Entering our hotel for the night, we were welcomed with both a refreshing drink and a cool flannel (something that would have been blissful, had we not been trapped on an air-conditioned bus, hiding out from a torrential downpour for the past hour or so! As it was, we all just kind of looked at it in confusion before politely depositing it somewhere).
Thankfully, as seems to be the case in the Caribbean, by the time we’d checked in, dumped our stuff in our room and freshened up, the rain had eased and we were able to go off and explore. We wandered around the ‘New Town’, admiring the stunning vintage vehicles, before ending up in the garden terrace of Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Whilst the cocktails aren’t the cheapest here (you’re looking at about 6 CUC), the ambiance and the view more than make up for it.
Sunset met with a light drizzle created not only stunning skies for our vintage car ride down the front, but also this gorgeous rainbow. that followed us. Unfortunately, my photos are awfully blurry and the video didn’t manage to pick up the pink skyline.
Our first stop was the slightly clichéd, but no less fantastic, El Floridita: Cradle of the Daquiri. Walking in, we were hit with amazing Spanish music, ladies (both professionals and patrons) dancing and a giant daiquiri glass. It was very much standing room only, but we sidled our way to the bar and miraculously got our orders just as two other people were departing, leaving us to enjoy their bar stools . We didn’t order any food (unsurprisingly), but this was an option. We went for a pair of the classic limon daiquiris first, then I switched to a mango one: both were delicious. These too were ‘pricey’ (though only by Cuban standards, judging by how they ‘measure’ the alcohol, you’re probably still getting better value for money than in the UK, particularly if you were to compare it Capital to Capital) at 6 CUC each. Again, the ambiance was fantastic and made it well worth the extra couple of CUC.
After these, we went for a walk and actually got to see all of the places we’d peered at through the rain soaked windows earlier, including El Capitolio (a design based on the American Capital), which was still under construction (it’s meant to be finished now, so we’re hoping to see inside and the exterior in all it’s glory, this summer) and the stunning Gran Teatro de La Habana:
We also saw the exteriors of the Hotel Inglaterra, Museum of the Revolution, Granma Memorial and Morro Castle before making an attempt to walk back to our hotel along the Malecon. I would definitely recommend this (though we gave in and hailed a vintage car back after a bit), as it’s where the locals hang out for drinks and music. Definitely a great atmosphere down there.
With one last nightcap at Hotel Nacional, with more live music, we said Goodnight to Havana for the year.