John Prescott swaps technology for relaxation during trip to Cuba
Former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, has always been keen to visit the island of Cuba and this finally happened for the British politician after he took a recent trip to the Caribbean nation with his son. During his trip to the communist island, Prescott visited the bustling capital of Havana, Vinales Valley, and the beach resort of Varadero.
When British politician and former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott was 17 years old, he took a job as a steward on a Cunard cruise liner where he spent years travelling around the world.
Cuba was high on his list of travel destinations but on 8th January, 1959, the day his ship was scheduled to arrive on the Caribbean island, Castro entered Havana and all day trips to the island were cancelled.
More than 50 years later, Prescott had the chance to visit the beautiful country, this time with his son for a rare relaxing 10-day holiday and no mobile phone signal.
The first port of call was the bustling capital city Havana and Prescott and his son stayed at the five-star Melia Habana, which is approximately 30 minutes from the historic district.
In his recent article in the Guardian, Prescott wrote:
"Havana is a dynamic, energetic city. People packed the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town as we began our first day of exploration. They constantly stopped to greet each other with a handshake, a kiss or a song."
"One thing that did live up to my cliched image of Havana was the architecture. The buildings were beautiful, with an air of faded glory," he added.
After two days of sightseeing in Havana and a night at the famous open-air Tropicana nightclub sampling the local cigars and "Cuba Libre" (rum and cola) drinks, Prescott spent the following day on a trip to the verdant Viñales Valley. The national park is home to the Del Indio caves with huge colourful rock paintings that celebrate the revolution, and cigar factories where the world-famous Cuban cigars are produced.
Prescott left the vivacious city and headed east to the beach resort of Varadero that is located on a peninsular and boasts more than 20 kilometres of white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Their base this time was the Melia Varadero hotel, a sister property to their hotel in Havana, with five restaurants and a large swimming pool.
Though the politician is a trained diver from his time spent campaigning for health and safety on the oil rigs in the 70's, Prescott does not have a scuba diving certification so, aside from swimming, the only way he could enjoy the crystal clear waters of Cuba was by taking a day-long catamaran trip around the coast where an onboard barbecue, free bar, and swimming with dolphins was on offer.
"I didn't fancy getting wet, plus I've done plenty of this sort of thing in my life, so I gave the dolphins a miss, but it was wonderful to watch them jump into the arms of the swimmers."
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