Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 4 (part 1)

We spent the morning in Cienfuegos visiting with a family that formed the core of the Jewish community in that province of the Island - more on that in a later post. Then we headed back towards Havana. On the way we stopped at Finca Vigia which is the Cuban name of the Hemingway House estate. It's located in the countryside in the town of San Francisco De Paula. As we drove towards the Hemingway Museum I was fascinated with the houses, people and cars in the town. So when the group toured the museum I broke off and took a walk through one of the streets in town.

On the streets of Cienfuegos:

In the town of San Francisco De Paula, as in most of Cuba, maintaining cars is a like a full time job. Most of the 'classic' looking vehicles are a pastiche of cobbled together parts from all manor of internal combustion vehicles, including farm tractors.


This is one of the grounds keepers at the Hemingway Museum:

Motorcycles are as important as wagons and old cars as a means of transportation all across the island:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 3 (part 2)

The town of Cienfuegos is a bit more upscale than Havana. Or maybe it seemed that way because less of the infrastructure was crumbling. There's a pedestrian mall with some upbeat stores and a town square that attracts people at all times of day because it's the town's wifi hot spot.

This was the only cross-dresser in town (that I saw):

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cuba Trip - Day 3 (part 1)

On the third day in Cuba my group took a bus ride to the city of Cienfuegos on the southern coast. The ride took about 3 1/2 hours through the Cuban countryside. Cienfuegos is on a beautiful bay, and has a small Jewish community (that was the focus of our visit to the city) of about 70 people. More on that in a later post.

At a pit stop along the highway:

The proud owner of a 'hybrid' vehicle, a work in progress. The old cars of Cuba are all a mishmash  of parts. The Cuban people are creative mechanics who can put a diesel tractor engine in a Buick body. With absolutely no pollution control.

I heard kids voices as I walked down a side street. Stuck my head in the window and the kids started mugging for me.

Wagons are an important means of transportation in the countryside.