As some of you may know, we took the first flight available in 50 years from Orlando to Cuba on July 8th, 2015. We knew that the flight would be an event; however, we didn’t know to what extent. We arrived at the ‘check in’ counter at Swift Air (yes that’s a real airline), no one was to be found. Were we late? Did we miss check in? Surely we are not the only people on this flight? We encountered our first ‘hiccup’. No one notified us of the flight time change from 12:30 to 2:15. Alright! No biggie! We are going to Cuba, disaster avoided!! We were then told by an airport employee, to fly on the first charter flight to a country from Orlando in over 50 years, they are likely to have these minor blips.
As time progressed and people started showing up at the RIGHT time, the chaos started mounting. First one news crew, then another, then another, and before we knew it, to her reluctance, Katie was getting interviewed for the local news! As the media swarmed Island Tours began to enhance the festivities. They offered Cuban sandwiches, pastries, hats, lays, shirts, and bags to all riding this momentous flight! It was a very exciting start to the trip. Not mention people texting us that they just saw us on the news!
Our barely half full flight was another experience to say the least. Other than a few media crews along for the news story (who recorded some people mid-flight), the flight was full of Cubans eager to see their families. Several times as we neared Cuba on this short flight (one hour flight from Orlando to Havana) the passengers erupted in song, led by one especially excited Cuban. The media was quick to jump on this and record their excitement. And of course the inevitable round of applause when we hit the ground on Cuban soil! We have arrived!
Arriving in the customs terminal was our last hurdle before we entered Cuba. On the other side of the agents was a white plain door set back in a tiny hallway, almost like an entrance to the forbidden land. One by one we entered through where we bypassed a security checkpoint and customs declaration.
Our first image of Cuba is this taxi our casa particular host ordered for us!
P.S. as we are sure you guys have noticed no recent posts (already day 6 in the trip for us). We have internet for now, but it is rare and slow. We aren’t adding as many pictures as we like, but we hope you still enjoy!!! More pictures to come when we return home from our time warp…