In the morning we fall tired from the train and have no idea where to go to our quarters. We stop a taxi at the train station and let us drive us. The taxi driver asks $ 15. We have no idea whether the price is okay or not, nor do we know the geography of Havana. So we agree and after about 10 minutes we are in front of our “private house”, our apartment for the next few days. It is the morning of January 1st 2021. I ring the doorbell like crazy, nothing happens. Only after a few minutes does the door open and a young woman with a completely tired look lets us in. First she wants to rent two of her three rooms to us, but one is enough for us, it costs half.
Of course we have to pay for the room in advance, people don't have any money. Our landlady disappears with the ID cards to write down our details. When I get my ID back, the visa is missing. After several minutes of searching, she found it somewhere on the ground; it just fell out of the pass. It would be fatal for me if I lost this visa.
After we have rested, we take a walk through the neighborhood. In search of a meal, we keep walking towards Old Havana. Most restaurants are closed on January 1st. A taxi driver wants to drive us around, but also knows a restaurant that is open. So we are already full.
Not much is going on in the streets. Nevertheless there are still enough taxi drivers who offer us their taxi. It is the festival of cigars, the workers in the factory can sell cigars on the street for a small price. Rum and coffee are also on offer. We don't buy anything, we are very tired anyway. Here we see a beautiful street scene with a view of the Capitol.
We are repeatedly asked whether we need a taxi, want to change money, buy cigars or a woman. We are asked where we come from. When the Cubans hear that we are from Germany, the words “all clear” and “all paletti” keep coming up. Apparently every Cuban has a relative, acquaintance or friend in Germany. At least that's what they say. There was only one person who wasn't really familiar with geography, he located Manchester in Germany. From a distance it's only just off the mark.
After a two-hour walk, a meal and a few meters more on the asphalt, we've had enough. We run back to our quarters. We spend the rest of the day more or less in the living room.
Unfortunately our landlady has an empty refrigerator. So for dinner we go outside again and visit the restaurant next door. It's on the corner, it's around the corner, so you could call it a corner pub.
A meal here costs between three and five dollars. A beer costs three dollars. So we can fill our stomachs with no worries. The food is really good again. It tastes different than in Santiago. We learn later that each region in Cuba has its own style of cuisine. We want to come back, it's cheap, good and practical.
If you sit on the balcony of the restaurant, you have the view as in the picture above. It looks like it's late at night, but the sun sets in Havana at 6 p.m. at this time of year. Two hours later there is nothing going on on the streets, at least not on January 1st outside the old town.
In the next blog I will describe what the drone flights are all about. Now I still have to work a bit, we have brought so many pictures from Havana. In the coming days we will continue sailing towards Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao. That is why I have to prepare the contributions today.