Welcome to the fourth flight of this new series covering my late winter getaway to Cuba with stopovers in Munich, Germany and Toronto, Canada. The whole trip consisted of the following 6 flights operated by Lufthansa, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge:
28.02.2020 - LH1613 - WAW-MUC
29.02.2020 - AC847 - MUC-YYZ
29.02.2020 - AC1876 - YYZ-HAV
14.03.2020 - AC1877 - HAV-YYZ - you are here!
14.03.2020 - LH471 - YYZ-FRA
15.03.2020 - LH1348 - FRA-WAW
but as the last flight has eventually been cancelled due to covid-19 pandemia and closing of Polish borders on the 15th of March, we've been offered a flight to Berlin instead:
15.03.2020 - LH178 - FRA-TXL
A TRIP AROUND CUBA
It is quite hard, I would say almost impossible to see the whole country in just two weeks. Not only because Cuba is big enough, but also because it belongs to a different dimension where hiring a car, taking a domestic flight or a fast train seems like a science-fiction movie. That's why we decided to see just the essentials and make a small circle using the Viazul buses that despite promising a better "tourist" standard are, as almost everything in Cuba, old-fashioned, and used.
Our first destination was the iconic city of Trinidad that belonged to sugar cane plantations owners and is in my opinion one of the nicest places on the island.
While walking around the city we could see a classroom of a local primary school (look on the portraits on the walls)
From Trinidad it is easy to make a one day trip to Playa Ancon and see Cuba's Caribbean coast that looks really nice.
From Trinidad we went to Santa Clara that is not a very popular destination for tourists as there is not much too see if you are not interested in the monument and tomb of Che Guevara
We spent the rest of our stay in Varadero that despite being the most popular holiday place in Cuba, has great beach and is close enough to Havana, so you don't need spend another 5 hours on a Viazul bus before heading back to the capital for your flight back home.
On the end of this bonus: one of the most beautiful things in Cuba - the old cars.
There were also more Polaquitos to meet on our way
And a lot of propaganda…
In Varadero I made a visit to a local office of Cubana de Aviacion that looked a little bit like a small aviation museum. Flying an IL-96 across the Atlantic from Havana to Madrid (that's currently their one and only long haul connection) must be a terryfying experience!
We came back to Havana for the journey back home to discover that on the day of our arrival Polish borders will be already closed due to COVID-19 and no incoming flights, except for charters, will be accepted. I've already managed to make a full check-in online and everything seemed fine, neither AC or LH informed about any changes so I thought maybe we would come back home normally. It was nice to see Havana one more time, take an old taxi and see the central square with Capitolio.
Our departure was at 07:00 a.m., we needed to be at the airport at 05:00, so we got up at 4:00 and regarding all the anxiety due to COVID-19 restrictions I had an almost sleepless night. This beautiful taxi built in 1948! brought us to the airport. There is no other option to be honest, there are some buses but nobody knows when they depart and it would be too risky to try them so early in the morning.
The airport seemed to work normally, there were some people wearing masks but regarding the fact that at that time there were only 2 people sick in whole Cuba, there wasn't much panic. We checked our bags in to our final destination, so there wa still some hope we can get to Warsaw safely.
I was a little bit anxious what aircraft will this time AC Rouge send to bring us back to Toronto. Luckily this A319, even if not very young, was in far better condition than the previous one.
One thing remained unchanged: there was no legroom!
We took off with a sense of relief: at least we won't get stuck in Cuba if things get worse. Canada or Germany seemed a much better option.
Sun was slowly rising when we reached Florida
I decided to check the BOB offer despite not being hungry at all. I must say it looks decent and the prices are not crazy, so maybe next time…
As last time, drinks were served for free
It was getting brighter as we were flying over US
The cabin in full light: this time it wasn't yellow!
As we were getting closer to Canada, the flight was getting bumpier and bumpier. Some aerials from the area of Pittsburgh
It looks like there is no snow in Toronto anymore. It's good cause we are going to have a 9-hour long stopover and would like to go to the city center for a while if we will be let in - I heard some people taking during the flight that due to COVID-19 transit passengers are not allowed to leave the airport in Canada :( It would be a shame!
Landing was quite smooth and soon we parked next to this 777-300 that arrived from Cairo
When I turned on my mobile I received a message form Lufthansa saying that our last flight FRA-WAW was cancelled and that we would be informed on what to do to get home…Great! :(
As I wrote before, this cabin looked quite new even if the aircraft age was almost 22 years. So it seems it's not so much about the age but rather how the aircraft is maintained…
Last look of our bird
Now we just need to find out: 1) if we can leave the airport and go to Toronto, 2) how we are going to get from Frankfurt to Warsaw or 3) if maybe we will be offered another flight, e.g. a direct LOT flight to Warsaw if it wasn't cancelled. Answers will appear soon in the next report. Thanks for reading!
AC Rouge is not that bad if the aircraft, even if offering a very tight legroom, looks decent and is clean. Can't say a bad word about the crew, it had no sense of humour but was correct.