Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Arrival & Exploration | CUBA 2013

Arrival & Exploration | CUBA 2013
So far, we have arrived at the airport and had delicious food. If you have not seen the previous blogpost, then please click here to take a look.
After a long 9 hour flight, we finally landed at Holguin Airport. The Airport was really tiny and highly controlled. According to my knowledge, Cuba is a strongly communist, censored country that does not allow US citizens to cross the border and trust me, the amount of security measures taken at this Airport must make it near enough impossible. There was no way to exit the airport without entering one of the booths that ran all the way across the small room, therefore blocking the exit. You needed to enter one of the booths, shut the door behind you and get questioned. Once you had been approved, the person behind the desk pressed a button which unlocked the door to the other side. I found this so scary as she actually looked at my passport and said, "Megan, is this really you?" To be honest, this was fair because it looks nothing like me, especially considering I have makeup on in the picture and had none on at the airport.
After collecting our luggage, we were guided to a lovely air-conditioned coach that was to take us to our hotel.

As you can see from the above photo of my sister and me, everybody in the background is looking out of the window. This is because Cuba is absolutely beautiful. As far as the saying goes, Cuba taught me that there really is 'beauty in everything'. Cuba is in a state of poverty, but not once did I see anybody that wasn't beaming with happiness by simply being grateful for what they have. The rural roads were dotted with gorgeous little family run market stalls in the shapes of huts, with bananas and mangos hanging from the roofs. Tiny, tiny little houses were painted in lovely pastels, making them the most beautiful houses I have ever seen, even if they weren't the most posh and expensive. And then the school. Oh my word, that wonderful little school. The children all had smiles on their faces, and I can imagine just exactly how grateful they were for one of the things that is most common for us to take for granted.
I didn't get to take any photos because I was simply in awe of my surroundings, but it was truly amazing and if I am to ever to return (which is one of my plans for the future), I am definitely going to make it more of a cultural trip, as looking out of the window after just arriving in the country was one of my highlights. Breathtaking.

On arrival, we were driven up to a huge open plan lobby and were greeted with cocktails. Mine and my sister's were of course fruit cocktails, but we did not mind one bit because they were delicious, and it was the first sign of us being properly on holiday. We then got given our all inclusive wristbands.

When I say that the complex was huge, I mean it was basically (with no exaggerations), a private village. The beach was private with free water sports, and there were restaurants and such on the beach that were also free. (Pictures soon) In terms of money, we fully understand why this holiday was so expensive because literally everything had already been payed for and unlike most all-inclusive packages, there were no extra costs. The complex was that big that they had a combination of driven trains and buggies that took you wherever you needed to go within the hotel grounds.

The train that took us to our room
Continuing with this 'Cuban Village' theme, the design of the apartments were made to look like bigger versions of Cuban houses. Each block of houses (like a street) had a name, and were in pastel colours. Each 'house' had hotel rooms upstairs and downstairs, as the houses had 2 floors. Our rooms (we had two) were upstairs which was nice as we had higher balconies. This next photo is unedited so that you can see the beauty of the side of the apartment in it's rawest form.

One of the apartments with a little road looking like a street.
The train dropped us and our luggage off out our block, and drove us up to the house. He gave us the keys and we went up stairs and found our rooms which were next door. Wow. Here is a beautiful photo of Georgia on the balcony.

The beds reminded me of something that a princess would sleep in.

This was painted onto the wall, incredible!

By the time we had arrived, the sun was setting, but Georgia and I were so eager to explore the complex, so off we went whilst my Mum and Nanna unpacked.

Another block of apartments

Georgia with a huge palm tree, I love this photo.

I love my heart sunglasses!

As we were walking along to check out the beach, this little fella bit Georgia! He is kind of cute though...

I tried to take a picture of this so many times, but could not do it any justice. It had water flowing through it and was much bigger than it looks in the image, it's so pretty!

After our wander, we went back to our room (which took FOREVER to find), and told our Mum and Nanna all about it and how amazing it is. We then relaxed and continued our crosswords from on the plane.

The craziness of our room whilst unpacking.
The fridges were full of fizzy drinks and beer, and the Cuban version of Fanta is so good!

So that was our arrival day pretty much over and done with, and I really hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget to like & follow me on bloglovin' and stay tuned for my next CUBA 2013 blogpost! I love you, thanks for reading.

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