December 30th 2014
Today we took the HOHO bus (hop on hop off) bus from our hotel to old Havana. The bus was really fun to take as we able to grab seats on the top of the bus and get a nice breeze. The bus meandered through Havana and drove past some major sites such as revolution square and the university.
We got off the bus at an old fortress near the Malecon, the sea walk. There we saw an old market place were books on the Revolution were being sold alongside pictures from the 50’s, old watches, post cards and pins. We walked around old Havana for a good 2 hours. Half the time was spent out of the main tourist district were we came across a local fruit and veggie market. Surprisingly no mangos were available but we did manage to find avocados.
Weaving between streets we got to see children playing with soccer balls that had to be a decade or so old. One soccer ball had been duct taped. Again trying to find a restaurant that was vegan friendly was next to impossible, no matter how many locals Cubans we asked. We managed to find a place in the tourist district that was beautiful in side, but still provided poor vegan food. Jadwiga and I resorted to ordering side dishes of rice, veggie and black beans.
As our day ended and we waited to catch the HOHO to go back to the hotel, Jadwiga noticed three children who had slipped through the bared fence that guarded the old fortress we were standing in front of. The children were “steeling” coconuts off the trees, breaking them open and drinking the water. I wanted to offer them a CUP in exchange for a coconut but thought if they got caught I might be in trouble as well. It was unbelievable how swiftly these kids were able to slip through the narrow spaces between the bars.