Archive - August 2012

Hawkeye Blog for August 2012 August 03, 2012

To be a mere 90 miles from the coast of Florida, Cuba might as well be half way around the world, as travel there for the last 50 years from the United States has been sparse and sporadic. Surprisingly, the 745 mile-long main island has a variety of ecosystems including rain forest, swamps, cloud forests and coral reefs. One scientist called it the "biological superpower" of the Caribbean.

It is a study in contrasts. Havana, its capital, houses both ancient churches and modern structures like the Ministry of the Interior, with the face of Che Guevara, the famous revolutionary, outlined on its fa├žade.

You feel as though you've stepped back in time when you see all the antique cars that are still crowding the streets and roads. They seem to be kept running mainly through the ingenuity of their owners as parts are scarce to non-existent. A classic Model T Ford was kept in the courtyard of one household to protect it from weather and any parts-seekers.

Music and dancing still play a large part in the amusement and leisure aspects of life. Street performers added stilts to their colorful dancing and singing to further delight their audience.

The Church and Convent of San Francis in the 500-year old city of Trinidad holds a prominent place in this UNESCO World Heritage site.