A Cuban celebration..

We accidently had a rather large night out the night before our flight to Havana so were feeling pretty rough by the time we arrived. Dropped our bags at our Casa Particular (Casa Marta y Ramon) and went to the meeting place for our guided tour of the city in a red 1955 Cadillac Eldorado. Our tour guide was great and explained everything as we drove and pointed out the highlights of the old school city.

Cruising in our 1955 Cadillac Eldorado..
Cruising in our 1955 Cadillac Eldorado..

This car tour took us all around the city and the four districts. As we were a little seedy it suited us perfectly to sit back and be taken to the sights which included places such as the Revolution Square, China Town, Capitol, Habana Forest, Miramar and various statues.

As we had the tour later in the day we were able to drive down Malecon Avenue with the sun setting over the water and make it up to the Morro-Cabaña fortress in time for some photos with the backdrop of Havana city at dusk.

Cadillac cruises
Cadillac cruises

Our driver then took us to a restaurant for dinner where we had a few mojitos for my birthday and some delicious food before he drove us back to our Casa. How a birthday should be spent – exploring a foreign country and experiencing the people, culture, food and drink.  Bliss.

Sunset at the Fortress..
Sunset at the Fortress..

The next day we walked around the Old Town exploring and stopping in for coffees and mojitos. Including a mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio which is the former hangout of Ernest Hemingway.  Cool vibe with a live salsa band performing in the corner of the bar..

Classy as always exploring the streets of Havana..
Classy as always exploring the streets of Havana..

We walked to the Almacenes San José Artisans’ Market and picked up some souvenirs and artwork. That evening we walked along the Malecon to the Hotel Nacional de Cuba on sunset which was incredible and so lively with people everywhere, it was a Saturday night.

Tunes along the Malecon
Tunes along the Malecon

We had pre-booked tickets for the Parisien Cabaret “Cuban, Cubano” in the emblematic Salon 1930 of the Hotel Nacional which was quite something.

We were seated at a table with a few others where we got to enjoy the colourful show with the dancers entertaining us greatly. It was an unforgettable night of dancing and Cuban music.

It is a fusion of Indoamerican, Hispanic and African cultures, that led to the Cuban culture.”

Cuba Cubano!
Cuba Cubano!

Back to our Casa before an early morning organized trip to Viñales. Our trip included a scenic drive along the “Ruta del Tobaco” and through the lush surroundings of the Pinar del Rio Province.  Our first stop was a visit to a tobacco farm and experiencing a cigar rolling demonstration.  Interesting.

Viñales landscape
Viñales landscape

We then were taken into the underground Indian caves with a short boat trip followed by lunch overlooking the “Prehistoric Wall” at Cuban Paladar.

The Prehistoric Wall
The Prehistoric Wall

One last sunset down the Malecon for some strange looks whilst we did some random headstands and ate some yummy pizza and ice cream for dinner.

Drinking mojitos overlooking Plaza Vieja
Drinking mojitos overlooking Plaza Vieja

My flight was later the next afternoon so another day wandering in La Habana Vieja, checking out the Museum of the Revolution and stopping for some coffee and a whole lot of people watching..

Weekend well spent full of culture and beautiful people.

Malecon views..
Malecon views..

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