Miami was one of the closest cities to South America that we could have chosen for our last stop in the US. Not only from the geographical point of view. In Miami 70% of the citizens have Spanish as the first language and right from the airport you really have the impression you landed in a Latin American country because everybody speaks Spanish. There’s a joke in Miami about this that says “If somebody says he is bilingual, it means he also speaks English”.
The majority of the Spanish speaking citizens are Cuban immigrants. Here is the highest number of Cubans outside of Havana and the main quarter where they live in Miami is called Little Havana. You can find lots of restaurants with Cuban cuisine and lots of Cuban cigar factories. Here we tried some traditional Cuban dishes: plantains, which are a sort of banana and are served fried as a side for meat dishes; black beans, which are also served as a dish and of course lots of different types of meat.
Our CS hosts Tim and Briana also showed us some nice spots in Miami. Miami basically wakes up at 11 PM and goes to bed around 5 AM, but though this sounds like a lot of action, it’s definitely not the place where you want to walk around in the night if you don’t know what you’re doing. So immediately after we met our hosts, they told us about the places in Miami where we should not necessarily go. Fortunately we stayed in Miami Beach which is technically not part of Miami and is very safe even at late hours. The South Beach is a very funny place; there are gym equipments on the beach and lots of guys training there and the streets look like if there would be a body-building competition in town.
Then during our stay there was also Hurricane Isaac which threatened to hit Miami. Fortunately the only thing it did was to bring a lot of rain for 4-5 days but because nobody knew if it would hit Miami directly, people were buying can-food and water for days. Thinking about what hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans a couple of years ago we also bought some cans and we still have spring water that we bought.
One amazing thing we’ve seen or done
On the last 2 days we went to Key West which is the most southern point in the US. The best beaches around Florida where you see the blue green water are not in Miami, they are around the Florida Keys. But what’s most amazing is the road to the Keys, it’s called the Overseas Highway and that’s what it is, a highway over the ocean, with turquoise water on both sides of the highway. If the Icefields Parkway in Canada is the best road I’ve driven through the mountains, this one is definitely the nicest one that I’ve seen near an ocean or sea.