Thoughts on Havana, Cuba

In my last post I reported about my experience cruising on the Majesty of the Seas. The main destination of the cruise was the Cuban capital Havana. Unfortunately we had only one day on the island which makes it quite hard for me to write a lot about it. Still I would like to share some thoughts that came up during and after the cruise (and of course the beautiful pictures!).

  • Digital detox: There are very little places that offer WIFI and roaming is very expensive.
  • Special currency for tourists: No credit or debit card works, you can only use the CUC, a currency only for tourists which has an exchange rate of almost 1:1 to US dollar.
  • No big corporations: Big companies are not yet present in every corner which means, you won’t find a typical city center with Starbucks next to H&M but rather little stores where you can get the necessities for everyday life.
  • Terrible job situation: You can see the poorness and lack of perspective in people’s faces – hardly surprising when doctors drive taxis instead of working in a hospital because they make much more money in tourism.
  • Great musicians can be found on the streets and in a lot of bars live music is played!
  • Dancing: Cubans love Salsa and are not afraid to give you a personal dancing lesson.
  • Beautiful cars: Now is the time to go there if you want to see the beautiful restored antique cars! With opening the borders, they can import actual cars now, which means the old ones will probably decrease within the next years.
  • Beautiful buildings: The city center is all cleaned up and restored for tourism, but the “real” lively Cuba can also be found just a few streets away.
  • Trash problem: Like in many other developing countries, Cuba doesn’t have a waste management. Trash lies on the streets and is also burned there often.
  • Not feeling 100% safe: People talk to you and follow you sometimes in order to call your attention for their business (bars, restaurants, guided tours, taxis and so on).

One thought on “Thoughts on Havana, Cuba

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