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A room with a view

It felt good to come to the end of the tour.  Abel, whilst being incredibly informative, had ended up being incredibly draining.  His inability to accept another point of view, or even try to understand that we were trying to understand his country through our frame of reference, became incresingly frustrating.  He's Cuban after all.  So we came back to Havana, back to where it started with a wider understanding of the country at large. 

We had one final night as a group together where we found a wonderful Lebanese restaurant, Al Medina, where i could finally eat a good meal.  That felt good! We also popped into Dos Hermanos for some live music and dancing and our final mojito together.

The main plaza in Old Havana
  I've been really lucky to have had the chance to experience this special country with such great people. 

My final weekend was spent wandering the atmospheric, much photographed streets of Havana.  I managed to sneak a final Mojito in at La Bodeguita (Hemmingway's "spot"), buy some artwork and have my final stroll through the streets of Havana.  I stayed in a Casa Particular with a great lady called Nancy.  My view of the city was spectaculr, featuring balconies, old men and women sitting on their doorsteps passing the time of day and kids playing football and screaming wildly in the streets below.  This is Cuba.  Noisy, crazy, unashamedly Cuba.

It's been a privellege to come to this country and experience it now, ahead of the changes that will inevitably come with time, the death of the Castros and the increasing number of tourists desperate to step back in time.  Is it right we want to keep Cuba as it is for our viewing pleasure?  I don't know.  I know there are people here happier, healthier and more secure than in some Western countries.  I also know that there are a growing number of frustrated Cubans who understand that the world has moved on and that they are stifled by a communist regime long out of touch.  Whatever happens with time it will be interesting to watch on and know that i saw Cuba now, as it is, as only Cuba can be.  Times are a changing though ... watch this space!

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A room with a view
A room with a view
The main plaza in Old Havana
The main plaza in Old Havana
I drink my Mojitos at La Bodeguita…
I drink my Mojitos at La Bodeguit…
Cuban Cola
Cuban Cola
A typical Cuban meal for a vggie .…
A typical Cuban meal for a vggie …
The chocolate museum and coffee sh…
The chocolate museum and coffee s…
Pure, solid chcolate fish
Pure, solid chcolate fish
The streets below
The streets below
The meal at Al Medina - actual foo…
The meal at Al Medina - actual fo…
Dos Hermanos
Dos Hermanos
My room
My room
The prado art sales
The prado art sales
Havana
photo by: mario26