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Cuba 2004

All images copyright 2004 Laurie & Kairen Wilson

 

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Cuba is unique, with its fascinating history, culture and captivating people.  

With changes not being far away on the island and the place still essentially un-developed we chose this as a suitable time to go.

Our itinerary consisted of two days in the capital Havana, followed by a further three days touring the central part of the island.  We then finished off the holiday with ten days lazing by the beach in an all-inclusive hotel located in Varadero, the stunning location of Cuba's emerging tourist industry 

 


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Havana

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Morro Fortress - looking back towards Havana city.

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Old Havana - our first taste of the grand architecture of this city.

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Ernest Hemmingway's favourite bar in Havana

La Bodeguita del Medio

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Havana Cathedral de San Cristobal

 

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Cathedral Plaza

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Chemist shop in Old Havana

 

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Presidential Palace - Havana

Now the Museum of the Revolution

 

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Statue of Ferdinand

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Inside the Presidential Palace

 

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The ladies charged for photographs!

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Cathedral Plaza looking towards San Francisco de Asis

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Franciscan Square

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The Fryer Hotel lobby

 

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The houses around this plaza were being restored

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There is still a lot of work to be done

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We didn't find out why these modern sculptures were in the plaza

 

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Lunch was in Cafe Taberna

 

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Most of the bars had live salsa music and dancing

 

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An impromptu carnival outside the cafe

 

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Coco taxis were an alternative to the local cabs

 

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Capital Building

 

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View from the steps

 

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A pre-1959 American taxi

 

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...bent light!

 

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A visit to a rum bottling factory.  

Kairen was about to enter 'heaven'

 

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The building used to be owned by the Swan family. Hence the ornate decorations on the exterior

 

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Rum aging in casks.  Before the revolution (in 1959) this was the original Bacardi factory.  Post the revolution they moved out of Cuba, but the process (and quality) remain the same.

 

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Sampling rum...well there's a surprise!

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Firewater Cappuccino is a speciality

 

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The image of Che on a building in Revolution Square

 

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Memorial Jose Marti.  Star shaped 140' podium.

 

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More old cars. 

There were so many aging American cars that it became a bit passť.  

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Before we arrived we thought that they existed because there were no new vehicles available (due to the American import embargo)  In fact there are many new Peugeot, Seat and VW cars around.  However, you can only buy a new car if you are a 'good revolutionary' and earned that right.  When you have bought it you cannot sell it. (there is no process of ownership transfer)  You can only bequeath it to your relatives.

The ONLY cars that can be bought and sold are those that were on the island prior to the revolution (1959) Hence the desire to keep these on the road.  They change hands for around $12,000.  (a doctor earns $1 a day).

 

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Necropolis Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus Cemetery)

(Hearse)

 

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This was a very grand and spectacular cemetery with all the great and good of Cuba buried here.

Just over a million people are buried here.

 

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Damage from the recent hurricane

 

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