Monday, February 09, 2009

Cuba


I got these photos from a friend of Monaga's, Nigel Toft. Nigel sent me some photos of his recent trip to Cuba. He stayed in the great apartment filled with anitques. When I asked him if I could use some of the photos he sent along this blurb: Anthony ..if you are going to show some of the photos of the buildings in Havana on your blog..you might mention that Havana Vieja is a World Heritage Site... and very ,very well conserved ..quite beautiful... much better conserved than most urban World Heritage Sites.. the buildings in the pics are in Havana Centro..this is falling down..crumbling despite having many WONDERFUL examples of 19th cent architecture..it is equally deserving of protection under international law..it is an architectural treasure house.. the buildings are just as beautiful as their inhabitants... Havana is a very beautiful city ..with very beautiful people..!!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK!!!...Well!!!After seeing these photos there is going to be a mad dash to Cuba..I'm glad that Mr.Toft showed some of both architectures..I enjoyed the walking ones. If he could only give us a little more information about the island and it's people, and what it has to offer....but from what I see, its definitely encouraging.

John K said...

Anthony, thanks for posting these. It looks beautiful. How easy or difficult is it to travel from DR to Cuba? Is there a decent amount of travel back and forth between DR and Cuba? I remember that Cuban bookstore and cultural center that used to be right at the east (?) end of the Conde, next to the Escuela de las Bellas Artes, right of Isabel la Católica, but they moved; do you know where they are now?

Anonymous said...

luckily for cuba that most USA gays can't travel there legally....lucky 4 Cuba and the men should be happier, no pay for sex yet. enjoy your country cubanos before the americans spoil it.

Anonymous said...

No pay for sex yet? You obviously do not know what you are talking about. Many europeans already travel there for sex, so it is already spoiled.

I have been there many times and I am american.

So?

Big Bad Dave said...

tell how to get there! - - details details details...

Anonymous said...

John K.
How I miss the Cuban Cultural Center! They used to have terrific live Cuban music and good food there in the evenings. I friend of mine who worked at the Caribe Colonial used to join me there after work. The mojitos kicked ass!

There are daily flights from Las Americas to Santiago de Cuba and Havana. If you are travelling on an American passport, you probably don't want Cuban Immigration to stamp your passport. I have been told they will accomodate that request if you ask them.

Who knows, maybe Barack will act quickly on his promise to change our official attitude about commerce with Cuba. Let's hope so!

George in SF

Anonymous said...

It is easy for Americans to travel there from the DR but it is ILLEGAL and if caught, the US government will levy heavy fines and possible jail time....they even station immigration agents in some airports to catch Americans..places like Canada and the Bahamas....so you are American and choose to go, be very very careful. I would love to go but will wait. I have high hopes that Obama will abolish this silly travel ban.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Cuba on six or seven occasions on "educational" trips. Go now if you can. Once the travel/trade ban with the USA is eliminated and all the Burger Kings, Pizza Huts, and Walgreens go up it will be just like any place else!

Anonymous said...

LOL...anonymous Feb 9, 06.03:..... you must be on here just itching for an opportunity to bust all the bubbles on our bubble wrap..if you can't say anything nice...shut your trap!!!

Anonymous said...

I want to go but I am American.

How do we go legally on "educational visit?" What exactly do we say and who do we apply to for this education excemption to visit Cuba?

Anonymous said...

If you are a US citizen and want to go legally to Cuba, you need permission from the Treasury Department. Their website is http://cubatravel.ofac.treas.gov
Click where it says, "Begin...."
Filling out the forms is a bitch and you may never get permission from them in this lifetime, but you never know. Could be by the time they get back to you, Obama may have eased restrictions on travel to Cuba!

Anonymous said...

It would great to visit Cuba before it is spoiled by many Americans or travelers visitng that country.The buildings need repair but are just beautiful with so much character, plus in saying that the men are not hard on the eyes has well, what few are there to see. Thanks for your time, JIM from Houston, Tx.

Anonymous said...

Habana Centro or Habana Vieja is the equivalent of the Colonial Zone in SD. The difference is that nobody can change the facade or original arquitecture of any building. In addition, if any store owner puts up a sign that is considered out of character with it surroundings, it will be taken down with no explanations given! And, by the way, Cuban men are hot, plentiful, and very considerate of tourists in their country if you know what I mean...

Anonymous said...

I can imagine most of the folks are friendly, since there is not much tourism in their country.I hear that they are very hospitable and generous with what little they have. I read also that the law is much more relaxed with gays than used to be.They are good people and I don't know if the inevitable change would be a good thing.I just don't know...

T-D Moderator said...

Beautiful pictures! Nigel also shared his Cuban experiences for my blog some time ago. He gave details on where to stay, costs, etc. He's well-travelled and quite accomodating with sharing information.

TY said...

Very nice pictures and comments. Just wanted to clarify a myth. It is not illegal to travel to Cuba it is actually against the law to spend money in Cuba and since they assume you will spend or spent money there you broke the law. If you are discovered to have traveled to Cuba, you will soon after receive a letter from the treasury departmnt (money violation) for a very hefty fine my first one was $7,000 7yars ago. I have never had to pay it because there is no court or jurisdiction set up to handle this hastily written law. Since then I have always asked them to stamp my visitors card and they have always acommodated me, once it took a 10 buck gift but I strongly suggest people not travel from one of the hot spots such Jamaica or Bahammas. I have had good experiences going through Panama. To date I haven't heard anything else about the fine. If seriously considering the trip check out the posts on Virtualtourist.com

Anonymous said...

Remember that the U.S. immigration officials are stationed in some countries that permit it. They greet each flight from Cuba checking for American passports.....Canada, Bahamas and Jamaica are some of the countries that permit. I have had two different sets of friends caught on their return. One has already paid a hefty fine and the others are still fighting it.....BE CAREFUL

Anonymous said...

Ty is correct in his post. The prohibition is against spending money in Cuba, not against traveling there. That is why if you can get a letter of invitation from an educational, cultural, artistic, medical, or other institution which states that your expenses in Cuba will be covered by them you can go there without permission from the Treasury Department. I know because I did!

Anonymous said...

Well, I have heard that there is another way to get to Cuba without Uncle Sam spoiling your trip. Let's say that you live in NYC, so you buy a roundtrip ticket from May 1 to May 15 to the DR. Once in the DR, you buy a roundtrip ticket to Cuba from May 3 to May 12. On the day of your departure to Cuba, when you go up to the Immigration Official, you tell him right off that you are going to Cuba for a few days and would not like him to stamp your passport as having left the country. You do this with a smile, firm tone, and a ten dollar bill tucked inside your passport. He will also smile, take the ten dollars, and send you on your way. They know the drill. In Cuba, they will not stamp your passport so there is no worry there. On the day of your arrival back in the DR, when you go up to the Immigration Official, you tell him right off that you were in Cuba for a few days and you would not like him to stamp your passport as having entered the country. You do this with a smile, firm tone, and a ten dollar bill tucked inside your passport. He will also smile,
take the ten dollars, and send you on your way. They know the drill. On May 15th, when you arrive at JFK, your passport will only have been stamped as having visited the DR. Mind you that I am not advocating that anybody do this and I swear on my grandmother's bones that I have never done this myself. It's just something that I heard that some lawless people do....

Anonymous said...

assuming that you meet an immigration Officer who has not had a bad day for some reason or other...then you are in deep shit.

Anonymous said...

We are all adults so.....everyone has to decide how much risk they wish to take.....

Anonymous said...

What countries do not allow US immigration officers to check the passports of flights to and from Cuba? I am not asking for myself, I am just curious.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the DR is one of the countries that does not allow the US to station immigration agents to greet Cuban flights.