When your dream comes true

Are you one of those people that dreams of going somewhere and keeps planning it and planning it but it never seems to move from the starting point? Sometimes you just have to say enough! and make the first move – buy the plane tickets…

After the plane tickets, getting a visa was next on the list

I have been dreaming of going to Cuba since I was in high school. Finally, last year, at the age of 28 I made it happen. I have had enough of planning and waiting to have more money so I said “screw it”, bought the plane tickets, booked the first night at Havana and told my husband to pack – we were going to Cuba!!!

For years before even buying the tickets, I have been reading up on the island itself and all other advice on travelling to this country where Internet has not yet penetrated the very soul of society. Advice like, you only need to book the first night for the visa, the rest you will find easily when you get there. Or, driving around the island could be problematic as there aren’t many road signs and petrol stations are few and far between so, if you’re not careful, you can get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no petrol; beware the jinteros (hustlers) etc etc. I also knew what time of year I wanted to go. Basically, everything was “planned” but the plane tickets, the most expensive part.

We flew via Rome as all direct flights from London were during the week which corresponds to the dates of packages sold by tourist agencies. We went the third weekend of April and returned the first weekend of May (I wanted to be in Havana for 1st May). The weather was perfect; there was a massive storm the first night we arrived, a light shower during our stay in Trinidad and a quick afternoon storm that caught us on a beach close to Havana. Otherwise, blistering sunshine and Caribbean heat all the time.

Here’s our two weeks in a few quick points:

  • We visited 5 regions, took 1969 photos and made 1219 Cuban kilometres 
  • Suitcase broke the first day
  • Americans have swarmed the island
  • Cuban coffee is amazing
  • Tropical fruit for breakfast is the best ❤
  • You can get sunburned at 9 in the morning even if you’re not a pale ass Brit
  • Horseback riding in the surroundings of Trinidad you will see how beautiful a combination of Caribbean nature and dilapidated houses can be
  • Parents keep disturbing photos of their kids on the wall
  • Cuban police take criminal acts towards tourists VERY seriously, they’re really friendly and they give you mangoes
  • The food in the Cuban police canteen is better than in uni canteens in Zagreb
  • Camera started having battery troubles half way through the trip, just as we arrived to Havana
  • I definitely prefer dark rum to white one
  • Mojito is overrated compared to some of their other cocktails
  • Mangos grow like weed EVERYWHERE!!!!
  • Horses are a common transportation
  • Buena Vista Social Club’s Chan Chan is the most played song everywhere you go on the island

For a detailed account of our two week long Cuban adventure, the good, the bad and the ugly, check here. Until then, enjoy the notes of a song that can be heard in every corner of Cuba.

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