The first thing you notice in Cuba is the colors. The lush foliage, the colorful clothing, the brightly painted old cars, the personalities and complexions of her people.
My first day in Cuba was enlightening, to say the least. The surface culture that everyone talks about or notices - the poverty, the rundown architecture - it’s there. But there’s also a thriving culture of art, dance and music.
After dropping my bags in my room, my first mission was to explore the local neighborhood in Vedado, a mostly residential area about an hour or so walk from Old Havana.
I walked through the streets discovering priceless gems of gorgeous, well maintained buildings and equally run down ones as well. Some were restored and up kept on the outside, but were full of construction materials and sandbags on the inside - though throughout the week I would see the appearance of inhabitants possibly on upper floors. Other buildings right next door were in dire condition but clearly life continued on the inside.
I stayed at Fabrica until the early hours of the morning with two other graduate students. We danced and listened to the live band staring Adrian Berasain and I was introduced to the popular song Guantanamera. Meaning a beautiful girl from Guantánamo - no, not the American Naval base, the Cuban Municipality of Guantánamo.
It was the very early hours of the morning because at one point it went from midnight to 1 a.m. Aka a very unexpected time change considering it happened a full two hours earlier than my phone switched. Look this up if you don’t believe me - but the US has the time change at 2 a.m. and in Cuba it occurs at midnight.
All in all, a wonderful and fairly unexpected first impression of Cuba.
My name is Hunter and this the blog of my worldwide adventures. The purpose of this blog is to show that you can be a traveler, not just a tourist.