Habana: Day 1

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana
July 9th 2007
Published: August 25th 2007
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Today was the first day of my Havana Tour! I'm in a group with just myself and an English couple in their late 40s. Geri is a nurse and her partner, Alan, is a builder. Our tour guide's name is Erik and our driver is Jose.

Today we visited:

- Museo de la Revolucion where students tried to overthrow the dictator, Batista. They really could cull half of the museum artefacts.
- Partagas Tobacco Factory
- La Bodeguita del Medio (Hemingway claims it makes Havana's finest mojito and they charge accordingly)
- Havana Club Rum Factory
- Castillo de la Real Fuerza
- Palacio de Revolucion (huge metal image of Che Guevara on the side of a building)
- Casa de Museo Ernest Hemingway (I haven't read any of his works but he sounds like a weirdo. His walls are covered with huge animal heads he hunted and as get got older he was stressed about gaining weight so on his bathroom wall there is a list of his different weights written in pencil).

We had dinner at a famous Cuban restaurant called El Aljibe. Erik pointed out two famous Cuban musicians - David Calzado (musician/director of band "Charanga Habanera") and Juan Formell (musican/director of band "Van Van"). After dinner, I smoked my first cigar - a Cohiba, the brand Fidel smokes. It was gross but I didn't throw up, as was predicted by Geri.

Having driven around Cuba for the day, it really hits you the lack of fast food places, billboards promoting TV & film, and other Western type media. It's refreshing and exciting to see pro-Cuba billboards in their place.


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