Sunday, April 11, 2010
I'm so glad I've been to one of the countries that was always on my bucket list, but having been I'm so glad I'm back home again. It's not that I didn't like the place...the lush tropical countryside is stunning, the waters are clear and warm, the beaches full of white sand, the mojitos are free-flowing, the people are friendly and welcoming, the cities are safe, the inter-city buses are excellent, and everywhere, everywhere there is bright vibrant colour. No there's a lot of good about Cuba, but still I'm happy to be home.
This was our 8th Wedding Anniversary trip. A new year of marriage, and thus a new country and for now the tradition still stands. 1 week was way too short a time to spend in such a big country, and that alone proved frustrating in itself. On reflection we could have left Havana sooner but we enjoyed walking the streets admiring the beautiful old architecture and cars (just how many photos?!), and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere, (and the fact that an 8am bus isn't the least bit appealing after 9 mojitos the night before). There's so much beauty yet it heartbreaking to see it crumbing away. It seems like there's no money there to preserve their precious past. We stayed in small family run 'casas' which positioned us perfectly in the heart of the city and gave us a great insight into Cuban people and their lifestyle (but perhaps my Mum would've have been all that keen!) We also got a fabulous home-cooked breakfast to start our days (omelette, fresh fruit, pastries and fresh papaya or pineapple juice)
We were thrilled to be meeing up with my brother Ian and his girlfriend Axelle on our 3rd night in the city and spent the second half of our time on the island with them. On our 4th day we all took the 6 hour bus ride to Trinidad on the south coast of the island. The whole town is a designated Unesco Heritage site and due to it's smaller size I think it's better 'preserved' than Havana - the cobbled streets and matchbox houses painted in a rainbow of pastel colours, and the old bell towers and church overlooking Plaza Major. We had planned to do some diving here, but by now we'd been in Cuba nearly a week and I guess the food was taking it's toll. Chris and I weren't really feeling entirely up to the challenge. Instead a lazy day on the beach and just a single dive the morning we said our goodbyes and Chris and I headed back to Varadero airport.
I think we both enjoyed ourselves. Cuban food is awful (with the exception of breakfasts - see above)- there's really no point beating around the bush here - even I was grateful for airplane food on our return flight! And what is with these countries and their lack of toilet seats?!
Glad to be home, but I sure will miss those mojitos....Thank you Cuba for the memories....Thank you Chris for putting up with me for 8 years - love you hun.xx