Monday, March 6 (Day 6): Havana (day one of two):

Our walking tour began in the Plaza de San Francisco, which was the center of commerce in Colonial times.  Slave trade also occurred in this square.  We then ambled our way through the narrow, cobblestone streets of old Havana where we witnessed Baroque, neo-classical and Spanish-Colonial architecture.  Canons face down in the sidewalk at various points, symbolizing those that weren’t used to defend the city and are being ‘punished’ by forever standing guard reminding people that in the old city only foot traffic is permitted, no vehicles are allowed.

The afternoon bus tour took us to Revolution Square, where a huge marble statue of Jose Marti, the national hero of Cuba stands.  The buildings were adorned with large facial replicas of Fidel Castro, prior Cuban leader and Che Guevara, Argentine rebel.  This was also a taxi stop and most taxis in Havana are classic American cars from the 1950s or Lada sedans.  It was fun to see all these classic American cars still on the road, albeit many in non-original paint colors.

Tonight we experienced true Cuban culture, an evening at the Tropicana night club.  We sat outdoors as about 30 singers and dancers entertained us for a full two hours.  Everything from classic Cuban dance to amazing acrobatics, all in elaborate colorful costumes.  Watching the show you realize the influence Cuban music, dance and costume has on American culture.  Most Las Vegas shows are based on the show we saw as are elements of New York’s Broadway performances, and it’s clear that global singer powerhouses such as Michael Jackson, Madonna and even Lady Gaga were influenced by Cuban costume.

Plaza de San Francisco

Plaza de San Francisco, Havana, Cuba

Plaza de San Francisco Commerce building

Plaza de San Francisco, Commerce building

Hotel Catedral Coming Soon Signage

Luxury Hotel Catedral Coming Soon Sign

Plaza de Catedral

Plaza de Catedral

Plaza de Catedral Church

Plaza de Catedral Church

195X Buick Convertible 1

1956 Buick convertible

195X Chevy Bel Air Blue

1958 Chevy Bel Air

195X Ford Fairlane Convertible 1

1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible

Fidel Castro on side of building

Fidel Castro on side of building

Jose Marti with Cuban flag

Jose Martin with Cuban flag

Cuba's Capital Building

Cuba’s Capitol Building

Havanh skyline with Russian Orthodox Church dome

Havana skyline with Russian Orthodox Church dome

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One Response to “Monday, March 6 (Day 6): Havana (day one of two):”

  1. Diane Lofgren Says:

    Great blog Jared. So interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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