Our first stop after Havana was Cienfuegos. We took a Viazul Bus to get there, which cost us 20 CUC/ person and took 5 hours. To book a ticket you have to take a taxi to the Plaza Nueva in Vedado, that´s where the terminal is and where the tickets are sold. Once upon a time you where able to just go to the bus station and take the next bus that´s leaving in the right direction – nowadays you have to book 1-3 days in advance. The earlier the better! Even for reservations you have to go to the bus station, the Viazul Homepage is not working, and crashes down regularly.
This country is difficult to describe, but arriving here is nice. The officers that check your passport actually look at you, say your name and welcome you into Cuba! We haven’t had such a wonderful welcome, for a long time. Getting into Cuba was easy – we had the travel card/ visa, that allows you to stay in the country for 30 days. We got it in Germany, filled it in ourselves and that was it! No one asked for a flight out of the country or anything else. Before we booked the flights we read a lot about entering Cuba, especially from the U.S., because it is new that you can enter Cuba from the USA without a special visa (we were not able to find good information about it). So, we were a little scared something might go wrong. But it was easy and uncomplicated.
Getting our luggage in Havana was an adventure, though. We stood in the middle of trolleys and people, carrying masses of electronics and others things in huge bags into Cuba. Very posh must be large flat screen TVs! We waited for ages (it took at least one and a half hours) to get our luggage – no one was complaining.
Stopover in Bridgetown, Barbados
We only had a 2-days stopover in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, but we lived in the center of town and got to see a lot of daily life. Reaching the airbnb we booked in advance was easy with public transport. There is a bus station directly in front of the airport (walk across the car park). The bus is 2 Barbados Dollars and took about 45 min. to town. We had to walk another 10 to 15 minutes to reach our airbnb (we stayed with Zaid – a nice guy and a pretty basic stay; fine for the 2 days), but people are really friendly and helpful. We left our things at the apartment and went for some dinner and the supermarket, directly around the corner.
A little note: People, are friendly and helpful – in general – but they don´t look like it. So beware that no one will please you with a smile, if the don´t have to or want to!
We spent one week in St. Lucia. Coming from another island state in the Caribbean Sea, we were wondering how people, life and atmosphere are on this island.
We arrived at the airport in the capital, Castries. But we didn’t see the city, because we had a guy from our guesthouse in Soufriere, who picked us up (for 65 US Dollars, together). There was also the possibility to take the public bus (8 EC Dollars, per person), but Anna was sick and we decided to not make the hassle – that’s really not like us!
After one hour of driving way too fast up and down the hills of St. Lucia, we arrived in the small town of Soufriere. The town has a sea front and is located between some mountains, that are all old volcano´s.
Trinidad is nice but Tobago is Paradise!
That’s´ what everyone says… and we think it is true. We rented an apartment in a little village called Black Rock. The beach here is called Stone Haven Bay and a really beautiful place. Our apartment was at one end of the beach and had a direct entrance to the beach. Beside a dive shop, a bar, and some cottages, there is not much around. If you just want to spend your days on the beach and relax, you can get here with a taxi. But if you want to get around, e.g. go to the food market and check out the island with its many other beautiful beaches, it’s a good idea to rent a car. At least, that’s what we did.
Arriving in Trinidad at the evening of Panorama – which is one the pre-events of the Trinidad carnival and the big final competition of all the steel pan bands – we had to take a Taxi into town, because weekends and holidays there is no public bus or other options. The taxi drove us to a friends house in St. James where we stayed. Our friend is a real Rasta and has lots of Rasta friends in his community. As soon as we got there, everyone was already waiting for us, we went to Savannah to see the competition. In other words our introduction to Trinidad was full in and a jump into cold water, but it was amazing!
At the moment we´re about to leave for the next bigger trip.
This time we´ll spend some time in the carribean Islands. Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, St. Lucia, maybe Honduras, and a bit of America. We´ll see….
Some ideas of the upcoming: Miami, Carneval in Trinidad, diving in Tobago, Reggae Festival in Trinidad, diving in St. Lucia, Barbados…