Cuba

My very first trip on the blog MUST be the land of salsa, Castro and Cigars-CUBA!

 

 

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The preparation

My college girlfriend and I have been traveling for years, and most of our trips were booked almost spur of the moment. Our recent trip to Havana, Cuba was no different. We found many flights with JetBlue less than $200 per person round trip, but the dates did not fit both of our schedules. We ended flying with Delta for $400 round trip, We were so in there!

Habitacion

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Walking down any city block in Havana one will be sure to spot one of these. It signifies casa particular. In the late 90’s the Cuban government lifted a ban allowing Cuban residents to rent rooms in their houses to tourists, called Casas Particulares. My friend and I stayed at Casa Martha e Israel, where we paid $140 total for 5 nights and daily breakfast for two people. A round trip flight to Cuba from NYC ranges from $15 Still think you can’t afford to travel?

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There are two forms of currency accepted in Cuba. The CUC$ and the  the CUP. We found that the CUC is used most by foreigners and the CUP by the locals. Currently $1 USD is equivalent $1 Cuban CUC. Goods were found to be relatively inexpensive when compared to the US, especially if your remember to never accept the first offer.. My friend managed to eat an entire meal of rice chicken and salad for $3USD! Cubans may not feel the same, as the average Cuban salary in 2015 was $19 USD/month.

The OLDSmobiles that line Cuba’s street make you feel as though you’ve traveled back in time. The streets of Cuba are a car lover’s paradise. Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel placed a ban on importing foreign cars or parts. As a result all of the cars found on Cuban streets are not only straight from the 1950s, but most come with original parts. Since taking over from his late brother, Raul Castro have since lifted the ban, allowing Cuban citizens to purchase foreign cars, that is as long as they are willing and able to pay the hefty taxes. Taxes that can bring the price of a car from $30,000 to $300,000. With prices like these, I think it’s safe to say Cuba’s classic car parade is here to stay. At least for now.

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Walking around Havana it was easy to see the different cultural and political influences in Cuban architecture. “The influences from different styles of Moorish, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Roman found in Cuba’s architecture mirrors its rich social and political history from the graceful colonial baroque period to its modern towering blocks”.

Che’s house. Located at Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, Havana, Cuba.

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Che’s house. Located at Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, Havana, Cuba.
Ernesto Che Guevara is a name almost synonymous with Fidel’s because of his pivotal role that he played in the Cuban Revolution. His image, like Fidel’s is often captured in paintings, statues and even in music around Cuba. TIME magazine has even named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. La Cabana de Che provides an excellent view of old Havana.

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Cuba, like many of its counterparts is a country well known for its art. After the revolution most artists felt it best to leave Cuba. Those who remained faced censorship, as their art was sponsored by the government. Censorship meant artists could not draw, sculpt or sing anything that could be interpreted as anti revolution. It is not until the 80’s did art truest begin to reflect the artists expression. I found this statue in old Havana at the plaza vieja. Made entirely out of bronze it is a woman fully nude with the exception of her closed toe shoes, riding a huge chicken and carrying a giant fork. No one could really tell us what the statue represents. Perhaps the fork is an invitation to all the delicious restaurants and bars like Azucar bar (who has the best pina coladas in life!) located in the square, or the fork is what she uses to keep the rooster in check.

 

Copyright © 2017 by travelingsistaz.  All rights reserved

 

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travelingsistaz

Just a brown girl infected with wanderlust.

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