oomph has always loved travel and nothing is more inspirational to us than a new destination full of color. Our recent visit to Cuba was no exception. As everyone reports, it truly is like stepping back in time, way back. Things have not changed much since 1959 but it certainly is fun to imagine a night at the Tropicana before the Revolution!
Our first stop after landing in Holguin was lunch at a farm. The farmer's son was so excited to steal the tail from the pig. He was chased for quite a while by his angry mother. It must be a delicacy? The farmer boasted that he was fortunate and well cared for by the government as he was able to get water every 15 days! At our first stop we learned it is a very different place.
Our small sailing cruise ship took us from port to port exploring small towns along the way. We had educational lectures on Cuba's history from its settlement in the 1500's, Pirates, the history of Rum, and on the Revolution to what may happen in the future.
We circumnavigated nearly the whole island on our boat and sailed into Havana harbor at sunrise through an ancient fortressed gauntlet.
As soon as we stepped off the boat, we loved Havana - the heat, the music, and the mojitos! The colors of oomph were everywhere.
The capital, Havana, is lined with pastel houses, 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture in the 16th-century center, Old Havana. Salsa music plays in the dance clubs and cabaret shows are performed at the famed Tropicana. It's a vibrant city of music and color. We loved it.
One of us thought we should hop a ride in a cool car but the driver was insistent we did not!
It was an adventure but also an education. We came away with the feeling that Cuba may not change as quickly as we might think if there is a change of government after Raul. Even with the influx of a million American tourists a year, the Cuban people seem to be almost contented. Although they could wish for so much more, many seem resigned to live with just the bare necessities they are allowed. Change is not going to come fast to Cuba. One has the feeling that 1959 is their Groundhog day.