Tuesday, June 07, 2005

From London Gatwick to Holguin

Unfortunately Cubana doesn’t connect with any UK domestic airlines, so we didn’t have the luxury of being able to check our bags all the way through to Cuba. We were also told that if we missed our flight we would be responsible for the cost and arrangements of a new flight. For this reason we made sure that we booked a flight that arrived well in advance of the 3.45pm take off time.

We arrived in Gatwick just before 10am, with over 5 hours of fun ahead of us, only to find that our Cubana flight was delayed by 5 hours. So we had the joy of 10 hours in the airport followed by an 8 hour flight to Cuba and a 1 hour bus journey to the resort - a total of 24 hours, without any sleep.

Luckily Gatwick airport is pretty good with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, so we kept ourselves busy by eating, drinking lots of vino and shopping.

Our flight to Holguin went smoothly, despite the 5-hour delay, but the plane was an old looking Boeing 747, rather than the nice new airbus that we’d been told about. It had “Air Atlantica Europa” on the side and writing on the back of the seat tables in a language that looked like Malay. One advantage of the plane being old was that it seemed to have much more legroom than the newer 747s and because the plane wasn’t very busy we were able to stretch out on the three seats we had between us. The airline served us crappy food and showed us a film that was a few years old, but I was expecting that anyway and had come prepared with my MP3 player, books, magazines and food, so it didn’t bother me too much. The most important thing was that the airline got us to Cuba in one piece, despite it being the most accident-prone airline in the world.

On arrival at Holguin airport, only some of the passengers got off as the flight was going on to Havana. We disembarked down some steps and for the first time in my life I walked under the nose of a Boeing 747. I don’t think I’ve ever stood beside such a big plane in my life. I was surprised that they were allowing us to walk so close to the engines – as normally even with the smaller planes they rope off the wing area or at least direct you away from the engines.

Holguin airport resembled an old bus station, but we weren’t there for too long. Once we had gone through passport control and collected our bags we were met by a Holiday Place rep and whisked away in an air-conditioned coach to our hotel. We didn’t see much since it was almost 1am and the place was dark. The journey took about an hour and we were checked into the hotel quickly and taken off in a golf cart to our room.


Blogger vlad3647 said...

Nice blog,Im vladimir,Im from Cuba and I want to tell you Holguin is the most beautiful province of Cuba!!!!!!!

12:42 PM  

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