North part of Old Havana (OM-D e-m5 & Lumix 12-35mm Lens)

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
JeanPierre Martel
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Re: North part of Old Havana (OM-D e-m5 & Lumix 12-35mm Lens)
In reply to Colin Franks, Feb 12, 2013

Noah Genda wrote:
Cool. I'm going there in two days.

- Did you feel safe walking around by yourself with camera?
- Any tips/hints appreciated.

Like any Country that desperately needs currencies, tourists are sacred cows in Cuba. I stayed there three weeks. I walked every night alone in the dark streets of Old Havana and never was I scared. I never even tried to hide my OM-D : Cubans think that it's an old film camera.

If you'll be staying in one of La Havana's Casa particular, bring ear plugs. La Havana is an alive but  noisy city.

Restaurants are usually very cheap but meat is overcook almost everywhere. If you find a good restaurant, don't even try to find a better one (I've lost 3kg during my three-weeks vacation).

Internet access is cheapest at the Parque Central Hotel. But Internet is very, very, very slow. Don't use Internet Explorer : it'll stop searching too soon, while Chrome will hold on and keep trying until your password is accepted.

Taxis are very cheap. But ask for the price first. Any trip will cost you a minimum of 5$ and a maximum of 8$. Never pay more than that.

If someone offers you to take his/her picture, expect that person to ask you money after the fact, for having taken that picture.

Very few stores accept credit cards. Bring Euros. Don't bring US Money (a heavy tax will be applied), no travelers checks, no Canadian money. Just Euros.

Cubains are friendly with everybody. They are not hostile to foreigners. So Americans don't have to pretend that they are Canadians. 

However, if someone comes to you and ask "Where are you from?", "Oh from Canada: that's a very cold Country", "I have a brother who stayed in (Toronto, Montréal, Halifax, name it)...", that person  will eventually say that his wife just had a baby but can't afford to buy milk, etc. etc.

Cubans are very creative and you'll hear good musicians playing in restaurants almost everywhere.

Since this forum is not supposed to be used for posting traveling tips, use Google Chrome to translate on the fly these three articles:
http://jpmartel.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/sommaire-precautions-sanitaires/
http://jpmartel.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/voyage-a-la-havane-sommaire-2e-partie-les-quartiers-touristiques/
http://jpmartel.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/sommaire-considerations-touristes/

For the list of all my daily reports (published the next morning while I was still in that city) :
http://jpmartel.wordpress.com/category/recits-de-voyage/la-havane/

 JeanPierre Martel's gear list:JeanPierre Martel's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 +16 more
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