Islazul Hotel Libertad
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... I shall die facing the Sun!
(Martí, Simple Lyrics, XXIII)
Thanks to a carefully placed skylight, Martí’s sarcophagus is always bathed in sunlight.
After lunch, we moved from politics to the arts! We had a lovely tour of the Diego Valásquez House, a museum dedicated to the colonial interior arts, by the museum’s curator. And then the moment everyone was waiting for—or dreading depending ...
... the eastern side of the island. The local leader of the war against Spain was Antonio Maceo, who fought 50 battles before he was killed. Maceo said "We were rebellious, today we are hospitable and we will forever be heroic". The Square has 24 bronze statues representing the machetes of the Mambises, or the field soldiers that fought the war with the only weapons they had.
He convinced Jose Marti to come home from New York to ...
... built in the 1950's were in bad need of repair and had been in a steady state of decline since Cuba's peak in the 1950's and 1960's. Clearly the embargo had taken its toll. However, even the crumbling city of Santiago had it's charm. The people, though having little, were so vibrant and full of energy. Once you get over the touts (hustlers, etc..) trying to offer you taxis, cigars, girls, rum, etc... all the time I found the Cuban people to ...
... it was! I LOVE being in the mountains and having a view of the ocean (Caribbean Sea) in the background as it reminds me of the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais in the San Francisco Bay Area. (I am a bit biased, but as a nature junkie, I think the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais are a few of the most beautiful US offerings).
We encountered a few of the local merchants who walk or ride their bikes to the top of ...
... I had fried chicken, french fries (didn't know french fries could taste so good!) and Bucanero. After lunch, we walked to the open market a few blocks away, and looked at the crafts, CD's, clothes, jewelry, and other goods for sale. Alexander took us to the B&B where he stayed during his recent visit to Santiago. Alexander also saw his friend Yuri (used to be a pilot who trained in Russia), but is now a taxi driver.