Panama Canal (Day 4, Part 1)

December 18


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[A really BIG day.  I took so many pictures I have to break it up into two parts – pre-lunch and post-lunch.  We begin with wake up and breakfast at the Melia Habana hotel . . . ]

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[Such a view!!]

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[The neighborhood . . . ]

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[I’m a travelin’ man, made a lot of stops, all over the world . . . ]

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[And our digs for the one overnight, the only night off the ship for the entire cruise . . . ]

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[‘Twas a nice place . . . ]

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[Che and Fidel are everywhere . . . ]

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[As I recall, this was recent hurricane damage . . . ]

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[Public transportation, for the public, no less . . . ]

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[Yasser Arafat?]

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[Yah, sure, you betcha!]

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[Stop!  (Not yield)]

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[We were driving around in search of “The Laundry.”  As indicated by the name, it was an old laundry since converted to an artist studio.  We’d stop at intersections where our driver would call out to pedestrians for directions to the place.  It was a lot of fun, though tree limbs on the residential streets threatened to tear the roof off the bus.  We saw embassies and other places where we likely shouldn’t have gone – even our guide Dee thought it was funny and hoped we hadn’t done anything illegal. We were eventually greeted by a legendary land shark, with headlights and a grill?]

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[Tourists rush to the studio entrance to avoid being “grilled” by the shark!]

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[Our host, with Dee interpreting in the background . . . ]

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[If you just ran across this guy on the street, you’d think – artist!]

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[Another grill shark – I think the whole idea of this place is, “art as metaphor” . . . ]

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[Let’s just take a stroll around the place . . . ]

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[All cool stuff, indeed!]

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[Then it was time to go as the Super takes a final photo . . . ]

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[The main library of the country named in honor of national hero, Jose Marti . . . ]

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[The requisite stop for Cuban cigars and coffee.  Yes, our guide Dee helped out behind the counter . . . ]

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[I haven’t tried one yet . . . ]

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[The municipal hospital – Cuba is known for the quality of its health care and often sends its doctors around the world to aid in emergency siutations . . . ]

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[The Capitol looms in the right background . . . ]

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[The Cuban Telephone Company buiding with the tower . . . ]

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[The capitol . . . ]

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[With its dome undergoing renovation . . . ]

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[As the sign says, Parque de la India . . . ]

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[With the phone company in the background . . . ]

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[And now up close and personal with the capitol . . . ]

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[Gran Teatro de la Habana (Opera House) . . . ]

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[As are the following four photos . . . ]

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[Did someone mention vintage cars?]

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[New hotel construction . . . ]

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[Fort San Salvador and statue of Miranda just across the water from Morro Castle . . . ]

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[Street scene . . . ]

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[Self explanatory?]

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[Walking through Old Havana . . . ]

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[ISO fine dining . . . ]

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[Where we were . . . ]

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[The full explanation . . . ]

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[Our destination has been sighted . . . ]

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[This must be the place!]

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[La Bodeguita del Medio is a typical restaurant-bar of Havana.  It is a famous tourist destination because of the personalities which have patronized it: Salvador Allende, the poet Pablo Neruda, the artist Josignacio and many others. La Bodeguita lays claim to being the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, prepared in the bar since its opening in 1942, although this is disputed. The rooms are full of curious objects, frames, photos, as well as the walls covered by signatures of famous or unknown customers, recounting the island’s past.  (Wikipedia)]

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[This is a privately-owned restaurant, and though it caters to large masses as ourselves we found it to be quite tasty and well served . . . ]

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[As often happens on such trips, we’ve already forgotten the names of the folks dining with us here.  As I recall, he is a retired professor from Michigan, and the Super generally referred to him as “Rudy” because she thought he looked like Giuliani . . . ]

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[The Supers says . . . ]

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[Mmmmm, good!]

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Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.  ~  Ernest Hemingway

Up Next:  Continuing the rest of this day

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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4 Responses to Panama Canal (Day 4, Part 1)

  1. I was in Cuba 12 years ago on a work trip – from your photos, it looks like some has changed but the underlying city is still there. The capitol building is based on the US one….to me, a symbol of the connections between our countries that persist across political differences.

  2. G. says:

    Great photos! So interesting to get the “feel” and vibrancy of the city through your photos. Thanks. Keep them coming!!

  3. Lyle Brown says:

    I have a Cuban-American friend (I hate hyphenated American titles) who is a MD and has relatives in Cuba. Trust me, the “great and free medical care” is there if you can bring your own toilet paper, blankets, food, etc. Propaganda at its finest.

    • tomobert63 says:

      Ahh, and one can certainly say that about a lot of places. As our old boss use to say, “It all depends on whose axe is being gored.” Does Cuba have a lot of issues? Of course. But they send medical teams all over the world when needed.

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