His final results are below...
When we first got to Cuba, I saw a lot of green (plants and shrubbery). Because of these plants, I smelled extremely fresh air. However, during the trip I got used to it so I didn't notice it as much, but when we got back to Toronto, I could smell the difference. In Toronto, the air smells more industrial. Saying this though, I have to remember that the taste of the food in Cuba was a bit bland but the food at the resort was terrible. All the food was hard, bland, soft, etc etc... . They even ruined chicken!
One thing I noticed was that there were many different races. There wasn’t really one noticeable majority because there were many colours of people, black, latino, white; you name it! I was surprised by this because I thought all the Cubans would be Latino.
So those were my first impressions on Cuba but let me tell you more about the Resort. Our room was pretty cold (colder than the air outside). Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that we could just change the temperature of the room until over halfway through our trip . Uggh!
The room had two double beds and a cot that the cleaning staff brought in for one of us to sleep on. The walls of the room were dark blue.
The pool was cold so we didn’t really swim in it other than the first day. However, never mind the pool, because the beach was almost perfect(the only problem was the salt water). I quote Alex when I say “the beach was very salty and it was disgusting to accidentally swallow water. There were also lots of straw umbrellas and plastic chairs to have relaxation at its best.”
I already talked about how bad the food was so never mind that, however, let me talk about the lobby. The lobby was very big. To plant a good picture in your mind, let me describe how it looked. It had three levels, the main level which has the front desk, washrooms, cafe, gift shop, entrance, seating area, and other smaller details. The second level has a stage for the band (which was one of the best ones I’ve ever heard) and seating area. The third level has two restaurants, a bar, and seating area. The place didn’t have a roof but rather a huge, green covering un attached made of stone and wood with beams supporting it. The lobby also had a green ramp coming down from the third level all the way down to the main level (the ramp also opened up at the second level) and a lot of potted plants.
Before we got there I thought the city would be really old because Mom kept saying “Havana is an old historical city.” However, when we got on the tour bus going to Havana, I learned some real facts. I already knew that it’s the capital city but I didn’t know that the city is home to three million people which is about one fourth of the country's eleven million residents.
When we got there, i realised that the city was crowded and LOUD! Forget New York, this is the real city that never sleeps. People were up partying all night.
Soon enough we met our host. They had a really nice house (they were probably pretty rich for Cuban standards). Everything was neat, tidy, and they even had a balcony with a nice view of the street below. I thought “Yes, Score” until they showed us the rickety spiral staircase behind us. At the top of those stairs was our place (the place ended up being nicer than, or as nice as, theirs with three beds spread across two bedrooms, two balconies, other living necessities, and a microwave that might explode at any moment so no need to worry). Dam!
The Town of Varadero
Other than Havana we also visited the town of Varadero although, we did not stay there overnight.
While most of our rides to places cost money, we ended up getting a free ride there after haggling with our bus driver (we did give him toys, hygiene items, and clothes though so it wasn’t exactly free). When we got to the town of Varadero, the first thing we did was buy my friend Muneeb a mini Baseball Bat tourist item because he loves bat sports. Then, we walked around an industrial part of town that my Mom said was allegedly a residential area. Heh, heh, No! Next, we went to a local art market (really it was just kind of a tourist market, in fact, the whole town was infested with tourists). After that, we rode in a taxi shaped like a helmet to one of the local beaches and swam in the clean and clear water there. The taxi was one of my favourite parts of the entire trip partially because of all the fresh air in my face as we zoomed through the streets. Finally, we took an old fashioned taxi car home, which we payed for (something different about Cuba compared to most places is that most of the cars there are old fashioned and most of the people who own cars there are cabbies because very few people have a car there).
Other Fun Activities
Some other things we did were snorkelling and seeing a dolphin show. First, I’m going to talk about snorkelling. This was the first time I've been snorkelling. I really enjoyed it. We saw lots of fish and various different colours and types of coral. Our guide even showed us a starfish! He also gave us a sea urchin but in return we gave him clothing. One thing I didn't enjoy about snorkelling was that I had to keep my legs super stiff in order for the coral and sea life to not rub against my legs.
While Alex and I were Snorkelling, our Mom had her own adventure. Allegedly she bought herself and our driver a pin encalada then watched us snorkel.
Later, we went to a dolphinarium to see a dolphin show. The dolphins did cool stuff like dancing and balancing things on there nose. They also jumped through hoops, shot basket balls, and gave high fives to the trainers. All of that aside though because the star of the show was a little baby dolphin that kept smiling, laughing, and overall just being bad.
Life without Internet
It was very difficult for me not to have internet for two reasons.
First of all, I couldn’t watch youtube or do a lot of things I like to do. However, my second reason was that I felt like I couldn't show my Mom my full potential for documenting our trip. As it is I type as slow as Molasses but writing, OMG! I was being sloppy with my work because I felt that it would be bad anyway. I’m hoping that after reading this my Mom will see my full potential (I know she does, but it will still feel good to complete this).
All of that aside though, what I did like about not having internet was that I was more observant because I wasn’t just thinking about getting back to my screen. I felt like I enjoyed this trip more than any I’ve ever gone on before.
To conclude this part, I would like to say that I think people should take a break from internet for a straight twenty-four hours every two months.
Before I end off this article I would like to give anyone planning on going to Cuba a huge tip. GO SOON because times are changing. The leader of Cuba Fidel Castro has just passed away meaning anything can happen (including the price of things in Cuba) so go now!