Alejandro Robaina, owner of La Casa restaurant
Alejandro Robaina: What is your favorite Cuban food recipe?
Claire Boobbyer: My favourite Cuban recipe is actually ropa vieja (which translates as ‘old clothes’) and is shredded stewed beef in tomato sauce. Not everybody cooks it well in Cuba but I’ve tasted delicious and succulent ropa vieja in restaurants and in private homes.
Havana - Cuba Absolutely
Havana is hot and I’m not talking about mulatas or the weather: from Cayo Hueso to Regla, Cementerio Colón to Ciudad Deportiva, you can’t swing a dead gato around here these days without hitting a tourist. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve seen this many foreigners in Havana since the 2006 Non-Aligned Meeting (see note 1).
There are reasons of course. The Cigar and Young Filmmakers Festivals are going strong as I write this, we’re getting a couple of monster cruise ships docking each week, and all-inclusive packages from Canada are mad cheap (see note 2). But most importantly, Havana’s streets teem thanks to Obama’s rollback to Clinton’s policy whereby US college students and select others can travel “legally” to the island. I’m surprised the effects have been so lightening fast – the new/old regulations were just announced in January – but everywhere I turn these days there seems to be a fresh-faced co-ed in Wesleyan gear or a Teva-shod geek.
Trip Tips: Havana Independently.
Parrandas in Remedios
Hi, I’m Miguel, blogging direct from Cuba. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Finally the time has come for many to travel legally to Cuba.
The quintessential Cuban parranda is the one in Remedios in the central Sancti Spiritus province. Its Christmas festival takes place from the 16th to 26th of December, but the main event is on the night of December 24th. Dating back to the year 1820, the legend says the parranda was started by Father Francisco Vigil de Quiñones, priest at the Iglesia Mayor of San Juan Bautista de los Remedios, because he sent kids on the street to make as much noise as possible to make locals go to Mass.
Direct from Cuba: Three Off-the-Beaten Path Festivals in Cuba |.
Old American car
For the first time since 2004, when the George W. Bush administration cancelled so-called “people-to-people” licenses for companies offering cultural travel to Cuba, Americans can once again go there legally—and without applying to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for a special license to travel.
I returned last Friday from eight days in Havana. As expected, I had a fantastic time escorting a tour for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. But, as always, I experienced a dizzying number of scams at every turn.
Life for Cubans is hard, and almost everyone needs access to pesos convertibles (CUC, the equivalent of hard currency), used for buying anything of value in Cuba. Since Cubans get paid a pittance (the average monthly wage is about $15 equivalent) in virtually worthless pesos (which buys virtually nothing), as opposed to pesos convertibles, Cubans hustle to get access to pesos convertibles through interactions with tourists in Cuba (others are lucky enough to receive remittances sent from family abroad).
Scams to beware in Havana, Cuba.
Moon Travel Guide
In Nuevo Vedado, La Casa (Calle 30 #865, e/ 26 y 41, tel. 07/881-7000; daily noon– midnight) is worth the drive. This 1950s modernist house still has its original modish decor and is lush with tropical plantings. An indoor-outdoor patio features waterfalls and pools full of drowsy terrapins. La Casa serves such delicious dishes as octopus and onions (CUC9), fresh prawns sautéed in butter with garlic (CUC10), and caramel flan (CUC1.20). Matt Dillon and the Kennedys are among the famous clientele.
vía Paladares | MOON TRAVEL GUIDES.