To many Americans, Cuba remains wrapped in mystery, but now that its doors are open, just one visit can answer all your questions. You are safe to walk the streets of Havana and enjoy the Cuban people, who share the pulse of their music, art, romance and happiness.
Havana is a small but bustling city, graced with Spanish and French architecture. At times I felt I was in a small town on the French Rivera or perhaps in Madrid. It was magical to climb unique marble stairwells to reach a residence rooftop or enter a private courtyard to enjoy live jazz performed by Cuba’s best musicians. And don’t miss the world-class Cuba Ballet performance.
This tiny country is filled with happy surprises. You can take a land-based tour or a cruise around the island. I boarded a small yacht called SeaDream to see Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Caya Largo and Maria La Gorda. Each destination has its own unique Cuban flavor. Trinidad and Cienfuegos are must-see small cities that offer community projects in music and art for children. You will leave with unforgettable memories. Cienfuegos boasts a smaller version of the Tropicana called TropiSur.
My last night was spent with dear friends at a quaint restaurant in Havana. We experienced a thunderstorm and lost electricity. No one panicked. Cubans grew accustomed to blackouts during their “special period” (1991-2000), after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Electricity was rationed, with citizens regularly having power on for eight hours, then off for eight hours. I sat at this fine eatery and watched staff bring out candelabras to each table while everyone continued their conversations as if nothing was amiss. My thought was, “How romantic!” In the U.S., mayhem may have ensued … or perhaps we would be paying top dollar for a candelight dinner.
I was traveling with a friend who caught me in deep thought and asked what I was thinking. It was a line by Robert Frost that best summed up Cuba for me: “We love the things we love for what they are.”
What do you think of my new friend? Let me know!