Day 7: A final stroll in Havana

Our last day in Havana and we awoke early to make the most of it. Eager to purchase some last-minute souvenirs we headed to the Almacenes San Jose Market, which was about a 20 minute walk away. We arrived a bit too early though so we took in some sunshine whilst waiting on a nearby pier whilst we waited.

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Soon it was open and we were able to browse around. The market sells all kinds of Cuban handicrafts with a heavy focus on leather items as well as a lot of hardwood goods. The stalls were quite small and I did find it a bit uncomfortable how the traders would be trying to offer you everything. We ended up buying a few pieces of canvas artwork which were very typically Cuban and priced between 5-10cuc.

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After working up a thirst from shopping we headed over to the Havana Club Museum. At this point in the holiday we’d pretty much drunk an ocean of Havana Club rum so it was nice to actually visit the home of the stuff.

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It was a beautiful building and although you can take a tour we were just there for a quick trip to the bar. There was a little bar in the courtyard that sold cocktails and we sampled sugar cane juice with rum for 3 cuc each. I’d never had sugar cane juice before and was delighted to see them put the sugar cane through a press in front of us. It was so yummy!

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Our next stop was the Museo Del Chocolate, although ‘museum’ is a bit of a misleading name as it’s more like a shop with a few signs around. We got a table and ordered 2 ice cold milky chocolatey drinks which were so delicious! We also got a little box of chocolates and the total of the 2 drinks and our treat, just 4 cuc!

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Not finished with our drinking tour of Havana we went to the Hotel Inglaterra, a historic colonial era building from 1875, making it the oldest hotel in Cuba. We had a couple of beers and enjoyed the atmosphere. It was the first time on our trip we’d encountered a TV, especially one that spoke English, so we caught up on some of the news from around the world.

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We had a wonderful meal at Paladar 5 sentidos, a beautiful looking restaurant. We both ordered the beef fillet and I couldn’t believe how much meat we got! The meal was soooo good and so delicious. It was such fantastic value with our meals and cocktails coming to about 40cuc.

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We took a walk down the Paseo Del Prado, the boulevard between Old and Central Havana. It’s a beautiful walk with the most gorgeous buildings lining it and its a popular hangout spot for the young and old. We’d walked down it a few times in our trip and it was always a lovely place to stroll.

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It was our last night in Havana and we thought the perfect activity for such an occasion was to walk the Malecon. We spent the last hours of sunlight strolling leisurely along the very seawall that we visited on our first day.

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It was hard to believe the week has just flown by and I fell in love with Havana more than I had ever thought I would. I loved the cheap mojitos, the blue skies, the waft of cigars, the dancing in the streets, the colonial buildings. The bones of Havana is so beautiful and I am so thankful we got the chance to visit it.

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Our final meal of the trip was at Nazdarovie, a soviet themed restaurant, but despite its high tripadvisor rating Adam and I didn’t rate it that highly and it was the only meal that left Adam and I disappointed. My chips were raw (all 3 of them) and my fish was overpowered by dill. Adam was not impressed by his soggy chicken kiev either.

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Our meals, 2 soft drinks and a cocktail came to about 35cuc. The one highlight of the meal was the beautiful view over the Malecon from the terrace where we were sat.

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And that was our Havana trip over. The next morning we were up at 4am, when our AirBnB host kindly got up to catch a taxi for us. We caught another vintage car, with our fare costing us a very reasonable 10cuc.

Havana airport is quite a basic place, we got a cheese and ham sandwich and water from the one place that sold anything. We got some last-minute cigars and boarded the plane ready for our last destination…

Steps walked: 23,788

 

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