What better way to start my blog than where it all began? Cuba! For my first post I will be taking you all to the motherland. This trip started in the streets of Old Havana where you will find old architecture, colorful people and lots of spanish music. The best way to do it is to get lost in these streets with no cell service, no wifi, just human interactions. You can ask anyone for advice on where to go or what to do and the Cuban people will always be willing to help.
After a nice day roaming the streets we headed to El Morro. This is a colonial-era Spanish castle built in the early 1600s to protect #Havana from pirates and other colonists who wanted to gain control of this water-way from Europe to the rest of the America's. Although they no longer fear attacks, they continue a tradition called the cañonaso. Every night at 9 pm, locals and tourists gather inside to reenact the sounding of a canon which would signal the closing of the city walls. Workers will even dress up in Spanish military costumes and act out the traditional ceremony. With views of the beautiful city, kiosks, and some strong drinks, it is definitely a fun experience.
The next day I headed to the clear blue beaches of #Varadero. On the way there I found this lookout point about halfway to Varadero from Havana where you can make your own Piña-coladas! If you know me, you know mine was 90% Havana Club Rum, 10% pineapple mix. I'm not sure exactly where it was but you can roll down your window and just ask for #Bacunayagua. Socialize a little! It's good for the soul.
These next photo is in #Varadero. The water there is crystal clear and so beautiful! It's a great place to kick back, have some drinks, play a little paddle ball and tan. To dine or go out there are little cozy spots everywhere. I'm going to sound redundant, but just ask the locals! Everyone is so helpful and friendly. They'll give you options so you can choose whatever you are feeling that day.
The next day on the way back to Havana we heard about La Cueva Saturno and decided to check it out. It was absolutely beautiful and freezing! I do recommend going as early as possible because after a few hours of being open, tourists will flood the cave and taking a picture without photo bombers will be nearly impossible.
These last two photos are back in Havana at El Hotel Gran Manzana. The pool deck has a great view of the city. It is especially nice to see the old buildings alongside more modern architecture.
Overall Cuba is a beautiful country. Outside of it's communist government the Cuban people are very amiable, cultured, and helpful. The food is delicious and locally grown. Despite the country's poverty, it is safe and crime rate is extremely low. Everyone knows their neighbors and treats them like family. Since they don't have many technological advancements, people are very innovative. (A guy once told me about a car piece he was missing. He replaced it with a pill bottle and his car runs perfectly!) It may be a poor country but it is so rich in land, culture, joy, and love.