramped. The menu was not as convincing, so we decided to just have a drink. At least the Mojito was very appealing and unusually served.
Hanna and I did not want to go with the others looking for a restaurant and went back to the Casa, not without getting us two ham sandwiches (1 € for both!) in a small Cuban shop (which offered obviously also a very popular drink that I could not identify) with two ham sandwiches. Unlike others, we had no problem with these!