Cuba continued Havana

As you approach the city the fort stands out in all it’s glory and you immediately get a glimpse of the beautiful skyline along the Malecon. A visit to the fort gives you a lovely view of old Havana. There is shop where you can purchase liquor, cigars etc. There are various Cuban cigars and are priced according to brand and sizes. Be warned can be quite expensive. You are also able to tour the fort but note there is a cost.

Here is Jose Castelar the famous cigar maker who made the Guinness book for rolling the longest cigar (82 inches) which is known to have been started in April and ended in May. He was seen at the entrance of the store busy at work unperturbed.

Art in Cuba is very popular various pieces can be seen on display in restaurants, stores and in the craft market, walking distance from the bay. Meeting Lorenzo Lopez Shening, a Cuban Artist, was a delight as we were able to view some remarkable pieces particularly the “Love me Love me not “ piece displayEd in the United States. It should be noted he is also a great photographer.

Each unit of this piece represents the pillars of life

Sometime ago while walking with a friend in Brooklyn Botanical garden my friend seemed fascinated by trees and some of the unusual formations that some trees grow in, which led me to look at trees as a form of art. So it was not surprising how drawn I was to the trees along the street close to the artist’s home.

Cuba is known for its antique cars and how well maintained they are; I drove in one that was a 1965..

We were off to dinner but had a treat of being included in a car caravan heading towards Revolution Plaza racing down the Malecan with music blasting. Our guide arranged it for us but others can have a ride for a charge, I am sure your hotel personnel can help in arrangements.

A visit to Revolution Plaza you will find the Marti monument and images of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos exhibited on their business buildings. This seems to be a meeting place for these famous cars.

Riding through the streets heading to Revolution Plaza

If you are so inclined and have the time you are able to climb to a viewing point in the monument which I am told gives you a beautiful view of the city.

Buildings in old Havana, although some needs major renovations which is in progress, it is very clear how well built they were. For those still in good condition display such fine architecture . The challenge for developers is that people reside in these buildings and finding accommodations takes time. The developer we had a chat explained the challenges of funding and relocation of the residents. What is interesting is that residents own and is responsible for their repairs. If you are on the top floor and there is a problem with the roof that owner is responsible. If a commonly used structure such as a staircase then it is jointly repaired.

Walking around the square is beautiful there is old and new buildings, a lovely park, tourists in groups, beautifully color antique cars, restaurants, a view of the fort, vendors etc.

These ladies dressed in these colorful clothing will take pictures with you for a cost. What I noticed there was no begging and on the occasions we were approached it was by ladies asking for shampoo, soap and other items of toiletries. Should you plan to visit, my suggestion is to carry some of those items even those found in hotels are highly appreciated.

We had a chance to eat at some of their Paladors or restaurants. Most times whether at lunch or dinner there is always live entertainment, it’s suggested that you give a tip to the entertainers.

More Havana to come during my people and it’s culture tour.

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