Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Last Full Day in La Habana - Day VI


Friday, April 21, 2017:

Our time in La Habana was coming to a way too rapid close, so we had to get in as much as possible on our last full day in Cuba.

CUBAN FACT OF THE DAY: On November 27, 1492, Christopher Columbus first stepped on Cuban soil near today's city of Gibara on the northeast tip of the island in the province of Holguin.

We were all out of La Casa Azul fairly early as we wanted to explore more of the capital city.

Fidel Castro, 1926-2016
Gone but definitely not forgotten

Coppelia for ice cream

The six of us ordered two late bowls with five scoops each. Each of the five scoops was also a different flavor.

I liked the orange best but the vanilla was rich in flavor too. 

José was our outstanding
server at Coppelia

The start of the Universidad de la
Habana's outer wall

 One more photo op at my Dad's
Alma Mater

 Speaking of Dr. Jorge Contreras, M.D.'s
Alma Mater . . .

An old Ford and some colorful
buildings in La Habana

Who would have guessed that we'd see these today?

She is 95 years young, full of
energy but I helped cross the busy
street anyway

 Great young people  from
the city of Camagüey

Hey, my Dad was from Camagüey! 

I wonder if we're cousins?

They helped guide us to our next stop, El Callejón de Hamel. 

 The Callejón de Hamel
is an artsy alleyway

This T-Bird is nice but it's
even better when you see . . .

 . . . the wooden, hand carved
dash, WOW!

 Colorful and a bit surreal

Ring me up

 You can even get a haircut
on Callejón de Hamel

 Callejón de Hamel
What a place!

 We then took a taxi to the beginning
of lively Calle Obispo

Music, revelers and shoppers
were all over Calle Obispo

video

Calle Obispo sounds

Again, you'll need Google Chrome to see the videos on this blogpost.

Colorful characters are
part of the fabric of La Habana

Narrow stairwells make
great souvenir shops

 I just liked his face

I am still amazed that I did not
buy one of these desserts

 As I said, Calle Obispo is colorful

 The music drew us into this bar
for a much needed cerveza Cristal

 This dancer was EXCELLENT

So were his shoes

video

Let's see them trip the
light fantastic again

 There we are in the mirror
about to enjoy our cold Cristals

 Meanwhile our bartender
was a non-stop mojito making
MACHINE!

They danced MUCH better
on stilts than I ever will on
my own two left feet

video

See what I mean?

Laurie found a fan store

Just as amazing as my not buying a dessert earlier, she didn't buy a fan either.

 Calle Obispo was ALIVE!

With El Caballero de Paris

This statue is dedicated to José María López Lledin, a Spaniard who came to La Habana at the age of 13 in 1912. 

Apparently he was wrongly imprisoned in the late 1920s, a fact which mentally unhinged him.

For the next five decades, the now lovable tramp roamed the city's streets under his new name, El Caballero de Paris.

He never begged but did offer poems and compliments to the ladies and pens and pencils to the children.

My Mother told me that she clearly remembers his offering her compliments back in the day on more than one occasion.

El Caballero de Paris passed away in 1985.

After lunch at the Hotel Ambos Mundos again, everyone but me wanted to continue shopping, so we split up.

Colorful ladies on the
Plaza de la Cathedral

 Dry docked boats
near the harbor

The inside of the Cathedral
San Cristobal de la Habana

 Entrance to the Castillo de la
Real Fuerza

 Green is grandson Jacob's
favorite color

 NEVER run with these
in your hand!

Commies

Nice, random mural

The Huskies are purple and gold

 The Museo de la Revolución

 José Martí

Part of the old Cuban Air Force

El Capitolio in the distance

Great place to walk to
beat the heat or the rain

 AN OLD CAR!

 Sloppy Joe's Bar has a GREAT
restroom for only 50 centavos

 El Capitol getting closer

 Locals shopping

 Dare you to drive to the hole

Señora enjoying the afternoon

 El Comandante

 La Habana Vieja hubbub

 Open air fruit stand

 Son is a form of Cuban
dance music

 Inside they were teaching how
to dance to the Son beat

Nice Chevy

 Interesting Caballero

Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra

My three favorite Cubans of all-time

I didn't bring home one of these

 Getting her fortune read by a Santera

I'm not sure which lady is more colorful.

 Speaking of colorful

Back at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Wedding Day Limo

Mark met a Cuban wrestler at the
California Café

Mark, having been a wrestler in high school and college, as well as a highly respected international wrestling referee, instantly took a liking to this young man. 

How many old cars are there in
La Habana?

 Dinner again next door to
La Casa Azul at El Rincocito

 Mark loves his ice cream 24/7

Me? I love flan!

The incredible staff at El Rinconcito

From left to right: waiter/host Alejandro, our two chefs, owner Ernesto and super waitress Lili

The food was fabulous and plentiful. We all highly recommend it if you are in La Habana's El Vedado district! 

We thought that Lili was
the best part of the
El Rinconcito experience

The ladies said we were wrong,
Alejandro was the true
Numero Uno

It was yet another GREAT
day in Cuba!

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