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Bimmer09

X cruiser sails Azamara to Cuba Jan 15 to 24 2019

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The huge cemetery we passed yesterday at left

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Bridge over the river Alemandares and the park of the same name

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147271-d3844115-Reviews-Parque_Almendares-Havana_Ciudad_de_la_Habana_Province_Cuba.html

 

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a bus shelter

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a different look for Havana and not what I had expected

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a modern hotel with toilet paper perhaps?

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"They're selling postcards of the hanging

They're painting the passports brown

The beauty parlor's filled with sailors

The Circus is in town..."

 

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the sea again!

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a crowd waits for a bus

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More....

 

 

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"And the only sound that's left after the ambulances go is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row" by the incomparable Bob Dylan.  Great pictures and wonderful writing style much appreciated.

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18 minutes ago, kk99 said:

"And the only sound that's left after the ambulances go is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row" by the incomparable Bob Dylan.  Great pictures and wonderful writing style much appreciated.


A new screen name to me so double welcome!

I bought that song in 1965 and still play it and remember the words as you obviously do too.

I saw him live in 1966 (and twice since but walked out each time)

Thanks for the kind comments and please stick around as I have a beautiful cruise ship to show you once Havana loosens its grip on me.

Cheers!

Norris

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The Russian Embassy. Architecture that just screams "welcome'! LOL

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Some odd tree flower

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Another HoHo passes

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More...

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4 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

"They're selling postcards of the hanging

They're painting the passports brown

The beauty parlor's filled with sailors

The Circus is in town..."

Bob Dylan....Desolation Row.

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We have looped around and are back at the cemetery

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I should mention that we have each had someone else sitting next to us for the past hour.

A couple got on along the way. The husband sat next to Carol and they struck up a continuing conversation. I was busy as I now had the 3 cameras resting on my knees with his wife next to me.

We are approaching Revolution Square where they plan to hop off.

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and back to the Malecon

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the car transporter leaves port

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At this point the bus turned away from the sea and headed down the Prado. That was fine by us as our next stop would be Hotel Inglaterra so I could refresh myself with a glass of rum.

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I’m loving this review. Had no inclination whatsoever to visit Cuba but that might be changing......thanks for taking the time to share with us!

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13 minutes ago, BullyLvr said:

I’m loving this review. Had no inclination whatsoever to visit Cuba but that might be changing......thanks for taking the time to share with us!


Welcome and thank you! Most kind.

Lots more Cuba way up ahead.

Two more fine ports await.

Norris

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Norris. Thanks for watching!

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We stopped in Parque Central opposite Hotel Inglaterra. And took a seat on a bench under the shade of a coolabar tree (for my Aussie readers). Smoke break for me and Carol got chatting to a gentleman who had been "bringing Americans to Cuba for decades". I had heard someone talk about the baseball fans who come to the park to discuss the previous night's televised baseball game...

 

 

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Welcome, to the Hotel Inglaterra

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a 5 piece band had been playing on the terrace when we arrived (photo taken later)

 

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Reception desk

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Lobby seating

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a cafe

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a section of the dining room

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a beautiful place to relax

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We are here to visit the rooftop bar. There are two small elevators but one is marked out of order, however men are working on it on the top floor. We take it up and I wonder how many famous people might have taken it over the past 143 years?

We'll see you up there for some mighty fine vistas!

Norris

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1 hour ago, Bimmer09 said:

We stopped in Parque Central opposite Hotel Inglaterra. And took a seat on a bench under the shade of a coolabar tree (for my Aussie readers). Smoke break for me and Carol got chatting to a gentleman who had been "bringing Americans to Cuba for decades". I had heard someone talk about the baseball fans who come to the park to discuss the previous night's televised baseball game...

 

 

 

Waltzing Matilda, Australia's unofficial national anthem.

 

Norris, I'm thoroughly enjoying this chapter of your Gentleman's Seafaring Journal.  Think it's your best yet!

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Your photos and videos from the HoHo bus were exceptional. You really outdid yourself with them. I felt like I was sitting alongside of you taking in the sights. I'm a big road trip nerd, and I thoroughly enjoyed "driving" the streets of Havana with you.

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11 hours ago, LC1950 said:

 

Waltzing Matilda, Australia's unofficial national anthem.

 

Norris, I'm thoroughly enjoying this chapter of your Gentleman's Seafaring Journal.  Think it's your best yet!


LC thanks for the kind words re the GSJ. It always pleases me that with each review I have some Australian and New Zealand friends tuning in. Faraway places I can't get to until I retire.

Carol has a huge posse of relatives in Perth. My thanks to CC for making it possible to share with you and everyone else scattered across the planet.

The only thing lacking right now is pictures from the ship but I have gone ahead a few days and have pooled all the ship interior pics together so that I can begin showing her to you.

First though as we are still in Havana there is the rooftop view from the Inglaterra, then a quick tour of the Opera house next door before rejoining the ship. Sailaway, a fine dinner then a sea day where the ship will be featured.

Cheers!

Norris

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10 hours ago, Jasperdo said:

Your photos and videos from the HoHo bus were exceptional. You really outdid yourself with them. I felt like I was sitting alongside of you taking in the sights. I'm a big road trip nerd, and I thoroughly enjoyed "driving" the streets of Havana with you.


Thank you! I recall you liking our drive in from Venice airport to the water-taxi video for the same reason. Every mile driving through Havana held surprises; the wide leafy streets, smooth roads, many better-kept homes vs dingy apartment buildings downtown, new hotels, beaches and the crowds waiting for buses- I saw more of those than I videoed. So many people in the streets on a Thursday.

You can see in the photo of the Inglaterra sign a security camera and in the wicker bar area a flatscreen tv so they may not be getting the technology from the USA but they are moving forward. They will likely never give up on the colorful 50s cars now that the tourists have seen them and expect them. They really do make Cuba unique, especially to older Americans on holiday. 

The streets are so clean and swept manually. All those stray dogs and yet no mess to step in.

I picked up all my cigarette stubs and carried them in a box as they would have stood out.

No one begging.

Everyone we met had a smile and a warm welcome and a sense of humor.

Interesting that I never saw one 18 wheel semi-truck in my time on Cuba. They probably don't have enough goods to transport to fill one.

 

I still have Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba memories swirling through the windmills of my mind and I can't (but of course will) wait to show you those two cities.

The Hop On Hop Off bus was Carol's great idea.

Norris

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8 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

Interesting that I never saw one 18 wheel semi-truck in my time on Cuba. They probably don't have enough goods to transport to fill one.

 

 

I know that Cuba used to have a slightly different style of trucks that were used as buses. Search for Cuban Camel Bus. 

 

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Norris!  I haven't been on the Celebrity forum in a while because I've spent all my time reading Carnival posts for our cruise next month.  Not sure what made me look in the Celebrity forum, but I'm so glad I did because I just found your review!!  As always, your photos are wonderful.  Cuba is fascinating, so thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us!  Can't wait to read the rest!! 

~Dana

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1 hour ago, nicedream said:

 

I know that Cuba used to have a slightly different style of trucks that were used as buses. Search for Cuban Camel Bus. 

 

 


Wow! Thank you for this. It's huge and I can see people are standing inside. Must have 100 people or so on board.

Thanks for reading this!

Norris

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12 minutes ago, deladane said:

Norris!  I haven't been on the Celebrity forum in a while because I've spent all my time reading Carnival posts for our cruise next month.  Not sure what made me look in the Celebrity forum, but I'm so glad I did because I just found your review!!  As always, your photos are wonderful.  Cuba is fascinating, so thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us!  Can't wait to read the rest!! 

~Dana


Dana! Welcome. So glad you found this.

I need to get us up onto the rooftop of the Inglaterra and keep this story rolling.

Which Carnival cruise are you and the hubby sailing?

Norris

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5 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:


Wow! Thank you for this. It's huge and I can see people are standing inside. Must have 100 people or so on board.

Thanks for reading this!

Norris

 

Thanks for posting....I'm sailing on the same cruise leaving Feb 11, so I'm following along closely.

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We're living it up at the Hotel Inglaterra....

The walk from the elevator

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we sit in a quiet area off to one side

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smiling waiter, drinks ordered. My Cuba libra was 3 CUC. We are here to relax with a drink and check out the view from the rooftop. Parque Central where we just sat will be below us. Food is served and others are partaking but we are thinking The Patio onboard Journey for that.

To my left the street is the Prado. The Hotel Parque Central and the other white hotel both have rooftop bars. Reminds me of Barcelona.

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Straight ahead looking towards the Cruise Terminal far away

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and to the right where the HoHo bus stops. The large low building is a movie theater.

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I can see Majesty of the Seas way out there

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see her?

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right down below (Carol holding me by the ankles for this shot)

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More...

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a magnificent square don't you think?

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the Prado leads to the Malecon

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Turret is from the Opera House next door. Capitol dome behind.

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Under renovation

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The tiny man working on the tower across the street isn't attached to the building by a harness 

Living dangerously

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On the wall in front of me..

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roof of the OperaHouse

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I enjoyed my 2 Cuba Libres and was now refreshed for our visit to see the Opera House just next door...

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20 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

We have looped around and are back at the cemetery

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People are dying to get in there

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On 1/26/2019 at 5:27 PM, Freestyle Cruiser said:

Bimmer9

 

Best cat tree ever!

Our LeLu is not as fortunate, but she has every chair, couch, rug and bed!  LOL😻😻

 

 

Love all the cat posts...

lots of room for more cats on that Cat Tree...they will find you!

 

Following this great review!

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There's just a narrow street separating Inglaterra from the Opera House

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but the front of the Opera house is wide. Carol strides on ahead

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List of programming, mainly ballet. Looking at the pricing 1st and 2nd balcony are 1 CUC or $1

Cheapest tickets are 40 cents U.S

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There is a tour starting soon. Carol goes in with her Spanish to buy tickets

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Streetsweeper # 8 comes along

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that movie theater

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Carol comes out to tell me our tour is about to start....

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