Saturday, March 14, 2015

Santa Maria Beach, Cuba

Let's play dress up for the tourists!  Nice cigar!

The Santa Maria beach is beautiful!


The second baseball game I saw in a week-

A fragment of the former city wall-

My time in Cuba has been great.  The people are friendly,  the architecture is fantastic and the rum.....

Friday, March 13, 2015

Havana, Cuba, Day 4

Today was a big museum day.  First stop was the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.  It's a beautiful building-

Currently there is a modern art exposition that was quite interesting.  Interesting in the fact of what constitutes 'art'.  There were over 100 paintings of penises, each one representing a particular person and depicting who they are and what they do.  Vito Acconci is a landscape architect, installation and performance artist and an American designer.  I'm not sure the connection here but it's kind of funny-

 "The perceived and the not perceived".  In one of these 6 photos, one hair was removed!  

Kendell Geers, a South African, is responsible for "Hanging Piece 1993".  It's one of the rare works of art a person can touch.  You have to walk right through to continue the tour!

Jose Medina, a Mexican, (1807-1874) depicts " La adoracion de los reyes magos"-

This is a crazy one by Escuela Cuzquena from Peru called "La aparicion de la Virgen y el Nino a San Bernardo".  I guess he was thirsty??

Escuela Estadounidense painted "Subasta de esclavos" in the XIX century-

Marten Van Valckenborgh (1535-1612) is responsible for "Torre de Babel"-

More cool cars-

Ernest Hemmingway helped make

the most famous bar in Havana by declaring that the best mojitos could be found here.  The walls are autographed-

and of course there is live music-

I had a mixed salad and a creole dessert which was bread pudding soaked in syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon.  Both were very good-

The Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana, in baroque style, was built between 1748-1787 and is one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas.  Notice the two towers don't match!

The Plaza de San Francisco de Asis was a market in the 16th century and the white marble Fuente de Los Leones (Fountain of Lions), to my right, was created by Giuseppe Gaginni in 1836- 

The Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asis was built in 1739.  Today it is a concert hall and a museo de Arte Religioso-

This fellow earned his tip!

Next stop was to the Museo del Ron where I learned about the history of rum making and the brewing process.  These are antique sugar cane presses-

Slaves slaving away-

And the best part... rum tasting!

The Museo de la Revolucion is in the former Presidential Palace built between 1913 and 1920-

Of course it's dedicated to none other than......

The Presidential Office-

In the head office of the Council of Ministers of the Cuban Republic, many anti-popular bills were passed during the neo-colonial time.  From 1959-1965, the Council of Ministers of the Revolutionary government worked here.  Tuesdays and Fridays, Fidel, Che, Camilo and Raul Castro presided-

There are bullet holes above and to the right of the statue.  March 13, 1957, an armed organization of the universities student's federation and members of the Revolutionary Directory attacked, hoping to kill the dictator Fulgencio Batista-

Camilo Cienfuegos, a leading commander in the revolutionary army was less dogmatic than Che or Fidel in his political views.  He was killed in a plane crash in October 1959-

Che Guevara, an Argentinian and medical doctor, worked with Fidel and Raul Castro to win the Revolution in 1958/1959-

Castro used this SAU-100 auto-propelled cannon, 100 mm caliber to shoot the US Houston during the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961-

This monument honors the people who made the Revolution possible.  It was dedicated and lit by Fidel in 1989-

This ramp was used to shoot down an American U2 spy plane in October 1962-

This is the U2 spy craft shot down-

At the Floridita, Hemmingway popularized the daiquiri-

Food, food, food... onions-

other vegetables-

This is soooo Cuba -  colored, beat up buildings, a horse and cart and a Lada-

Is it any wonder I have large blisters on my feet?  Tomorrow I'm off to the beach!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Back to Havana from Vinales!

I've always wondered if sunscreen really worked.  Yesterday I spent 30 minutes tanning my front.  I only put sunscreen on my tattoos because I don't want them to fade.  I guess Ombrelle does a pretty fine job-

Another cool car, this time in Vinales-

Garment workers in Vinales-

After waiting and hoping that not all of the people with reservations on Viazul from Vinales to Havana showed up, I got a seat, so at 1 pm, was back in Havana.

The Museo Napoleonico contains over 7000 artifacts associated with the life of Napoleon Bonaparte.  The sugar baron Julio Lobo and politician Orestes Ferrara were great Napoleon fans and left their collection and a gorgeous four story home in Vedado to the city-

Andrea Appiana painted this portrait of Napoleon in Milan-

This is an actual bicornio that Napoleon I wore in the 19th century-

This bust of Napoleon I was done by Raffaello Romanelli in the 19th century-

This is a remake of Napoleon's dining room-

I love this painting called Promenade à Versaille by François Flameng-

This is apparently the actual bed where Napoleon died-

Charles Stuben painted Mort de Napoleon, found above the bed-

Napoleon's ashes were returned to France from Elbe.  Sebastien Mayer painted Depart des cendres de Napoleon vers la France-

Robert Lefevre painted Napoleon I at Elbe-

Robert HIllingford depicts Un episode de la bataille de Waterloo-

The terrace of the house is decorated with tiles from Seville and Morocco-

The library-

Lying Planet says this museum is the best in Havana and perhaps all of Cuba.  I am not really so much into artefacts as art, as is pretty apparent from my pictures!

The University of Havana was founded by Dominican monks in 1728 and secularized in 1842.  It moved from Havana Vieja in 1902.  It's an example of neo-classical architecture and 30,000 students study here-


Tomorrow it's Havana Vieja and more museums!

  Cancun, Mexico to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,     December 31, 2023 I was up at 4:30 and walking to the bus depot by 5:30.  I wore my headlam...