Spring Break in Cuba, 21st Celebrations in NYC… and more snow in Halifax

Hello and SORRY for this very delayed post! Things have been extremely busy with uni/travelling/general life stuff since I updated you all back in February so I hope you can forgive me for overloading you with information…

So this post is technically being written in hindsight, but just imagine it is being written at the end of March…

CUBA for Spring Break was amazing! I would definitely recommend anyone coming to Canada to consider booking a trip there because the flights/all-inclusive deals are so cheap and you will definitely appreciate some sun during what has been the LONGEST winter of my life (it is nearly April and there is still snow EVERYWHERE). We stayed at a hotel in a place called Varadero (famous for its beautiful white beaches!) I have never been anywhere like Cuba – it is a communist country where everything is highly rationed, and the small island economy means it is really dependent on exportation. It’s kinda like stepping back in time…

So they have really cool cars:

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Other fun activities included going snorkelling in the gorgeous coral reefs, swimming in freshwater caves and visiting Havana for a day, all of which I would definitely recommend! Havana is an incredible city and I would have liked to stay there for longer because there is so much to see and do there:

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Otherwise, Cuba is all about the beaches and good times – it was definitely one of my highlights of exchange!

After Spring Break I had a lot of mid-terms and assignments due. When you’re on exchange you just have to accept that if you spend an entire week travelling or doing touristy stuff, you will have to sacrifice your life the following week to catch up. It is definitely worth it though, and you get into the swing of things after a while. I can safely say that I am no longer phased by the concept of multi-tasking!

ST PADDY’S DAY – the East Coast get into the Irish spirit just as much as Glasgow do! Everyone takes the day off (or as soon as much of it as they can!) in order to pay tribute to Saint Patrick from morning until night. You all know the deal. The fact that Halifax has the highest number of bars per capita in the whole of Canada means there are plenty of places to celebrate. We ended up in The Old Triangle – one of the best Irish bars I have been to, and there are a LOT of Irish bars kicking about in this world.

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Drinking some nasty green stuff to honour the man himself

BURGER WEEK – what a week it was ladies and gents. And all for a good cause! Most of the restaurants that participate in burger week give a percentage of their profit to “Feed Nova Scotia”, which is an organisation that distributes food to the hungry and homeless. I had three different burgers, my favourite was definitely the $5 Burger from Two Doors Down – a restaurant that you should definitely check it out if you are coming to Dal on exchange 🙂

Small but mighty

Small but mighty

NEW YORK CITY – was quite the adventure. My friend and I (who is also studying at Dal) flew to JFK to meet another friend who is on exchange in Oklahoma this year, and her big sister flew in from Edinburgh too! We had a jam-packed weekend full of sight-seeing and partying (I turned 21 a few days before, so we timed it perfectly!) The flights to NYC are cheap and frequent, so if you have never been before – or, like me, if you would just like to go again – definitely add it to your list of long weekend breaks! Everyone will tell you there is nowhere in the world quite like New York.

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We saw/did all of the usual stuff: went up the Empire State Building, saw a Broadway show (Mamma Mia – front row may I add! We managed to afford this by lining up at the discount “TKTS” stall in Times Square, which is definitely worth it), strolled through Central Park, went to the MET and the NY Public Library, walked along Brooklyn Bridge, had a huuuuge feed in Chinatown, saw the Statue of Liberty, took in the buzz of Times Square… We also had an unlimited Mimosa brunch at Macondo (anyone who is a fan of breakfast and/or booze – take note!) My favourite area is Soho because it is packed with cool bars, cute cafes and incredible shopping… you have been warned!

Again, after what was essentially a week-long celebration for my 21st birthday, there were a bunch of assignments and impending exams awaiting my arrival in Halifax. I’m going to do a separate post about the end of term, in which I will let you know about how I coped with the exam period and just generally what to expect in comparison to Glasgow.

Until next time – here are some more pictures to keep you all busy:

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Cuban sunset

Cuban sunsets = beautiful

Frozen lakes in Halifax

Frozen lakes in Halifax

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