Saturday, January 12, 2008

For my Fray friend run75441 -- Cuba pics

Relaxing in Havana. This is in front of the National Hotel in the Vedada (University) section of Havana. It's a nice hotel, but the attraction here is a barely visible museum, a bunker actually, a relic from the Cold War, that was a bit of a command centre watching for US planes coming in from the Florida direction during the Cuba Missile Crisis. The Cubans actually expected to be hit, and any who have seen The Fog of War would know that they were right to have that expectation.

This is just off of my favourite street in Havana, the Prado:

It's European-style with a beautiful raised marble and cement sidewalk down the centre, and mainly dilapitated buildings on each side. But they're functional, and lived in. Look at this guy:

He's sitting outside on his second-story balcony. They all look like that: stately, distinguished, Garcia-Marquez types that could talk forever and teach you life. The street separates Central City from the Old City, and runs from the Capitol (modeled after your own in Washington, down to the Malecon.

Here's a pic of the Malecon. I love this pic (posted it before) because it caught the gasp on the little girl's face .. it's like she's thinking "Mom, you risk dumping me in the ocean just so those people will take my picture??!?"

Here's some city life, a market in Centro (and if you could see that meat close up you'd see a dizzying array of flies buzzing around it .. probably the main reason I haven't gone back, the flies), and some good lookin chick in front of the Museum of the Revolution in the Old city (see the Cold War relics in the background, and the sign that says "Do Not Stay in This Area" .. ain't we brave!):

Finally here's a typical beach pic from south Cuba, just outside a Spanish historical town (called that because it likely looks about the same now as it did a century ago .. cept for the cars) called Trinidad.

See what I mean? Here's a street shot of that little town, and the original kite runner:

Back to the city, here are some old guys playing chess in Old Havana's Central Park .. we went there to hang out at the "Hot Corner" and listen to some baseball talk, and it was interesting for a bit, but the chess players won out for my attention:

And to get around Old Havana, of course, you have your choice of colour and model (mileage may not be great, but it's a comfortable ride):

Not to mention Fidel's personal ride(!)

And to finish, a couple of nitwits (one local, one not) in front of Hemingway's joint (yellow sign in background, looks empty but always packed) in Old Havana:


Added Nov 18

My original comment on this pic "Cuba is not Iraq", but it looks like a war zone (may have to expand it):


Bite oftheweek said...

I would SO love to go to Cuba! Thanks for posting the pics, they are beautiful

run75441 said...

I was in Cuba in 1970 as a young Marine Corporal. I did not get off base; but, I did meet and talk to quite a few Cubans there. Where I was is not the same as what is portrayed in your pics. Spent way to much time stringing wire and walking the mine fields.

Still a pretty island and I enjoyed the waters and sun. Puerto Rico San Juan has a similar architecture. See Hemingway anywhwere?

run75441 said...

Also was born in Buffalo. Was just back there this last year to visit cousins and skip rocks on Lake Erie.

hipparchia said...

glad this is here. i missed your cuba post [and turkey too] when iraqwarit went away.

Anya said...

It is amazing how much Cuba resembles other ex-Communist countries!

sydbristow said...

Havana is in severe disrepair. But it escaped WW2, it's over here, the rest are over there, etc (and all obvious, but you know why I say it). I guess I'm saying I'm interested in hearing more ... how?

A buddy was a 20 yr-old soldier in Ceauşescu's army and there the day he went down, interesting stories.

Thanks for popping in.

sydbristow said...

p.s. to Anya, I added a pic showing the disrepair, is this mainly the type of thing you were talking about?

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