Read More GoNOMAD Stories About Cuba
Surrounded by a world that has come alive with resplendent views of lushly overgrown hills that hold some of the richest biodiversity in the Antilles, it's clear this lauded road is taking us deep into a landscape on steroids. READ MORE
I had heard rumors of Hemingway's ghost appearing from time to time around Paris, Key West, and even Oak Park, Illinois. For a long time I had the notion of being the first writer to record the great man's specter in Cuba—a kingly phantom on the ramparts of El Morro castle. As the drawbridge of diplomacy creaked down and I was at last granted permission to travel to the workers' paradise, I made a pilgrimage to the island haunts of my literary idol.
Perhaps there, walking the same cobblestones, gazing at the same sunsets, falling through the same holes in the sidewalk as the master, I would find, to quote Hamlet's father, a "spirit, doomed for a certain term to walk the night."
Hemingway fell in love with Cuba when he first went there during a 1932 fishing trip with his buddy Joe Russell, owner of Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida. From Russell's cabin cruiser Hemingway caught nineteen marlin and three sailfish and was, well, hooked. READ MORE
Having just returned from four weeks in Cuba, three of which were spent in Havana, I would like to share with GoNOMAD readers the wonderful opportunity to enjoy and discover a rich and diverse culture, at less-than-Motel 6 prices!
One can spend less in Cuba, if the old college-hippie-backpacker-sleep-on-the-floor days appeal to your sense of nostalgia. One can certainly spend a lot more, if the days of decadent-Mafia-Tropicana-drinking-gambling-sin-and-sun-days appeal to your bulging wallet.
However, $50 a day in Havana can provide a very comfortable vacation, in a style which will not only appeal to your needs for American creature comforts, but also allow you to get a taste of the true Cuba of today. READ MORE
Biking in Carefree, Car-free Cuba
When there's good public transportation, pleasant walking conditions and "bicicleta" friendly streets, cars are unnecessary and bothersome. My wife and I looked forward to a car-free, carefree Cuban experience. Though our short vacation seemed to preclude cycling, two wheeling remained very appealing.
After the Soviet Union collapsed leaving Cuba without an oil source, Castro proclaimed the "era of the bicycle!" Fidel obsessively insisted bicycles would solve most of Cuba's energy, pollution and health problems.
Bike ownership rose tenfold. Within three years 65% of Cubans became cyclists. General health improved. Traffic congestion was reduced. Oil consumption dramatically dropped.
Cyclists are encouraged to visit Cuba. Cuban companies offer customized educational or eco bicycling tours into a variety of intriguing island areas. Their ads declare: "...So much to see, learn and do, these fully supported tours are always educational!" READ MORE
Cuba: Lost in Time, Lost in Space
Cuba is a cock-eyed collage of colorful people, a constant adventure partly explained by an untimely historical accident befalling Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953, a botched first attempt at revolution.
Fidel’s fearless assault failed because of no street signs. Fidel’s driver, leading 119 rebels, took a wrong turn and ended up at the local police station. Bad move, with 64 captured, tortured, and executed.
But Fidel learned his lesson, dismantling every street sign in every city in Cuba. Thus no one without local knowledge, especially tourists, can find their way in any Cuban city.
I learned to constantly ask directions, which means rudimentary Spanish is a big help. But there’ve been no further revolutions. Think Bay of Pigs, which admittedly suffered complications in addition to a lack of street signs. READ MORE
Read more GoNOMAD stories about Cuba:
Riding Among the Mogotes in Vinales Cuba
Traveler's Tales Cuba: Bring on the Cubans
Cuba Hotel Reviews: What People Are Saying about Staying in Cuba
Varadero, Cuba Hotel Reviews
An American Housewife in Cuba: A Tale of Hardship and Beauty
Smoking Spirit: Sharing a Women's Espiritu Practice in Cuba
Artist's Profile: Making Art and Missing Mom in Cuba
Havana Dining: Eating Cuban Food at the Source
Destination mini guide to Little Havana in Miami