Varadero

Part 1: Habana.

Part 2: Varadero & Santa Clara.


Part 2: Varadero & Santa Clara

Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

After 3 nights in Habana we went for a week's stay at the world famous holiday paradise Varadero. On the way along the 20 km long peninsula we passed the road sign to the five star hotel Melia Varadero.
Five years prior to this year's visit we stayed at the Melia Varadero. Back then McBear and Roger had had a discussion on whether it would matter whether a hotel was a four or five star...

Click each photo to enlarge




Iberostar Varadero, Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

Here we are at the entrance to Iberostar. Roger, pointing to the stars on the massive name sign behind us, reminded McBear that Iberostar in fact was a five star.
"Five star hotels for five star bears", Roger stated.




Iberostar Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

At Iberostar Varadero, like in Habana, we had a fabulous room. And the bed was huge.
"Never mind the potential number of bears in the bed!" Roger pointed out. "Let's just enjoy some posh surroundings..."




Iberostar Varadero, Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

Next morning we went out early to have a look at the hotel and its facilities. The pool was huge - or POOLS as there were several pools.




Iberostar Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

Even though it was winter in Cuba, it was hot and the temperature reached 27 degrees.
"Phew! It's hot here!" Tom was moaning. "I'm glad they have lots of fans here".
McBear, being a great fan of renewable energy, was still dreaming of building a huge wind turbine at home in the garden. He needed a huge propeller, however. Now, he was studying the fans below the ceiling.
"I wonder..." he mumbled, "... if anyone around would notice a missing fan..."
"No, McBear!" Roger demanded. "Don't even think about it. Besides, how on earth would you bring it home in our luggage, huh?"




Iberostar Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

We went to the beach. The Varadero beach is world famous and it stretches for miles after miles...




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

Last time we visited Habana, we brought back home a huge Cohiba cigar for Bamse. It had taken him 18 hours to smoke the cigar not including the time it took him to light the cigar - and not including the time it took us to save the carpet in the sitting room. This time we went to a small cigar shop. Here, Bamse bought another Cohiba Esplendido. Cost: 17.95 Pesos; the equivalent of 15 Euros! Phew!




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

We had a hard time preventing McBear from constantly studying old US cars passing by. One of the days we happened to come across a genuine Chevrolet Impala 1959 and McBear went not just hyper, but beserk!




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

We made a deal with the owner who happened to be a taxi driver as well. We went around Varadero for an hour in the old Chevy and McBear was blissful. Carlos Osvaldo, our driver, showed us the streets and town of Varadero.




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

One day just after lunch when McBear and Roger were heading back they heard a loud thud behind them and the earth seemed to tremble.
"What's this?" McBear asked. "An earthquake?"
They turned around and discovered a huge coconut had dropped from a palmtree and landed on the ground right behind them.
"Holy nutshell!" Roger yelled. "Imagine it had hit us! We would have suffered from severe headache!"




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

"Maybe we can enjoy some fresh coconut juice", Roger proposed.
"Good idea!" McBear replied.
McBear went to one of the gardeners and asked him to help us with the nut. The gardener took his huge machete knife and chopped off the bottom so the nut could rest on the ground. He then chopped off the top leaving a tiny hole for the juice inside to come out. McBear then went into the lobby bar and returned with two straws.




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

McBear pushed the two straws together tight. Then, we had the perfect smoothie bar! Even Goye could enjoy fresh juice from the nut on the spot!




Santa Clara, Cuba, January 2012

We wished to visit the famous Che Guevara mausoleum in Santa Clara. We rented a car, a Geely from Cubacar. It was a bit of a ride driving through small Cubans town with their lack of road signs and lack of road maintenance.
"Holy pothole!" Roger yelled every time we hit a bump or a ditch in the road.
Although the Varadero peninsula is dotted with five star hotels, the rest of Cuba has only little money for public works. On the other hand, Varadero generates millions and millions of pesos for the Cuban Government including the thousands of people employed at Varadero hotels.




Santa Clara, Cuba, January 2012

Here we are in front of the Che Guevara mausoleum. Inside, the mausoleum is built like a real church with candles everywhere and icons of the heroes who died during the Cuban revolution in the late fifties.




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

Unfortunately, a wonderful week ended much too soon and we had to say goodbye. Here we are in the lobby bar saying farewell to the great people behind the counter.




Varadero, Cuba, January 2012

McBear and Roger made sure everything was packed before the bus arrived to pick us up.
"Howabout name tags?" Roger asked.
"They've got no bear sized tags at the reception," McBear replied. "We'll have to use human sized tags".
"Okay", Roger said. "We'll just modify them to fit our luggage size.




José Marti Airport, Habana, Cuba, January 2012

Once again we found ourselves in José Marti Airport in Habana, only this time we were checking in to return to Ireland.
On the return flight back to Paris, we were flying with a Boeing 777-3000. McBear was delighted as this was the first time we were flying 777.
Roger started teasing McBear.
"Does it really matter whether it's a 7 or 77 or 777?
"If you want to fly, do it with style!" McBear was teasing back.




Dublin Airport, Ireland, January 2012

A last flight from Paris and we were back in Dublin. Here we are in Dublin Airport waiting for our luggage...






#Teddy Bears
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#Varadero

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