It has been a while since my last post, not sure why, though it is hard to choose from among more than a hundred images I shot that day.
8 February 2017
Our second day in Havana began with another lecture on the complex subject of religion in Cuba, this time by Dr. Maritza Corrales a member of Cuba’s small Jewish community and a leading expert on the subject. She spoke not only on Jews in Cuba but Cuban religion and culture in general.
After that we were off to old town Havana and a tour of the city’s plazas led by our own guide, José. We were already familiar with Cathedral Square, so we began with the oldest plaza, Plaza de Armas, followed by the Plaza Vieja and finally the Plaza de San Francisco. Join us as we ramble the streets and squares of Habana.
|The Castillo Real|
|Having not taken notes, I am not able to identify all these buildings. This is, I think, part of the archeological museum. What's interesting is the renovation work|
|Plaza de Armas|
|Another of Havana's storied hotels, Ambos Mundos|
|Outdoor art in a little park dedicated to Simon Bolivar|
|La Plaza Vieja, despite the name it is not the oldest of Havana's plazas, but it was at one time one of its most exclusive|
|Contrast of old and new.|
|The Zanja Real was the original aqueduct for the city from 1566 until 1835.|
|the fourth of our plazas, Plaza de San Francisco. From here we had a couple of free hours to roam the city|
|We ended up in several galleries|
|We visited here and I found myself drawn to the work of this artist, Annia Alonzo. After lunch we returned and I bought my print.|
|A view of the city from the paladar Los Mercaderes. Lunch was pricey but good.|
|And some other galleries|
|From above this ceramic show hands in greeting|
After lunch we got back on the bus for a tour of the clinic of San Lazaro where nuns of the Catholic church care for those afflicted with leprosy.
In the late afternoon we returned to the Nacional. Sharon was tired, but I hankered for a cigar and virgin mojado on the verandah of the hotel overlooking the bay, the Malecon, and the Morro castle. A nice end to the day.
|The verandah of the Nacional with El Morro in the background|
|The hotel from a distance. Around it newer, larger hotels are being built to accommodate a burgeoning American tourist trade, two million in 2015, four million in 2017.|
|This is not a new hotel, but the Edificio FOCSA, completed in 1956. It remains the tallest building in Cuba. The restaurant on the 39th floor, La Torre, would be the site of our farewell dinner two days later|
|A tower of the Nacional at dusk|