The day of wearing our adventure suits arrived, finally, again, and we were in Cuba. As always, those were days of getting out of bed quite early, almost always before the sunrise. It happened again. At 5 o'clock in the morning, dressed as bride and groom, we got into a taxi and made the almost two-hour journey that separates Varadero from Havana. It was a very funny trip between naps, conversations, and laughter. I was in the back seat while André and Yosdani (our taxi driver) shared their experiences.
The truth is the trip seemed only minutes, not the two hours it lasted. We arrived at the meeting place, the Central Hotel in Havana, just in time to see the city waking up. The chaos and confusion that we would see a few hours later, was now hidden by the calm of the early risers, the sun kept rising slowly, and we couldn’t even hear the music that was everywhere and that would accompany us the rest of the day. It was there we met another admirer and companion of this adventure, Ivan.
Our photographer was so enthusiastic and started by explaining what was the program for the day, and it was going to be long... We started our tour in Havana. Along with Yosdani, and under Ivan's gaze, we got to know the city dressed as bride and groom. André, who today I think must be the fastest person in the world doing it, placed my long veil, just right before the photograph on the Malecon, and took the tail of my dress, so we could move faster. He even impressed Ivan, that was suggesting that the workout was so much that he was a pro already.
During the morning, we strolled through the streets leading to the Cathedral Square, and at one of the ancient doors of Habana Vieja, we were surprised by the inhabitants in their houses’ windows, giving us suggestions for the photos, praising and smiling. That filled us with pride. As always, we are very pleased to be congratulated and receive wishes of happiness and health from all people we meet along the way. That crazy and fulfilling morning came to an end around 11 o’clock, but not before we visited another hand full of emblematic places of Havana. The intense sun that made us sweat and swell our feet wasn’t letting us keep our eyes open, for as strong it was that day.
We went to Ivan’s family “private house”, the type of accommodation rented by locals in Cuba to tourists. In our case, it was only to give us shelter for a few hours, while the day wasn’t refreshed by the intense rains and tropical thunderstorms normal at lunch hour, which quickly pass and give a new breath to the city. However, and lucky us, we weren’t treated as tourists, but as family. We were welcomed into a clean and very organized house, by the most smiling hosts who presented us with tropical juice, and the most varied and delicious fruit we would eat in Cuba. Then, followed a very typical Cuban lunch that delighted me, and I’m a very strict fork.
We talked for hours about life in Cuba and in Europe, about health, education, revolution, and the convictions of those amazing and charming people. In the end, we slept for around an hour, under the heavy rain and the deafening thunder. We felt just right in the eye of a storm. When we woke up we were like new, it revitalized us, and ready for another couple of hours of adventure.
We said goodbye to our Cuban friends with the greatest of gratitude.
After, we went to La Guarida, beautiful but narrow. So many stairs for shoes and a wedding dress, but from there we had the chance to contemplate the best panoramic view of the city, and feel the aroma of the best dishes that are cooked in there. An authentic scene from a Disney movie, which we had the opportunity to live it to the fullest.
Then, it came the cars, the fantastic classics, miraculously taken care of, and that helped us to fulfill a Cuban tradition, and one of our dreams. Of course, I had to take my shoes off to sit in the back of the car, over the seats, but it was incredible. The other cars also honked on our way, people waved and clapped their hands, meanwhile we rode our pink convertible. Unforgettable. After, we went dancing some salsa in front of the Capitol.
A group of Cubans, happily playing for the tourists wandering around the biggest emblem of the city, also played for us, and Ivan decided to teach us the Latin dance that rejoices those streets.
We finished the adventure on the Malecon, watching a cruise disappearing into the sunset, together with dozens of fishermen and, once again, excited by the musicians who, at that time, replaced salsa with the classics of contemporary music.
We returned to Varadero at the end of the day. Tired, but with our hearts full. We made two new friends. On the return trip, we share much more with Yosdani. He invited us to visit his house and meet his family, impossible taking into consideration how late it was. We said goodbye to him with nostalgia and joy to have been blessed with his kindness.
The day ended with a huge and noisy applause of the many tourists who were enjoying their evening at the hotel lobby, and who friendly welcomed us.
For the best Taxi Driver in Cuba: Yosdani (+53) 58062554.
If you are planning to visit Havana this is are the contacts for booking the "Casa Particular" of this lovely family: (+53)78327592 & firstname.lastname@example.org.