Traveling to Panama from Havana took 2.5 hours on Copa Airlines, similar to what we experienced on the way in to Havana, except the meal service was slightly different – sandwiches instead of a hot meal, and they remembered my special fruit meal this time around. I’m planning to write a separate review of this Copa Airlines flight 437 later….
After the museum, it was time to turn in our rental car and head to the airport, where we’d be leaving Cuba. When we picked up our car, we were charged a 150 CUC deposit, which we were told we could get back at the end as long as the car checked out, and we had also negotiated the 25 CUC airport drop-off fee into a 10 CUC fee for a driver to drive us in the rental car to the airport….
After we made our art purchases, we decided that we wouldn’t have time for the Hemingway Museum (located about 30 minutes outside of the city), and that we’d walk around a bit more and hit the Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revoluciòn) instead. We started out going back to the square we visited the previous night to get some good pictures of Spanish colonial architecture in the daylight….
Since we had a late night, we barely made our 10AM breakfast the next morning, but needed the fuel for our buying art in Havana expedition. It was largely the same as the breakfast we had the first day, and still delicious – a Western scramble, crepes, fresh fruit, juice, bread, and coffee. I have to say, these large breakfasts were clutch for us and made it possible to power through most of the day before getting hungry. We checked out and put our luggage on the 3rd floor in a corner in storage while we again walked around the Old City. This time, our quest for art panned out. We met a couple our age – Michon and Baby – right outside the Archbishop’s residence, and they were super friendly and made conversation with us because of Dave’s “Viva la Relativity” t-shirt….
We packed a lot in to the day already, having visited Caleta Buena, Playa Giron, and the Bahía de Cochinos, so we didn’t feel badly about not hitting the Hemingway Museum on our way back for our final night in Havana.. The benefit of not hitting the Hemingway museum was getting to Havana before dark. We would be staying again at Casa Castellòn, and felt comfortable enough to do some more sightseeing before we checked in. We parked the car with the attendant in front of the Museum of the Revolution for 1 CUC for 1 hour (he promised to “watch” the car), while we walked around to try to find art galleries in our never-ending quest for original Cuban artwork (everything seemed to be a copy of a copy of a copy, even though there were artist signatures on the canvases)….