Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cuba part 7

Now that Hurricane Irma appears to have destroyed much of the Caribbean, including Cuba, I'll finish my posts.  On my last day in Havana, we got a guided tour of a few sights.  This is a hotel where Hemingway hung out and lived.








This is a bar where Hemingway used to drink, and apparently they have the best mojitos in Havana.  Look at the line!  This was 11 am.  


It wasn't clear what this guy was doing but he was set up with a typewriter outside of La Bodeguita Del Medio.


A stereotypical shot of Havana.


A park near our hotel with this statue of someone I don't remember. 


One of my coworkers is from Havana and asked me to find the restaurant that her parents used to run.  This is the street, but there wasn't a restaurant there anymore.  
Here you can also see one of the pedicabs.    


she didn't remember the exact address, so I just took pictures of the whole street.  There are just tourist shops there, now.  She had vague memories of the gates that go up and down, but she didn't remember much else about the street.  


This the top of the building, and you can see some broken windows.  I wasn't sure if the rest of the building was inhabited or not.  

Random graffiti on someone's house.

We were able to find a bakery.  Although the selection wasn't great, the things were tried were delicious.


This was a typical meal -- white fish and rice.  


I thought we would be able to get flan everywhere we went, but we only had it twice -- both times in Havana.



Milena's parents at dinner


Photobomb!



Fruit cart


Line up of classic cars.  Some tourists wanted to ride in these, but we chose the air conditioned cars.  



This red Oldsmobile was my favorite.  In the background, you see all the tour buses picking up passengers from the cruise ships.  


Last day... saying good bye to Havana!  We went to the "Chocolate Museum" and then I went to the airport.  Everyone else stayed another day and saw the other side of the city, which I didn't get to see, so I have a reason to go back, someday.  


Friday, September 1, 2017

Cuba part 6


Just like a lot of places in Europe and elsewhere, Havana had city squares throughout.  This is the one with the cathedral, which was beautiful.





Walking towards the plaza.








Cathedral by night (we had dinner at a restaurant facing the cathedral).


Inside the cathedral.  
I can't imagine sitting in a service while tourists come in and take pictures, but that's what happens, I suppose, when the cathedral is as beautiful as this.  




Some portraits of saints (I think)



Monday, August 28, 2017

Cuba part 5


This is our hotel in Havana.  This was by far the best hotel we stayed in, and Havana was my favorite part of the trip.



They served breakfast on this patio out front, but if we didn't get there by 9, it was already too hot to sit outside.


In the middle of the main square in town, we saw these people on stilts.


A few of the streets had these little squares blocked off and you could go down into a cave or something... we never did it but it seemed weird.



Posing in the shade of a building


Lots of tourists.





Milena's dad





this was a weird statue in the middle of the plaza.  A woman riding on a chicken with a giant fork.


Cooling down in the AC of the hotel restaurant


There were a few stray dogs around.  This one had some kind of a license and was hanging out in the lobby of a museum.  



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cuba part 4

Next we went to a town called Varadero, where Milena's mom remembers vacationing as a kid.  It has changed a lot in those years and is now overrun with Canadian and Russian tourists.  Here is the hotel where we stayed.

The beach in the morning.



After a little rain 


Later in the day.  The sun was so strong (yes, I got sunburned)


One day we got a taxi and drove about 20 minutes away to do some snorkeling





On a Catamaran


Dessert buffet 

Fresh mango





Saying goodbye to the beach the morning we left