My dear friend and former Dell manager, Kay Stauble, called and invited me to go to Cuba with her.  I wasn't sure until I checked and found that I could get into the country although recent embargos against Cuba by Trump may make that impossible now.  I loved the people -- so friendly, happy, enjoying the humble life which they have.  Cuba has to be least racist country in the world -- folks black, white, and brown were everywhere together.  Music was everywhere too and only the tourists were taking selfies and tied to their phone screens.  The biggest surprise was the cost of meals.  A basic lunch or dinner cost around $17.50 US!  There are food and medicine shortages though so that could be expected. 



Above  The national capitol and opera house as seen
from our hotel room.
Left:  Iberostar Parque Central Hotel as seen from the park.

Above: Typical street scene of older buildings.

Right:  Hotel Inglaterra (English Hotel),
one of the oldest, opposite Central Park


Old buildings leave their footprints behind.

Josť Marti statue in Parque Central

The National Capitol is a museum now.  It was designed to copy the U.S. capitol.  The dome is being repaired and hopefully it will be finished by the 60th anniversary of the 1959 revolution.


Right:  Two statues which flank the Capitol entrance.
  

The Gran Theatro de Habana is magnificent.

It was built in 1915 and seats 1,500.





Left:  Alicia Alonso, Cuba's prima ballerina for whom the teatro has been renamed.  She is 99 years old in 2019.

Below:
 
The salon on the top floor is used for art exhibits.  The winding staircases lead down past the statue of Alicia Alonso.



We went on a walking tour of the historic center of Old Havana.  Our guide was Marcel with Strawbery Tours.  He was excellent and his English was outstanding since he doesn't have any English-speaking friends.  We cannot recommend him enough.

The colorful, old buildings (right) reminded me of New Orleans as well as Mexico with their bright colors. 

Lower Right:  Among our stops was a weapons museum which displayed some of the medals from the Revolution.





With food and medicine rationed, I was shocked to see a store featuring the upscale names shown above, strictly for tourists..

One of the many old forts which protected Havana harbor during the days of pirates.

The terminal where cruise ships dock. Guests can eat and sleep on their ship yet easily wander around the city

Mural showing important figures from the Spanish colonial period.

The Christ of Havana statue is 66 feet tall and stands by the entrance to the Havana Harbor.  Some say he is holding a cigar and a glass of rum :)

This is the mail chute of a colonial Havana house.

The Cathedral of Habana was impressive.

Not far from the Cathedral there is a Muslim mosque.

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