Friday 29 July 2011
I know, it's a morbid thought, a cemetery. When I started renting apartments in Havana it was in the Nuevo Vedado district. Every day, several times a day, I would drive by the Colon cemetery. The monuments & mausoleums looked amazing. One day I decided to go & I'm glad I did. You pay an extra cuc to be able to use your camera, pay it. It's a nice way to spend 30 minutes or an hour.
The cemetery was founded in 1876. It's estimated that it holds more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels & family vaults. It contains over 800,000 graves.
Thursday 28 July 2011
A few years ago I started going to Havana. The first non-Cuban I met was Paolo from Italia. I met him in the VIP lounge on the Partagas store in Habana Vieja. After talking for awhile he told me about this gathering of smokers from around the world. They met twice a year in Havana for this festival that Partagas would throw. He said it was a lot of fun and games with like people and a lot of smoking and I had to go. At this point, Abel, the store manager, proceeded to show me a video of a past Encuentro. I was hooked. A few months later, I was back in Havana for my first of many Encuentros. I had a blast.
It can seem a bit expensive to some people but I think you get your money's worth. It's a 4 day event; the cocktail, beach day, dia del bosque and finally the Gala dinner. All the events include food, activities and/or entertainment, 2-3 cigars and alcohol. The part that I think is the best is the friendships that you make along the way. I still have these friendships today and you can't put a price on that. If you're a smoker, I would strongly recommend this event. Enjoy the pics
Sunday 24 July 2011
The 'Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana' is, in my opinion, a must see. Up until last year, I did not imagine the quality of art that had been produced in Cuba through the years. Like most tourists, I thought Cuban art was limited to those paintings & statues you see in the open markets or small shops around Havana & your hotel in the all-inclusives. I was pleasantly surprised.
The new Palacio of Bellas Artes http://www.cubaabsolutely.com/Bellas_Artes.html was opened in 1954. There are two buildings, one dedicated to Cuban art & the other 'Palacio del Centro Asturiano' to universal arts. Both are worth a visit but the Cuban is the most facinating for me. You can see the influences through the years. I took a few pictures even though I wasn't allowed. That means I was limited to the paintings I could photograph because of all the guards. Enjoy