Monday, March 21, 2016

Visiting Cuba

President Obama's historic trip to Cuba yesterday had me and my travel buddies thinking about our trip there last year and how much we enjoyed visiting the island.  We all hope to go back someday.  I hope things open up enough between the US and Cuba that we can just go there on vacation whenever we want to.  Cuba is a beautiful country.  Though much of it is crumbling, you can still see the beauty of the buildings and the landscape.  I've written a few posts about my painting trip, but I thought you might like to see some of the photos that I have not previously posted.

We spent our first few days in the older part of Havana.  The buildings were beautiful and the old square was a lovely place to paint.

The architecture reminds me of the French Quarter in New Orleans, but there is a strong European influence as well.

I love book stalls on the street.  We found them when we were searching for the art supply store.

After the first two days in Havana, I spent the rest of my time on the Paseo de Marti, a grand boulevard in the city.  Painting there was so much fun.  People stopped to talk to us all day long, and so many of them were artists.  I got the impression that the art scene was a bit on the DL, but they were still working and doing the best that they could with the limited supplies available.  Everyone that I spoke with was so happy that we were there and seemed particularly happy to have artists coming to visit.  We asked some people what they thought about relations opening up between the US and Cuba and everyone responded positively.  I don't think politics had much to do with it, it was more that they were hoping for money and visitors to be coming into the country.  As a person who lives in New York City and can have just about anything I want, any time I want it, I was shocked at the inability to buy even basic goods in Cuba.  I could see a clear difference in the residents who had relatives in Florida to bring them necessities and the people who did not.  I have no idea how they are surviving, but they do.

There were chess players out every day.  They made chess boards by drawing the squares on pieces of material.

This was my favorite building on the street.  I spent two days painting it.  Even though it is a bit dilapidated, you can still see the beauty in it.

This is getting to be a bit long.  I did not realize how many photos I had.  I will save the rest for another post, but I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Cuba.  I'm having a great time going through my photos and remembering the trip.  If you would like to read my earlier posts, the links are here, here and here.

As always, thanks for reading!

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