Steph and I took a few days in Cuba after the Mexico trip since we were so close. It turned out pretty well, and I’m really glad we got to see it before a lot of the new construction completed. The city was an interesting mix of semi-new and old things. There was also a huge mix of well kept vs. not, and little of the kept state had to do with age.
The place where we stayed was very nice, Casa Densil. The owner Ezio, was nice and helpful. The rooms he had were full of what I would consider antiques, but they were the kinds of thing that people there were used to using everyday since they hadn’t been getting many imports. The cars were somewhat as we expected, with the 50’s taxis. There were also a number of newer cars going around from the 80’s and 90’s. Most of those cars were European or Asian, none from the US of course. The food was pretty good. We went to a Swedish Cuban Fusion place for the first two nights called Casa Miglis. The second night we tried to get into the top restaurants, but they were fully booked. The second rated restaurant was in an interesting building. It was an old shopping mall that had the bottom two floors completely empty. It was clear by the nice marble everywhere that it at one point had been upscale. The restaurant was on the third floor, but there was no signage for it. The only thing that gave it away was a guy standing out front that said we were in the right place when we looked confused. I don’t think he worked there, just hanging out. Many of the streets had people and families just hanging out on the sidewalks. There wasn’t really internet or TV so that is the primary pass time, sitting around and talking. The communities seemed pretty strong. We noticed one night there squares where buildings had been torn down and park benches installed on the concrete slabs. They were full of people on tables, which we found odd since there wasn’t internet. We didn’t ask but I’m pretty sure they were setting up local networks for file sharing.
The flight back was rough. The flight from Cuba to Cancun was delayed by 3 hours, and then the flight from Cancun to SFO was delayed by 15 hours. Not the longest I’ve had to wait for a flight, but still rough. The kitties were so happy to have us home.