Another day where I could sleep longer than 7 a.m. Yeah, my body is finally in vacation mode! Nevertheless, I made it out of the house at 1 p.m. or so. I wanted to catch up with my diary entries and some other stuff at least offline. I wrote and wrote, and I could have gone on writing the rest of the day. However, sitting on the bed was a bit too uncomfortable to do so.
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So I moved my butt and went outside trying to get some of those internet access cards. I found the Etecsa office and waited in the line. After fifteen minutes or so a man came outside and told us that there are no internet cards available anymore and we have to go to the Hotel Plaza or Hotel Parc Central. No problem, moving over to the hotels. The thing is that the cards there are about three to four times more expensive than at the Etecsa shop. Usually, one hour is one CUC. At the hotels, they are about three or four CUC. So I paid 4 CUC for a one-hour internet card. But eventually, I got one hour of internet. Awesome!
Do you plan your trip to Cuba? Make sure to get your Cuban Tourist Card before to enter the country!
The next important point on my to-do list for today was finding the car rental place where I have to pick up the car on Friday! It is also at the Hotel Parc Central. I asked my way to Cubacar and found it in the basement of the next building. It is a good feeling knowing where everything is. I was a bit nervous and still am entirely out of internet and GPS connection. It is fascinating, and I am not sure if almost scary to be without those things altogether. I mean, in former times, my parents and us children drove from Germany to Bulgarias´ Black Sea only with a road map and had managed that somehow. So, I will hopefully be able to find my way to the next city.
Maybe we are a bit too dependant on those technique things. It feels like a whole new level of stepping out of my comfort zone to do this entire thing. In the back of my head, there is a little voice which says that I cannot do this. That I should rebook my return flight somehow and go back to good old Germany, where at every corner is a WiFi hotspot and GPS is working.
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That is another thing which I tried today. Trying to book a place where I can stay at the next destination. It remains a try at the moment. Booking.com says that it is not possible to book accommodation from my current country. What the f***! Not able to book for Cuba, while I am in Cuba? And now? Again, some panic comes up in my body. The good thing is that I am an expert in repression. I move the fact as long as possible from one day to another. Until the problem stays in front of the door. In the end, I might drive to the next city and try my luck by knocking on different doors.
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Meanwhile, I will try it one last time, with my Laptop instead of my mobile phone. Maybe it helps, and I can book it from there. Perhaps it is only an issue with booking.com and AirBnB will work. Or I will try finding a tourist info office and asked them if they can help to book a room for the next nights.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I did another tour with the sightseeing bus and hopped off on the other side of the city and explored that part. There is an Aquarium, a small shopping center, a lot of the big Hotels like Four Points by Sheraton, Hotel Panorama, etc.
And then back at Old Havana, I found a place which offered free WiFi for its guests. And By the way, the food was also excellent. So I took the chance and surfed the Internet. I checked Facebook and Instagram and my Emails. But even there I could not book a room via booking.com.
Get your Cuban Tourist Card straight to your home and be prepared before you head to the airport!
From my point of view, these are enough discoveries for one day. I still need to adjust myself to this country. On the other side, I already feel strangely related to this place. Maybe because of the similarities between Cuba and the former GDR. I was grown up with the same culture, and a lot of places here, public parks and sitting areas reminds me a lot of my old hometown.
Anyways, I am ready for bed. See you tomorrow!