Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Havana Cuba

While in Cayman we've had the opportunity to visit Havana on two Easter long-weekends with friends. We enjoyed ourselves on both trips. As you can imagine, Havana is a very unique place.

On our first trip we toured a cigar factory. After the tour, we noticed a young man following us. Turned out he wanted to sell us some cigars. Sale of cigars outside the government owned factories is illegal. Before the end of our trip, we purchased a couple of boxes of cigars from two men. We followed them into their apartment. See picture below.

Also on the first trip, we went to a baseball game. We bought tickets to the best seats in the stadium - cost was less than US$5 for tourists. The game was good, even though we couldn't understand a word of what was being said.

Other day tours included trips to the Necropolis and the Capitol. Evenings were spent touring the numerous bars, cafes and cabarets. The food was never good - vegetables and fruit are almost nonexistent. But the mojitos and cuba libres were always tasty. El Floridita served daiquiries, a favored drink of Ernest Hemingway. Entertainment at the Tropicana included show girls in skimpy outfits.

In the following pictures, hopefully you'll get a taste of the architecture. The colonial style buildings were really amazing. And even more amazing was that right next door people were living in squalor.