Holidays in Cuba
• Cuba Rest
I share common experiences from a recent trip to Cuba. In this publication - mainly my feelings and aftertaste. What surprised me was unusual, or vice versa, in line with expectations. In total accumulated as many as 30 points.
The first week in Cuba was accompanied by an ever-growing amazement. Everything, absolutely everything, who has had at least some idea of the island or have already visited him, constantly repeated, that every Cuban counter will continuously try us something to dissolve. The reality turned out to be more like a bearded joke: "As a child I was told that the street will offer me drugs, sex and alcohol ... Where are all these people ?!" By the way, if anyone is interested in an answer, it is me - all these people in Havana. And given the fact that we left Havana for the last days, local hineteros could not spoil our already existing impression of the country.
The sky! Sky! Sky! Sky! Sky! Cuban air can enjoy forever. It is always great and every time - in their own way. One of the smartest moves on my part in terms of preparation for the trip - buying a polarizing filter.
Walking through the city, be sure to watch your step. In Camagüey I intercepted a couple of times just for a moment before falling into some open hatch. And in the same Havana - on the streets full of dogs and spoil them anywhere.
The reports that I read before the trip, many photographers have complained that it is impossible to shoot people in the streets - supposedly unwitting model immediately notice this fact and begin to demand money. Let's say that all this - stuff and nonsense. Ordinary people - shoot all you want, absolutely quiet all about this. When asked whether it is possible to capture them, no one refuses. During the whole trip just a couple of people have made it clear they do not want to get into the frame. Some ask them to photograph themselves. Here, however, lies the catch. If this proposal was received on the streets of Havana - the money will actually ask. All of these wonderful old lady with a cigar, without which it can not do any photo report from Havana - decoy and thus earn. And without them, any body that is in the street showing thumbs "click-click of" doing it solely from the mercantile interests. Past these just passing by. In any other city - all from the heart.
If the self-propelled chosen outside of Havana, at least a minimum level of Spanish is highly desirable. Without it, you can, of course, but everything is much complicated. The reality is - over 3000 kilometers of our rally people who could say anything in other languages, we almost did not come across. Of course, any written text - be it in a restaurant menu, or traffic information - exclusively in Spanish.
The Cuban doctors justify their glory. After I had two days otvalyavshis with poisoning, he asked for help, put me on my feet by the evening.
The food in Cuba kind. Such a long time I did not eat the fruit. All natural. Lobster and other seafood - all a dream. But now they are preparing, as a rule, very badly. I feel that often mercilessly overdo. Portions at the same time (if you eat at Kasakh) sometimes reach quite monstrous proportions. For example, in Camagüey my dinner prepared approximately one kilogram of lobster (and already pure meat, without shells), and it was not the only dish! Any spices, sauces, ketchups not seen almost anywhere. So if your life is not sweet without seasoning - it makes sense to drag along.
Mojito in Cuba from the familiar to Europeans is radically different. But almost no difference to the fact that I'm in the way the mood at home itself. The main difference - instead of having to fill a large part of the cup finely beaten ice, it is filled with rum. alcohol concentration exceeds the limit.
Centralized pricing - damn nice thing. If the quarter-liter bottle of rum Havana Club seven years worth 6.75 Cook, it's worth it so much everywhere - in the store, at the gas station, at the club, in the restaurant. Theoretically, given the fact that the range of all the same, the price knowledge can be useful where there is no price tag (and sometimes come across such a place, and there is not rounded to the client side).
Roads, in spite of our fears, quite decent. At least all the major road in very good condition. But, if you really got bad, then rest assured - at some point it becomes simply disgusting, if not impassable. A couple of times we had to still turn around and go to look for a detour. By the way, for this reason, we have not reached the Santa Clara, which I am personally a little bit disappointed.
Police. In the cities, it is very much in the same Havana is literally on every corner. However, the attitude towards tourists more than loyal. During our rally we stopped for a sufficiently serious breach of three times. Each time threatening finger, promised 60 cookies in a fine if you do not stand on the road to reform, but eventually released on all four sides. Given that the local police or breathalyzers no radar (rumored) is not in sight, I have no idea how other tourists manage to collect fines.
In general, the attitude towards tourists mostly friendly. About as sacred cows: milk can and should be, to hurt - no, no.
A separate theme - the toilets. Funny one: public (whether to the travel agency office, pretentious restaurant, night club, but anything else) had no toilet paper. Exception - a network of hotels four stars. There's a full order paper even in public toilets.
Trick two: nowhere brushes. And if many Kasakh or in hotels are often the shower is next door and you can use it, how for a clean up in other places - is unclear. Trick three: if somewhere there is a public toilet (! No matter where - in the restaurant there, at the club, even at the international airport), next to him necessarily materialize lounging body from the staff, and will be coming with all the coins collected. I looked that local leave, too, became a trifle fold (however, if you do not give - no one insists). In some cases, may be given under the table a little bit of toilet paper - especially delivers when a granny at the entrance to the turn of the paper glamorous girls in mini and heels aligned. By the way, ready life hacking - it is possible to pull napkins from the tables in the restaurants.
In general plumbing issues in Cuba are particularly acute. Normal shower seen only in four-star hotels. On Kasakh always present or that funny either water barely flowed or was not hot from the word "very" or drain barely worked or heated by a special elektronasadkoy that when you try to adjust slightly beat current. Simply to say that I Kasakh whole trip wash cold. However, taking into account local heat, received from it a lot of pleasure, so to complain about is not really what.
The solar activity - just crazy. Not previously smeared with creams, we are on the street, even for a couple of minutes, not peeping. Thereby never burned. But the tourist with skin peeling off in shreds all-inclusive hotels have time to get enough.
The country, by the way, is not cheap. Entrance to the main tourist attractions in the range of 5 to 10 dollars. All sorts of stuff in the stores like beer, cola or ice cream - even slightly more expensive than at home. And in the same Havana always someone trying to shortchange or delivery clamp (which is absolutely not observed in the province).
Another wonderful for me moment for the country, actively developing tourist destination - the situation with the sorts of souvenirs is catastrophic. Choosing lean enough in all the cities exactly the same and in most of the disgusting qualities. Very rough work, the remnants of glue everywhere, crooked-assembled obliquely. In general, even if the look for something to hold on, enough to take vending object in hand, to the desire to buy it immediately disappeared. Perhaps the only way to find something decent - wander through the workshops by local artists, are very decent job.
If you want a break from the news and the Internet, Cuba - just what the doctor ordered. No 3G, of course, there is no trace (like a normal cellular network, in fact - outside major cities often signal disappears). Vayfay - only in large hotels and everywhere it can be used. The first week of the answers to the question of whether access to the network resulted in a profound perplexity: "In general there, but today it did not work - come back tomorrow!" Then, of course, when the technology figured out, something is cleared up. It turned out that the hotel is usually a specially trained person who sells the so-called "tarjeta de internet" - a special card like a lottery ticket (price varies from 4, 5 to 8 cookies). Under the protective layer "Login", with which you can access on the hour. So, when that person goes home - the Internet immediately ends. Alternative - buy these cards in advance in the mobile operator compartment, those for 4 and 5 - universal. More expensive, as a rule, give access to the strictly specific computer at a particular hotel. Under these difficulties with access to the network detachment from reality turns full - almost like on a desert island.
Note: CUC - 1: 1 with the US dollar, in fact, is a localized version of bucks
The Cuban service, for the most part - senseless and merciless. Nobody is in a hurry. Lunch, the feelings may come at any time. In practice, it looks like this: everything seems to be in the workplace, but otfutbolivat clients - say, "Come here boy, can not you see we have a break?" All very slowly and thus very formal. A special trick - no matter what you buy, be it card or can of beer, all articles will slowly punched goods zakonspektirovat in a notebook or on a piece of paper (then to be rewritten in a notebook).
But every rule there are exceptions. Very me in this sense, one restaurant on the roof in Holguin remember when the three of us had 5 waiters. This service I have never ever seen. For example, the cost just to drink a mojito in a glass then poured rum (to melted ice proportion did not break). Miracles, and only.
What deserves special mention - in the streets (except in Havana) is very clean. While riding through the province, never ceased to be surprised: the sidewalks are literally licked, not a speck of dust anywhere, no garbage, even cigarette butts to be seen, although there is little boxes, but smokers, on the other hand, is full.
By the way, amazing clarity and amazing accuracy Cuban cities (all new tiles, facades restored svezheokrasheny) associated with one interesting nuance - the island is now a whole series of anniversaries, and many cities celebrate 500 years since the founding! Accordingly, the major cities are now two states - brought to the light, or like an anthill in half with a building site. I understand that Havana will celebrate its anniversary in 2015 (who is going to Cuba - do not miss it!), But because there is now in full swing repair.
In the most remote cities of Havana there are power outages. For example, when we were in Holguin, the light suddenly, almost every half hour (one by one in different blocks), cut down all night. A similar situation (even if not in such a scale) were observed in Baracoa. For local business obviously familiar - no running around in search of alternative sources of light, all was quiet, quietly waiting until you turn on the main.
Of course, speaking about Cuba, it is impossible not to mention the local transport. Clearly, the abundance of museum exhibits on local streets do not surprise anyone. In fact, the whole island - it avtomuzey. But here's what really struck me is the fact that in provincial towns (such as Las Tunas, for example), the main transport - horse-drawn. A little regret, that too lazy to record a short video as a few minutes of observation have driven past a dozen horse-drawn carriages. I have at the moment is not the feeling that time a hundred years ago, wound off.
Another procedure surprise some blurring of personal space. This is particularly felt, oddly enough, in the historic part of the major cities - when you walk on the sidewalk, and most of the doors in the street is open and leads directly into the living room. Literally, This do you go down the street, and a meter away from you any grandmother lies on a bed at home and watches TV. This is especially noticeable was in Baracoa.
Of course, it is impossible not to mention about the visual propaganda and other propaganda. Contrary to expectations, posters and billboards with slogans come across not so much, I even gave up a little bit. They certainly are, but not on every corner. I can say that the symbolism of football clubs in the same Croatia is far more common.
I almost forgot about the beach. Frankly, I myself am a beach holiday completely indifferent. From the words - "absolutely". But in Cuba, we tried not to miss them, so had some general impression to make, and to lie on the Caribbean and Atlantic (both at the resort and in the wild). Feelings mixed. I do not really imbued with the wild - funny, but without much enthusiasm and at the same time I can not say that I was hooked on the most popular and widely promoted, like Varadero.
The golden sand, the Atlantic Ocean - all included. But the endless rows of sun beds and plenty of tourists do not allow to escape the feeling that he was on the conveyor. From what we have seen, personally I really liked Playa Pilar Cayo Guillermo - it is perfect in every way. A bit on the outskirts, a few people and clean white sand. Incidentally, next to him unfolded construction of the century, so that all goes to the fact that in the very near future, the whole district build the resorts, and most of its charm to lose it forever.
Architecture. A stunningly beautiful building. Just like in the movie - the ceilings in the rooms of 5-7 meters, narrow spiral staircases, statues in the doorways. In this case, almost all of that is historical value is in perfect condition (about Havana modestly keep silent). Especially touches the contrast between the appearance of the buildings and the public function assigned to them - in a luxurious palace with chandeliers and stained glass windows could easily be a public library.
What else surprised - very few abandoned buildings. Some residential areas, of course, great resemble slums, but residential homes. Such that somewhere idle unused area practically does not occur. Something we certainly found and climbed, but I can say that in Europe of empty buildings much more.
With regard to the overall quality of life. The impressions he decently differs. And more and it becomes noticeable. As I understand it, communicating with local, salaries range from 20 to 60 cookies per month. And 60 - a salary of a good engineer. Accordingly, the bulk of the population lives is not particularly rich. With the hunger will not die, if necessary - will be cured, but no more. It is sometimes in the streets across the car like the Audi Q7 - with neturicheskimi numbers. If we consider that the price of cars in Cuba exactly ten times higher than in Europe on the same model, we can assume that individuals live a very, very good.
Weather. Actually, we went to the most that neither is on the bad weather in terms of time - in the middle of September. This is the end of the rainy season and the height of the hurricane season (if you're lucky). Apparently, we were lucky. Anyway, we did not understand why this time is not a popular tourist destination. Almost constant sun was slightly cloudy (wonderfully picturesque though), no wind. Yes, it's hot, yes, wet - so we're behind it and drove?). Every day, as scheduled, in the region of six was a tropical downpour at half an hour, that's all the inconvenience. Of the benefits - the prices of car rental and hotels in order of magnitude lower, and the almost complete absence of tourists outside the reservations. Beauty!
Here, perhaps, is all about rest in Cuba.