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Thursday, January 12, 2012

CUBA -- Impressions and Images

January 4 - 10, 2012
A Cuba Cultural Travel Tour,  cubaculturaltravel.com
Offered by the Fallbrook School of Arts, fallbrookschoolofthearts.org


January 4

 Billboard outside the Havana airport...



Drive from the airport to ...



Orientation walking tour of  Havana Vieja before checking into our hotel room...

My first impression was one of "contrasts;" particularly in architectural styles. Havana's old center, Havana Viejas, retains an interesting mix of Baroque and Neoclassical monuments, but you also see art deco, art nouveau, eclectic, and modern throughout Havana.  In every district of Havana you will see blocks and blocks of private houses, mansions really, with arcades, balconies wrought-iron gates and internal couryards--all in some form of deterioration. 

Many of Old Havana's finest buildings have been converted into museums, and there are churches, palaces, castles, revolutionary monuments and markets to visit; however, the renovations are only slowly extending to residential areas. 

 





Street vendor selling hand wrapped cones of a coconut/ginger mixture


Parque Central with a statue of Havana's greatest hero, Jose Marti

The old cars with yellow license plates are taxis
Hotel Plaza
Carriage, taxi & pedicab? available for tourists to get around
($10-$50 cuc/pesos or the cuban tourist's currency)
Our hotel, Hotel Parque Central

Later in the afternoon, another walking tour of the poorest section of Havana, 



Dinner at Dona Carmela, followed by the cannon ceremony at La Cabana Fortress


January 5, Walking tour of Havana's exquisite architecture guided by Cuban architect and professor,  Maria Elena Martin


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