Viñales, Cuba

It was the longest and the hardest to arrange drive during our vacations in Cuba: 416 km from Cienfuegos to Viñales. Normally it would take us 15-30 minutes to find a taxi, but that time it was very hard to get one. No one on the streets of Cienfuegos was willing to take us that far. Only with the help of our casa owner could we find a driver who finally agreed to take us to Viñales. For a much higher price than we expected, but at that point we did not care anymore =) It took us 8 long hours in an old car to get to Viñales, but we made it!

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Moments to remember: 2019

It’s April (!) and I have to hurry up with this post, otherwise it will be the time for the 2020 reflections already! 2019 was very exciting and full of new beginnings. The biggest event of the year was starting my new job, but I had some other highlights on the way as well: trying skiing and surfing for the first time, showing my home town St. Petersburg to Pasha, swimming in the Eisbach river, hiking in Norway, traveling with my dear friends to Marseille and some other fun stuff. But let’s start from the first days of the year.

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A week in Salta & Jujuy, Argentina

In October 2018 I went to Buenos Aires to volunteer for two weeks at the Youth Olympic Games. After the Games I decided to spend two more weeks traveling around Argentina and I had to make a tough choice which part of the eighth-largest country in the world I should see. Many foreigners who come to Argentina do so for its world known Patagonia region. It was high on my priority list as well, but as I researched online I came to realize that October was not exactly the right season for going there. I continued scrolling through the internet and found some articles about the north of Argentina – the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. I read a lot of amazing reviews many of which said it was even better than Patagonia! Guess what, October (spring for that part of the world) was exactly the right month to enjoy it: warm and sunny, but not too hot. Without giving it too much thought we decided to discover Salta and Jujuy and get to know the northern part of Argentina.

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3 days in Marrakesh

This October I went to Marrakesh for 3,5 days. It was a long-awaited journey and I was so happy to be finally able to discover this famous city for myself! I have seen a ton of stunning pictures on the internet and was very eager to experience this beauty, but I have also heard and read a lot of negative comments about the country. So I was a bit of cautious in my expectations and tried not to get overly excited.

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First time surfing in Lanzarote

I have been willing to try surfing for many years. Every now and then I would come across a blog post about surf camps, get all excited and dream about that day when I would stand on the surf board and try to catch my first wave. During my university time I didn’t have money to afford a surf trip, then I started working but was dealing with some serious health issues… And then last year two friends of mine went to Fuerteventura to a surf camp and the desire to try it has reemerged in me stronger than ever. The health issues with my back pain were not really sorted out, but I still decided to buy a ticket to Lanzarote in February and to give it a try!

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Cienfuegos, Cuba

We stayed in Cienfuegos for one night only and it was absolutely enough to have a look at the city: to walk along Paseo el Prado turning into malecon, to visit the famous Palacio de Valle and to hang out around the main square which for some reason they consider to be a park and call it Parque Jose Martí.

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Bachelorette weekend in Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion and Arcachon

Last year in May I have organised a weekend trip to France to celebrate bachelorette party of my friend Kate. I checked the available tickets from Munich, talked to the bride’s friends and we decided to go to Bordeaux! We had three full days to explore the region and I came up with the following plan: 1st day in Bordeaux, on the 2nd day a trip to Saint-Émilion (47 km) and on the 3rd day a trip to Arcachon (65 km).

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Trinidad – the highlight of our Cuban adventure

All you should know about Trinidad is that we stayed there for 5 days – more than in any other location in Cuba. And two friends of ours stayed there for even one day more. That’s how much we loved it! It is quite a popular destination among tourists, nevertheless it felt very authentic and welcoming!

Here are the top things we have done in the beautiful Trinidad: Continue reading “Trinidad – the highlight of our Cuban adventure”

Varadero, Remedios and Cayo Santa Maria

Our first town in Cuba was Varadero. After a long flight and a long ride (around 2,5h) from Havana airport three of us have reached our first casa. We were very tired but very hungry as well, so we went out to search for a place for dinner. We got recommended one restaurant and as we liked it quite a lot we ended up spending there every night in the next two days. The food was good and our mojitos were delicious!

Bienvenidos a Cuba! Continue reading “Varadero, Remedios and Cayo Santa Maria”

Cuba: Tips, tricks and personal impressions #2


Cuban people seemed to me rather distant. I could say “as if we were in two parallel worlds” … but the problem is that we are indeed in parallel worlds. We are just tourists, the ones who spend money, enjoy their time and leave. And though the whole life in Cuba takes place on the streets and you get a chance to witness many small daily life scenes, you are still just an outside observer. With no doubt even that glimpse at Cuban life was very enriching and interesting but unfortunately I cannot think of any engaging conversation or meaningful connection with local people. I talked to casa owners, taxi drivers, tour guides and bar tenders – but it was mostly “just business”. (Bear in mind I speak fluently Spanish, so that was not an issue). Maybe a company of six people was just too self-sufficient, I guess this would partly explain the lack of interaction with locals. But the other part, I believe, is that we were mostly seen as a source of income and there was no genuine interest in us. (The truth is why should they even have this interest? There is nothing special in us :)) Anyway, I guess it was just a mismatch of expectations and reality.

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