Often in love with the unknown and the roads less traveled an experience this real, this warm and tropical. . . Oh Cuba, I have now rightfully made you ‘authentically’ mine.
The rambling sounds of skipping through guide books wandering where, how,when to and with whom to travel; I am sure these questions have have crossed your mind. Having gone through the same, anxiously looking for meaningful winter escapes I dabbled into the islands and ventured out into Cuba to experience it’s realness and it’s deep blue Caribbean waters.
For many if not all; it is quiet important you choose carefully your escape from freezing temperatures. We all are determined to find that one spot; that one place that will regain one’s hope of blissful hot summer days.
From the very first moment I arrived in Havana, the national’s capital I knew that this getaway was going to paint pictures in my mind that will battle a New York City’s cold. It really was more than what I had imagined; not just nice hot summer days.
It’s rich culture, it’s untouched infrastructure and of course it’s shiny well- kept vintage cars will whip you back into the 60’s like that. You will find yourself doing double takes and constantly having to remind yourself of where you are and what year it says on your iPhone application calendar.
The nation’s capital Havana holds a rich history. Long strolls and happy solo walks came at the easiest. I could have walked from sun up till sundown just to see the city and the people change shades, pace and activities.
This really was the tip of the iceberg, well the melting popsicle, Cuba was alive and had a fresh aroma with an old romantic soul. By my second day, I was excited to see more and to know more. I wanted to feel, taste and show respect to it.
With this enthusiasm I started the adventure, I dozed off on a 6 hour bus journey and was awaken by chatter and the heavy bus squeezing down to a break. I was pleased to step into in the city of pure sweet Cuban dancing.
From Havana to the small town of Trinidad located south and closer to the coast, Trinidad will get you to live a little, to move a little and enjoy nights of soft step and easy sway with a delicate but intense swing, this was salsa.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988, it’s small colourful houses, stony roads and live musicians; a dull moment in Trinidad is near impossible. There are great chances of also running into locals having their own celebrations. Join them, they are friendly and will show you the ropes of how to sway to the sound and beats of their music. I mean why do we travel if it is not to feel the friendly embrace of other cultures, to turn your shoulders and dip to the ring that sings to their hearts, they will give you this embrace.
Rooted with dozens of thatched roof shades, Ancon Beach sticks out and will help you to complete what might be ‘authentically yours’ for your winter’s getaway. If you are staying in Trinidad, take a taxi , hop into one of the shiny beauties. The experience is rare and just the thought of being in one will get you chirpy; its the small things. A 20 minute ride, a 12 dollar fee. Share with a friend and pay half the price.
Most travelers like myself are a fan of beach hopping. Head to the north of Trinidad with the Varadero coast being the highlight. It only gets better, clearer, warmer; the air is fresh and the view is unapologetic with its beauty.
Varadero is the ultimate coast of Cuba and leaves you wanting to sip on cold jelly- coconuts all day. The town is small gets some tourists at times.
Nothing beats seeing your toes right through the water even at 400 meters in. One of my must do’s is to gaze at the sunset on every coast, its perfectly rounded and really looks like an orange in sky.
With my 13- day escape I was eager to add another spot to the list. North of everything, pure lush greenery and flat top mountains, a 2 day visit to Viñales added the icing to the cake and made Cuba authentically mine.
With my last few hours, I hopped around Havana and tried to make the memories last and to find even more. I really however felt complete, I had no desires to grab the tail end of anything. You opened up to me and the colours and nectar inside your delicate petals were sweet, sweet, sweet. I call this one Cuba authentically mine.