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    • Day6

      In the Footsteps of the Rich and Famous

      March 7, 2020 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      I have stayed in some pretty incredible hotels over the years, but the Hotel Nacional de Cuba will certainly go down as one of the most memorable. This opulent hotel was opened in 1930 and soon become the place where the rich and famous of the world always stayed when they were in Cuba.

      The list of previous guests includes a huge cavalcade of famous names - Nat King Cole, Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Josephine Baker are just a few of the images I noticed while walking the halls. The Nacional Hotel was also the preferred place for notorious gangsters and Mafia heads as well. It is one of those buildings where every doorway could tell a story.

      Even though those grand days are now well past, the place is still imposing. It has recently undergone a refurbishment and the rooms are certainly comfortable and spacious. Even more importantly the wifi works in every room.

      The hotel seems to have an inordinate number of immaculately dressed staff. It almost feels like there is one staff member for each guest. The place is also liberally stocked with wandering musicians and singers. You cannot go far without hearing live music.

      Behind the hotel there are a series of constructions that give an insight into those notorious days in 1962 when the world nearly descended into nuclear war. It is interesting to hear the story told from the Cuban side as most westerners would only be familiar with the commonly accepted narrative of events.

      I began the day with breakfast, followed by a fascinating tour of the hotel. At noon I ventured out into the nearby streets in search of lunch, but ended up returning to the hotel empty stomached. At least the hotel is liberally catered for.

      Since I am still operating from a state of sleep deprivation, I then returned to my room for a siesta. When I opened my eyes it was after 5 pm ! The best sleep I have had for days.

      All members of our team have now arrived at the hotel, and in the evening we shared our first meal together in a cafe in the garden of the hotel. Overhead the full moon was shining brightly and we could hear the sounds of the large waves crashing onto the rocks nearby. The food itself was rather disappointing, but the ambiance was amazing.

      Tomorrow we begin our first day of cycling in Havana.
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    • Day21

      Fuster house

      June 15, 2018 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      As we enter the outskirts of Havana, we visit the studio, residence and wild kingdom of José Rodriguez Fuster, a Cuban artist. His house is decorated with tiled murals, and now the whole neighbourhood has a similar style as more than 80 neighbours have allowed Fuster to use their homes as his canvas. It's very like Guadi and Picasso.Read more

    • Day2


      December 28, 2018 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Where does art go after Antoni Gaudí? For a hint, head west from central Havana to the seemingly low-key district of Jaimanitas, where artist José Fuster has turned his home neighborhood into a masterpiece of intricate tile work and kaleidoscopic colors – a street-art wonderland that makes Barcelona’s Park Güell look positively sedate. Imagine maximal-impact Gaudí relocated to a tropical setting.

      Cuba has a rich artistic tradition, which can be found everywhere from murals painted on walls to the fine art pieces housed in El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana. One of the most unique places to find modern Cuban art is called Fusterlandia.

      Fusterlandia is the nickname given in Jaimanitas, a seaside town just west of downtown Havana. In Jaimanitas, artist Jose Fuster has built a creative enclave called Casa de Fuster that has spilled out into the surrounding neighborhood.

      It’s no longer just his house, but Fusterlandia has expanded to include murals on other nearby buildings and walls.
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    • Day4


      October 9, 2017 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Our final stop in Havana before heading out to Vinales was a place called Fusterland. A local artist named Fuster installed art around his neighborhood. He was inspired by Gaudi, so many of his installations were made up of colorful pieces of porcelain. It was a very fun stop and I enjoyed it tremendously.…
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    • Day13


      December 5, 2019 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      taller de graphics'
      sitio del pulled pork delicioso
      quedamos con Luis que nos trajeron y algo para su hermana
      museo de las Orishas
      festival afrocubano
      museo en el parque cervantes
      paseo por el malecónpor la noche fuimos a la fabrica de arte cubano
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