Cuba, a full day

I went with Barnard and so the trip had been planned for us.  My friend Liz invited me to go along as she is not only a graduate of Barnard, her company Great Performances, planned and put on the trip.  She had been before and we were able to steer off the beaten track of the planned activities.  Our excursions made the trip.

We began the first day in the area of old Havana to see the Museo Nactional da las Bellas Artes and the Museo de la Revolucion.  We just took a walk through the art museum.  Two floors that focus on one floor of colonial art and the other of contemporary art.  There was not one artist in the entire museum that I had ever seen before which is interesting.  There is a lot of meaning to be interpreted from the artists who have lived through the revolution.  We were both surprised that some of it was actually allowed to be hung.  

These old cars are everywhere.  In the areas where most of the tourists are pointed to you do see some newer cars on the road but in many of the areas that LIz and I went to there is nothing new.  

We took our own walk down a few side streets before heading back to meet the group for lunch.  The streets have small shops in the bottom of many of the buildings.  Some shops sell fruit, some are artists selling their wares, others sell three of four items of clothing and others just sell one particular bread roll. This woman shared a small shop with another vendor that sold just some fruits and vegetables.  

Phone repair.

Dance studio.

Artists gallery.

Bread cart.

A local bar.

Watch maker
Watch fixer.

Buildings on the street
Most of the buildings look like this in this area.


Bacardi building
Bacardi Building.

Mainstreetnearart museum
This is a huge avenue in that area.  I can only imagine how hopping and beautiful it was in the 50's.  

We went to lunch at Casa Miglis in Centro Havana.  The owner is half Greek and half Swedish.  He came to Cuba, fell in love and never left.  

Upstairs apartment
We got a tour of the apartment upstairs from the restaurant, across the way and next door after lunch.  There are several generations living in the apartment upstairs.  This is their living room.

Upstairs apartment kitchen
Here is their kitchen.  Such nice people to share their homes with us and it made us all wonder about their last 50 years.

Mansittingon roofview
This is a view from their rooftop.

Twins apartment
The women across the street lived upstairs in a nicer apartment.  They had come in to take care of a woman who got sick and died and were able to secure that apartment.  50 years ago 80% of the people lived in the country side and 20% in the city.  That has literally flipped so now 80% of the people live in the cities and that is one of the reasons for lack of housing.  

Ladies across the road kitchen
This is their kitchen.

They do the linens for the restaurant across the street.  Here is their washing machine.

Viewfrom the roof
This is a view from their rooftop.

Chairs with jesus
The last apartment we saw did not appear to have a bathroom.  This is their living room.

Theirstove last apartment
Their stove.

Their wall clock.

Manacross the street
This gentlmen lives across the street.

Havana university photo
The photos do not do the decay justice.  We were all a little bit speechless after this behind the scenes look.  We drove back to the hotel and drove by Havana University.  The alumnae could not get over that the university had the same stairs and lights that Columbia University had.  

We went back to the hotel where I was able to download some email and get ready for dinner.