Cuba – was a magical place.
For me, nostalgia was a constant them throughout my trip. I traveled to Cuba with an awesome group of girls and I think we all agreed that though still magical, we all wished we could’ve seen what Cuba was like before the revolution – before the embargo. What were these beautifully built structures like before they became rundown. The architecture is unbelievably beautiful and though the buildings, structures, and hotels are old, the beauty is undeniablY still visible.
The people there are more than resilient. They are one of the most genuine people I’ve come across. Going to Cuba was definitely a dream come true. In the US you always hear how the Cuban revolution is oppressive to the Cuban people and Cubans here have a disdain for Castro and his regime. So I was definitely curious to see the perspective of the Cuban people there – people who actually live under the regime. I can actually say I saw pros and cons. I definitely don’t want this to be a political post, but I do want to tell you what it is I saw. In Cuba symbols of the revolution are all over. Che, Cienfuegos and Jose Marti are seen everywhere ( I don’t mean physically lol). The term revolution is often used there and pictures, car stickers, etc of these figures are seen frequently. You definitely don’t see any posters or relics of Celia Cruz or any other Cuban artist that left for the US. And of course, Hemmingway is huge over there, which I love. His finca was amazing!
People don’t outwardly speak against the revolution so I wouldn’t know how they actually feel, but they seem to appreciate Che, Cienfuegos, Castro, and Marti. They are very proud of what they’ve accomplished on their own despite having the suppressive embargo. They are definitely very poor and food is scarce – but their streets are clean and I can honestly say I walked down the streets not fearing getting mugged or anything of the sort. They are a happy people. Music can be heard everywhere and they all help each other! I swear it’s the most beautiful thing. They all stick together and it’s a quality I truly admire.
We stayed at an Airbnb (casa particular) in Central Havana and we LOVED it! Maggie would come to make us breakfast in the morning for 5 extra cucs a day. It was hands down the best meal of the day. I don’t think Havana is a place for foodies lol. We also went to Varadero and it was one of the best beaches I’ve seen – super clean and gorgeous. The hotel we stayed at was called Sol Sirenas and it was alright. Don’t go to a Hotel with high hopes, they’re old and have limited resources. Next time I would definitely stay at an airbnb in Varadero.
Don’t go to Cuba if you’re looking for a luxurious get away. Going to Cuba is more cultural and educational than anything else. It’s a magical place with magical people and it has had a major impact on my life perspective.
Cuba is definitely all the rage right now due to the fact that we haven’t been able to go there for so long. If you’re going I suggest you just take everything and be extra aware. There’s so much to learn and appreciate. enjoy!