Photos from the first day:

In front of Che’:

A monument to the people:

The vintage cars were cool, but we didn’t ride in any:

There was quite a bit of propaganda, but great to never see ads on billboards, etc.

The lower-priced menu you had to know to ask for (thanks Luis):

Lots of means of transport, including lots of horse-drawn carts. They were a bit of a menace on the highways!

Buying cigars at a shop in Havana that makes them on the floors above the shop:

Really liked this homage to Gaudi area (fusterlandia):

Interesting art for cheap, but didn’t want the hassle of getting it back home. An artist from this shop was heading to NYC for a showing. Should be a great success:

Oddly, a sculpture of John Lennon:

They also had sculptures / statues of local characters, and famous Cubans like Hemingway. Obama is a big hero there as is Abe Lincoln.

The Hotel National is one of the better places to stay in Havana, but expensive. The official hotels are run by the gov’t and reportedly pretty bad, so we did the airbnb thing instead.

Armored vehicle captured during the Bay of Pigs invasion (I think)

The boat Fidel and Che’ arrived in to start the revolution. They were 45 people, 30 killed in initial fighting, 15 left scattered to the mountains. 2 years later the revolution put Fidel in charge. Amazing.

Nice park in Havana:

Barcadi was founded in Cuba and this was their HQ. They partially funded the Bay of Pigs invasion apparently trying to get back to biz in Cuba.

Lots of builds in duress, but lots of construction going on to improve things, provide more tourist housing, etc.

One of Hemingway’s favorite hangouts, La Florida:

Complete with Papa himself sitting in the corner:

The new capitol building, slightly larger than ours :-), under construction:

I think this was the national dance theater:

This is the kind of place the locals seemed to get their fast food:

Many pre-revolution buildings have been repaired, put to other uses (like tourist hotels, offices):

Some not so much:

In Havana we stayed at this airbnb:

It was on the 3rd floor, so lots of steps, but in a great location and a nice little place.

Right across from a great tapas bar / restaurant that we would have spent lots more time at:

This is part 1 of 4 of their menu (handwritten on cardboard and sealed with tape:

It has a music + lamps theme. Very tasty and great drinks.

The bill for dinner / drinks for 6:

The view from the roof of the airbnb:

The door to the right was the entrance to our airbnb.

Our airbnb in Havana - lamparilla 358 apartamento 12,segundo piso, Habana, L'Avana vieja 10100, Cuba

Most places were hopping at night.

The wall / walk along the shore, a quiet moment:

On to Finca Vigia, the really big house and land Hemingway moved to outside of Havana to get more peace and quiet. Apparently he missed being down town and hitting his favorite bars.

Outside of Hemingway's house

Great to see his sound system (behind the glass door) and his record collection (lots of jazz):

You can’t go in to his house, just look in from outside.

The tower with a view of Havana:

The pool:

His boat, Pilar:

A cruise ship in the Havana harbor:

Some driving videos:

Big Jesus:

Everyone had to “kiss” him…

The team, overlooking Havana:

Open air restaurant, with band. Many bands sold CD’s (10 CUCs or so), bought some but haven’t listened to them yet. Overall great music…

Big ol’ fort defending Havana harbor:

Pope Francis visited this church in Cuba.

Owen and I made it our mission to find the best mojito in Cuba. There were many very good ones (and some not so great). Here are some being made:

A famous spot where people write their names on the walls:

Lots of good music:

A walk along a street – Santa Clara I think?

Pharmacy museum:

Indoor market:


World’s cutest micro-dog, named “Prince'”! Was in our B&B in Matanzas.

The restaurant and bill at the fanciest place in town:

We had our own private band:

In Santa Clara, another shrine to the revolution (here train cars were derailed):

The team, in front of the Che Guevara memorial and museum:

Oddly enough a horse gave birth while we were there:

Interesting art at the restaurant:

Next area, Trinidad:

Cool tower, lots of embroidered cloths for sale:

Some people went to the top:

The cool town square / party area – we stayed about a block from here:

Dueling street mojitos:

Here is our place:

Beverages before dinner. The bar tender suggested the restaurant next door, talked with them and got us to the front of the line.

Which was cool because they had a rockin’ band:

We stayed across from this happenin’ bar. It’s open 24 hours but eventually got quiet:

This was surreal – from our bedroom:

Breakfast on the rooftop patio at the B&B:

The B&B hosts also did laundry: