TRAVELOGUE
Cuba

Havana

My roommates want to continue their travel in direction of Cayo Coco, an island on the northern side of Cuba, while I decide to go back to Havana. I arrange a taxi with the owner of the casa - he tells me that the taxi will be in front of the casa at 14h. After saying goodbye to my roommates I spend this hot morning walking through the center of Trinidad. I find a restaurant with tables on the terrace. The terrace is in the shade and there is a nice view over the center of Trinidad. I waited 20 minutes for the waiter to show up and another 20 minutes before he told me I'll have to wait *another* 20 minutes before the chicken will be ready. Do I need to say that I was the only guest in the restaurant!? Anyway, I had to wait until 14h for the taxi. At 14h I find out that the taxi left at 13h with some other tourists! Fortunately, in the afternoon there is a Viazul bus to Havana.

The Viazul bus is very comfortable. But, it's pretty cold in the bus, due to the air conditioning (I had to stick a few paper handkerchiefs in the ventilation openings). The passengers in the bus are silent, no one talks. Everyone stares through the window or reads a book. The bus drivers wear uniforms with 5 or 6 stripes on the shoulders - they look like jumbo jet pilots (or like commander and lieutenant commander of the bus)! On our way back to Havana we stop at a tourist café bar on the main road, where a coffee costs as much as on the Paris airport...

In Havana I take a taxi to a casa in Vedado whose address I got from the casa owner in Trinidad. Although he promised to announce my arrival in Havana, once I got to the casa I found out that they had no idea that I would come. Luckily, they had a free room for 20$. While they were writing down my passport number we remained in the dark. A blackout. They told me that these days there are up to 10 blackouts every evening!

Malecón - seafront promenade of Havana
Malecón - seafront promenade of Havana
As it was very hot even late in the evening (it's 22 hours!), I went out to buy a beer and have a stroll down the Malecón. On the Malecón there is a policeman every 100 meters. In Havana there is a cop on every major crossroad. There are literally *everywhere*. On Malecón I sat on the seafront wall to drink the beer but the policeman on other side of the road started whistling and giving me signs to move on. On the opposite side of the road there is the Interest Section of USA, working under protection of the Swiss embassy. Although Americans shouldn't come to Cuba (to be more precise *spend money* on Cuba), they come in big numbers. The Cubans don't seem to dislike an average American. The passports are not stamped on the customs to avoid potential trouble Americans could have when returning back to the USA.
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Cuba: Havana - Playas del Este
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