I was forwarded a couple of links this morning that begs to be shared — two stories of two people visiting Cuba in the past couple of weeks for the Festival Habanos 2011 (well, technically, one of them didn’t actually attend any Festival events). It’s quite interesting to note how different the two men experienced the same country.

While one was beaming and happy and glad for the experience, the other was angry, bitter and disappointed. While one couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful the trip was, the other person seemed to have been caught in the worst customer service nightmare imaginable.

Jimmy and I spent 2 weeks in Cuba, travelling the countryside, horse-riding in the Viñales valley and watching the sun rise over it, drinking coffee in an old coffee plantation, feeling, touching and smelling the tobacco leaves while spending time with possibly the best Cuban tobacco grower Sr Francisco Milian aka “Pancho Cuba”, having countryside meals, smoking the best cigars available from Cohiba 1966 to MC GR to Laguito Nr 1 to BHK 56 while riding in a van full of cigars, aged rum and Cuban music.

Then the flipside:

Grisel Blanco, the representative from travel agency Havanatur, was supposed to pick me up but she could not be found. This was the same woman who had asked that a cellular phone be brought as a gift for her – yup, a complete stranger asking for a mobile phone as a gift. After considerable effort, she was finally located and I was driven to the Hotel Parque Central, supposedly one of the best in Havana.

Makes me wonder which Cuba i’ll experience when my trip comes up later this year…