ponedeljek, 21. december 2015

¡Vamos!

[27. november 2015]
Pa se dogodivščina začenja!

Tudi letos sem svoj glavi dopust namenil pobegu iz pozno jesenske, skoraj zimske, predvsem pa v tem času temačne Evrope. Tokrat sicer ne na južno poloblo, a vseeno v toplejše kraje - na Kubo! Odklop bo res pašal. Pa se ogret (minule dni je bilo prav zimsko, vključno z nekaj snega). Zadnji tedni so bili zame naporni in stresni, zato mi je bilo po pravici vse skupaj odveč in bi ostal kar doma - nič nenavadnega tik pred odhodom. Zanimivo, da me samo pakiranje sploh ni vznemirjalo, bolj to, da sem hotel še pred odhodom urediti dopustovanje za zadnjih par dni. Pa v bo očitno spontano. Kar je dobro. Sploh, ker mi je Kuba nekoliko “out od confort zone“.
Začetek dneva je zaznamovalo zgodnje vstajanje, veliko časa do leta, zanimiva prigoda pomoči Nigerijcu, ki se je prijavljal za turško vizo; pa fiasko, ko so me policisti pri varnostnem pregledu kot kakšnega kriminalca pospremili ven in še enkrat v vrsto za kontrolo, ker sem pozabil spit sok … Potem pa prekrasen pogled od zgoraj na Benetke, nato Padsko nižino in kasneje Španijo … Ja, ko si na poti je občutek povsem drugačen kot prej, ko razmišljaš in se sekiraš za vse dni naprej.

Brez posebnih težav (izjema je bil en neprijeten hiter padec višine) smo zvečer pristali na havanskem letališču. Po izstopu je v nos zavel nek povsem nov vonj (no, mogoče malo spominja na Madagaskar). Pregled dokumentov in vizuma je potekal brez posebnosti in presenetljivo hitro. Prtljaga je prišla takoj in nedotaknjena, ker nisem imel nič za prijavit, me tudi ni nihče nič vprašal na carini. Skoraj presenečen. Še menjava denarja in bil sem pripravljen. Srečal sem francoski par in razdelili smo si stroške za taksi do mesta. Taksist je bil prijazen stric, po poti se je razgovoril o Kubi, revoluciji (“nič ni popolno, noben sistem, če gre v ekstrem”), svojem delu … in se med vožnjo mimo Trga revolucije nekoliko prelevil še v turističnega vodiča. Avto sicer ni bil “klasik” (s tem izrazom označujejo stare ameriške avtomobile izpred revolucije), a že s spoštljivimi leti in naravno klimo (beri: odprta okna). Se je pa mimo nas peljalo precej klasičnih avtov, tako da sem tudi ta vidik že malo okusil. V zraku pa vonj po (cenenem*) bencinu. Katalizator, kaj je to?!

Za prve noči sem rezerviral sobo po nasvetu znanke, ki je bila tu poleti. Lastnica je prijazna, prostori urejeni. Zdaj pa spat in jutri novim podvigom naproti!

* Na bencinskih črpalkah sem opazil oznake za 83 in 94 oktanov.

P. S. Format letalskih kart bi res lahko optimizirali in jih naredili bolj pregledne (primer).


[November 27th, 2015]
Let the adventure begin!

Like in the past few years I was saving my vacation time for an escape from late autumn, nearly winter-time, and (in this time of the year) darkly Europe. This time I am not travelling to the southern hemisphere, but still to a warmer place, though - to Cuba! The past weeks were exhausting and stressful. To be honest I was thinking "Do I really have to go?" Packing (i.e. preparing and putting things in my backpack) was not a problem at all. I was stressed because I wanted to arrange a few more details before departure. Well, guess what - it is gonna be spontaneous! Which is good. Especially because Cuba is a bit out of the comfort zone for me.

Because of the early transfer I had had to wake up in the middle of the night and arrived to the airport way before the flight. (In the spare time I helped a guy from Nigeria to apply for a Turkish visa.) I had forgotten to drink up my juice before the security check and was escorted out like a criminal and sent back to the queue. Seriously. Fortunately it was soon forgotten due to the take off and amazing views of Venice, Venetian Plain and (later) Spain from above. Such a great feeling when you are finally on the way!

Almost without annoyances (except one rapid loss of altitude) the plane landed at the Havana airport in the evening. Some brand new smell was in the air (well, perhaps it reminds me a bit of Madagascar). No problems at the security check this time. The luggage arrived promptly and intact. As I had nothing to declare nobody asked me a thing at customs. Almost surprised how smooth it went. I exchanged some money and soon was ready to go. I met a French couple and we shared a taxi to the city centre. The taxi driver was very friendly, talking about Cuba, Cuban revolution ("Nothing is perfect, no system if it turns to extreme."), his work ... He also gave us a brief introduction to Havana. The car was not a classic car, but still pretty old and naturally air-conditioned (i.e. with windows opened). However, we saw some classic cars passing by. You could also sense a strong smell of (cheap?) gas.

For the first few nights I booked an accommodation recommended by a colleague. The owner is kind, the facilities fine. That's it for the day. Nighty night!

P. S. Airlines should really rethink and redesign the boarding pass.

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