1. On my last day in Havana, after having seen many different faces, streets and situations all over the city I really felt connected to the people and the history of this great country.

    I mean, the houses are falling apart, the cards are hard to maintain and take a lot of effort, there are almost no places for children to play or hang out nicely in the city, but they have got used to and enjoy everyday as much as they can. They have probably never known it different. 

    You can see many people just sitting around in front of main streets, or big historical places with huge paintings or monuments dedicated to the great fathers of the revolution.

    It was very interesting to me to find out what these people were thinking about all the system and how Habana has developed during the past 50 years. If their dreams have come true or if they were maybe extinguished or changed after a long time. Probably a bit of both.

    On my last evening I decided to have a walk towards the Fortaleza, the big castle, where Che used to have his house and long time before the revolution the spanish colonizers used to watch out for pirates or other enemies who tried to enter the harbor of Habana.

    For a few euros u can get into the castle, enjoy the view over the amazing skyline of the city and watch a nice little ceremony after sunset. A great traditional ceremony of the spanish colonial time , when the doors of the city veer closed by 9 o clock with a shot of these old cannones and a fire show of traditionally dressed soldiers with horses and guns.

    After having an authentic made Mojito while having a look at all the souvenirs they are selling in the castle i took a taxi and went straight to bed, as my day was long and exhausting.

    I was very excited about the next morning to come, I had to get up really early cause I decided to leave Habana and explore some more of Cuba’s beautiful nature.

     
  2. Another day in Habana, Cuba. 

    This city has so much to discover, depending in which street u step u will always have a new surprise, another amazing scenery, and beautiful houses, cars and paintings on the walls. 

    On calle Obispo, the main street with shops, bars and restaurants you I felt that i could spend 5he entire day just observing everything that is happening there. Street artists trying to make some money with animals and music, endless souvenir shops, books and postcards of the usual guys such as CHE, FIDEL and the to us europeans very unknown Camilo Cienfuego. These guys formed the head of the Revolution that took down the Dictatorship in 1954. Great people that fought for the independence of a nation controlled by the west. They succeeded and became heroes. Two of them died early, the maximo leader ,as he is called, Fidel Castro is still there, still at the power with his almost 90 years.

    While walking through the streets you can again observe how this place has been standing still for the last couple of decades and because of that offers a view in the past, while u feel so strange with your modern camera, your branded clothes and everything you have seen and done during the passed couple of years. The freedom of traveling that so little Cubans have been experienced to do because unfortunately they were not allowed to leave their country without certain premisses. Now, after the laws have been changed and every cuban is allowed to leave the country whenever he wants to, there is only a little detail missing: The money.

    While walking through the streets I am listening to an Album I downloaded long time ago: Buena Vista Social Club and their lead singer Compay Segundo.A man that gave a lot of cuban people hope and freedom with his lyrics and music  through really hard times. His songs transmit a lot of the pain but also joy of life this population has through lived in the thier live and under the new system and everything that came with that radical change in the late 50s.

     A fascinating voice  that accompanies me through my journey with mind and body..

    Gracias Compay..Chan Chan..

     
  3. After my old-timer trip with the lovely Marco  through the most common and “interesting” parts of La Habana, i decided to take a walk through the city and absorb more and more of the vibe this great place expresses. My trip ended at the John Lennon park, a small and simple park where just a few benches offer people an tiny option to escape from the crazy streets of the city.

    The statue is showing the young Lennon sitting on the right side of a bench, observing and relaxing while he is almost inviting you to sit down with him and dream with him. A letteringsais:

    "I know I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one".

    A great place to get a rest for a few minutes and get the energy back into its place. Then while I was enjoying this peaceful place, I observed an interesting scenery; a cuban man hugging a really old an thick tree. He hugged it for a long time, standing still, as if he was waiting for something. Or feeling something. i asked somebody if this would be a particular tree, or a rather cuban gesture, and I was told that it is very common in general to hug trees. They carry a lot of energy in them; the strength that comes from the bottom of the earth goes up until the very last leaf.

    I tried it myself later, and i have to admit that it felt strange at the beginning, but i could notice that if you let yourself go, and concentrate on the situation,feel the tree as a living material, the energy will flow through you as well. Totally interesting new acknowledgment.

    After leaving this interesting, somehow magical small park I felt very hungry and exhausted so I asked myself around to find a good and not too expensive restaurant. In fact fining a good place with a different menu to cuban dishes is rather difficult.Due to the alimentation problem cuba has, you can hardly find something else than rice, meat, black beans and a simple tomato-onion salad. The food is almost the same everywhere. It cost a lot of research and effort to go to a restaurant that offers a good pasta or other european dishes we are used to.

    On my way back to La Habana Vieja, the old town of Havana, where my "Casa Particular" , the accommodation,was situated, i passed el PRADO. A long and very famous central street with lot of history. After asking around I finally found a particular restaurant. Doña Blanquita, a place situated on the second floor in the middle of El Prado. Beautiful old colonial building with a certain hidden balcony flair. When i came in, I was surprised by the amazing decoration, the lamps and the furniture.

    old but so special, the perfect place to enjoy an amazing view before heading home after a great day full of discovering and enjoyment. 

    On my way home I even found a Banksy street artnear the cathedral, which makes me see that other amazing artists have already been enjoying and discovering this  adventurous city and all his different corners to discover.

     
  4. As soon as I woke up on my second day in Cuba, I decided to take a walk through the streets of Habana, to get more and more impressions about this city and its colorful cars, houses and people. Soon i noticed that the city is parted in a lot of different zones and that all of them are so unliike to the other, and  it would take me a long time to get to know these places in that short time i had planed to spend in the capital.

    Then, as if I attracted it or it was meant to be, while i was having a look at “Museo de la Revolución” from outside, some guys stopped me to offer me a city roundtrip with the most different vehicles: Horses, bicycles, and what I finally chose: a FORD Mercury 1956 Cabrio, a beautiful car.

    The trip lastet two hours, from Habana Vieja to Vedado, Nuevo Vedado, Malécon and Miramar (the “Nice Part).It gave me the opportunity to have an overview of the size of this city and its differnt areas with all thos beautifully colored buildings. We passed from el Cemiterio Colón, a colonial cemetery with an imposing entrance.

    The driver turned into a real guide during these two hours, giving me all sorts of explanations about history, culture and the state of Cuba. For example I was always asking me how come that such a “poor” country as Cuba is, has such a huge amount of incredibly expensive cars?! In fact more than every second car is an oldtime, mostly beautifully conserved and still working, glancing and posing everyday on Habanas streets.

    He told me that Cuba used to be kind of a playground with Casinos, Clubs and other nightlife establishments for the USA and his upper class. People used to own a lot of property and cars, living the lifestyle they were not allowed to in their own country. After the rebels of Che and Fidel got to the power and the former Dictator  Batista was forced to leave the country, the americans left as well. Everything remained to the Cuban population. Cars, Houses and much more things.

    Spending this time with Marcos made me open up for the Cuban histroy and all the facts that cause the situation that rules in that country. I could feel my curiosity grow with every kilometer we drove and knew that I would learn a lot about life during the next days of my stay.

     
  5. Since i can remember, i don’t know why, it has always been a dream going to Cuba. Discovering this different world, this communist world, this little island that has such a large history with one of the most famous symbols of modern time: Che Guevara.

    I have always seen me as some kind of rebel. A rebellious mind in the place and time I was born and grew up. Since school i had been trying to be different, trying to look different and go my own way. Now I know that i was not trying, my very inside made me act and be like that, because my very nature is like that.

    The decision of visiting this place  called Cuba came very spontaneous while i was visiting Mexico for a longer period, and when I realized that my days in central america where counted I simply thought to take a plane to Havana , which is only 40 min away from Cancun, where I was situated.

    Arrived in Havanna Airport, the first thing I did is walking out of the front door and observing, observing the street, the houses and the cars. What is it all about that everybody had told me of?

    Is it really that different everything we see daily in our “world”?

    In fact it is!

    From the first moment you realize u are traveling to a rather poor and “undeveloped” country.

    The houses are falling apart, the streets and walls are losing their colors and haven’t been renewed since a long time, and there is old cars everywhere. Beautiful old cars. 

    Why are there so many of there incredible old cars , that used to cost a fortune..?

    I’ll get back to this in my following posts.

    Once I arrived at my CASA Particular on Havana Vieja (the old town), which is a private house of cubans in which they rent out rooms for tourists, I ask where I could go to, to see something before the sun would go down.

    EL MALECON is what they told me. A kilometer long drive, with a lot of history. The large strip along the coast starts at one part of the city and goes until the port of Havana.

    A nice endless wall  facing the open atlantic ocean attracts a lot of Cubans to sit, talk and for sure dream of what lays behind that horizon…A country of a better or richer life? In fact Miami is just 180 km away from there…

    After talking to some people, and catching up with the cuban vibe i walked along the streets of havana Vieja to get a taste of the nightlife. I ended up in a very famous Cocktail Bar called La FLORIDITA. A place where the famous american writer Ernest Hemingway used to hang out and get enjoy his drinks. A very interesting and fascinating bar, with all his old but incredibly well reserved forniture and style from the time before the Revolution. I drank a few REBELDE Cocktails there and started absorbing the cuban flair, before heading to bed to be fresh and energetic for the next day.

    Good night Habana.

     

  6. Next stop: Cuba

     
  7. As i set in the plane back towards europe of course i felt very tired and exhausted from 2 months of traveling, but I my mind was occupied more in thinking of all the things I have seen and lived through all these weeks in that crazy continent south america. When I arrived here, i dindt really know what would expect me, how beautiful this country might be and how expensive Brazil has become. To my suprise everybody is telleing me that the prices have rised enormously in the last couple of years, probably since the wolrd cup and the olympic games are announced to be taken place here, flats and travelling is so expensive. This country is full of energy and beautiful landscape, there is a lot to discover , see and enjoy, I am totally sure that all the money and time was worth the trip, I think I would always come back to see more of the endless nature of Brazil. Once arrived at the huge modern international airport of Madrd I immediately felt the first and major difference between these continents: The climate! A cold and painful wind blew into my face when I got off the airplane. I think I am not used to this anymore after all this amazing days on the beach. Its time to get used to now and get into gemran life again. We were lucky not to have any problems in getting our connection flight, so many others were stuck at the airport due to the strikes and flight cancelations during that week. Now heading to Munich. Guten Tag Deutschland

     
  8. After almost 2 months of travelling along the eastern coast of south america from Fortaleza down to Rio, Florionopólis, Montevideo and Buenos Aires the time to leave has come. We chose SA’s biggest city Sao Paulo as our last stop for a day. About 11 mio people live in this giant metropole 6 hours bus driveaway from Rio de Janeiro. The economic centre of the country is famous for its good restaurants, amazing nightlife and neverending skiline of skyscrapers. Unfortunately it rained  almost the whole day on our arrival which impeded us to explore more of the city and enjoy of its many different faces in all the areas around Sao Paulo centre. As this city is known for his buildings and its “carpet of beton” we decided to go to “Edificio Italia”, one of the highest points of the city,. An amazing old building from whichs roof in the 47th floor u can enjoy an almost 360° view of the  expansion of this impressing city. Once u get  there with all the other people that take advantage  of the free visit time between 3-4 pm u will have the chance to enjoy some food or a drink on on the roof, get an idea of how this city is built and see why brazilians often talk in a bad way about the look of this city. The differencen of beauty and purity compared to RIo is enormous and non comparable, and I think I now I can understand why RIO has become such a great travel destination and a big name for people all over the wolrd. I am actually very disappointed that I am  not going to have the chance to see what SP is really like once u get down in the jungle of the streets and find out more about the life and magic of this big hub of life. Our trip will be over by tomorrow morning, so the only real impression in my mind that wiill remain is this incredible view with all its buildings looking like a toy city, which I am for sure going to check out next time I will be on brazilian ground. Adeus SP

     

  9. Next Stop: Sao Paulo, Brazil

     
  10. Before heading out to the small city airport of Buenos Aires we decided to enjoy our last few hours in a very nice and calm place of the city: La Flor de Metal (The Metal Flower) near the area of Recoleta on the way to the airport. This flower was donated by Eduardo Catalo to the city as a symbol of the growing and the blossom of BA after their economic crash in 2001. It is sorrounded by a nice little park with hills and a lot of grass. A perfect place to get some sun, relax and think of all the crazieness this city shows you day by day. I look back on the last couple of days and must admit that Buenos Aires is one of the most interresting places I have seen on this long south america trip. I am happy to have made this decision in coming to this great metropole and would always come back here if only just for a weekend so that I can absorb some of the energy of tjhe city with its Obelisque and nice people spreads once u come here. Gracias Buenos Aires. Adios Argentina. Volvere Seguro!