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Cuba, Travel Guide

- To get into the tropical atmosphere of Cuba at its fiftieth. Among the American automobiles, the smoky bars of Havana, the effect is assured.

- For its fantastic sea. Cuba offers about six thousand kilometers of splendid Caribbean coast, with beaches and cliffs for all likes.

- For the people’s hospitality, not always interested as it is wanted to make you believe. The Cubans are people full of happiness and eager to leave, people who love to find the foreigner, just to exchange ideas.

- To smoke the best tobaccos in the world, made by hand with the leaves of Vuelta Abajo. You can also attend to the making of the tobacco in a factory or maybe inside of a big hotel, where there are exhibited in parties, authenticate preparations for the tobacco’s artists.

- To travel through out the town of Hemingway, a North American writer that lived in the island from the 1939 to the 1961 and where he wrote some of his romances.

GEOGRAPHICAL DATA

Located in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba, with a longitude of about 1.200 kms and a surface of 110.860 Km., is the biggest island in the biggest Antilla. It is at about 200 Km. from the island of Keys and it is close to The Mexican peninsula of Yucatan in and the island of Hispaniola. More than the main island, The Cuban Republic gathers all the isles and islands that surround it. Great part of the Cuban coast is low and sandy, with numerous bays and areas of lagoons and paludose. Its interior is of plains, interrupted by the Sierra de los Organos to the west, the Sierra del Escambray to the center and the Sierra Maestra to the east. Its population is of about 11 million inhabitants.

Time Zone: -6.0 (summer); -6.0 (winter)

Duration of the days 13.5 hours (June); minimum 11.0 hours (December)

WHEN TO GO

Period better: February, March

Good period: January, April, December

Worse Period: September, October

WEATHER

The dry station which is naturally the best period to go, begins at the end of October and finishes in April. The rains station is from April to October, but in these months precipitations, although are abundant always occurs in the half-day and for a short period.

What to take

Without doubts the bathing suit. And then summer clothes, shirts and cotton pullouvers, short and long pants. And do not forget besides, the shoes for walking in the afternoons, to take also a pair of sandals.

CULTURE/MUSEUMS

City Museum

Address: Plaza de Armas, Havana

Schedule: 9.30-18.30

Entrance is paid

One of the main museums of histoty and culture of the isle. It offers a rich exposition ofartistic testimonies bengining from the colonial period up to firts years of the republic.

Revolution Museum

Address: Palacio Presidencial, Calle Refugio, Havana

Schedule: 10-17; Saturday up to 18

Entrance is paid

All that is wanted to know about the myth of the Cuban revolution is exposed in this place, in the ex-presidential building that housed as last tenant, the dictator Batista up to 1959,documents, registrations and movies on the revolutionary epic poem.

National Museum

Address: Calle Trocadero, Havana

Schedule: 10-17; closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Entrance is paid

The exhibition is divided in several sections. The pinacoteca, with linens from Spanish, Englishmen, Danish teachers, among them stand out Velásquez, Murillo, Goya and Turner; the Egyptian old art collection, grecian and Roman, considered the most important in Latin America, the gallery dedicated to the Cuban painting from the XVII century to our days, the ceramic collection, and a space for the contemporary exhibitions.

Hemingway Museum

Address: San Francisco de Paula, San Miguel del Padrón, 12 km from Havana

Schedule: 9-16; Sundays 9-12.30

Entrance is paid

Dedicated to the enthusiasts of North American writer who lived in this building from 1939 to 1961. It was here where Hemingway wrote “Whom sound the bells for” and the “Old man and the sea”.

Music National Museum

Address: Calle Cárcel, Havana

Schedule: 9-17; Sundays 8-12; Closed on Mondays

Entrance is paid

There are exposed numerous Afro-Cuban musical instruments, besides the Fernando Ortiz anthropologist’s private collection. Disks, scores and instruments are sold, also some concerts are presented in the museum saloon.

CUBAN CUISINE

The traditional cuisine in Cuba is excellente and it would be a sin to get lost looking for other inetrnational plates, proposed in other local. The Cuban culinary art is born from the encounter of the precolumbian cuisine with the African, French, Spanish, English, and the Hindu and indonesa. The result of this is a miracle of the balance. There are fruits very often so as (mango, papaya, avocado,) mainly to accompany salted plates and to form part of the base of cocktails and drinks.It is used a lot the pig meat, lots of chicken, mainly in the inside of the country, while in the coastal restaurants are intend exquisite sea plates: fish, crustaceans cooked in several ways. The national plate is the “ajiaco” a soup with the help of potato, banana, corn, calf meat, Chicken, and dry meat. Another typical food is the “congri”, made with black beans and rice cooked all together , accompanied by “pig pork cracklings”. The “fufú” is on the other hand a banana puree seasoned with “mojo”, a fried lightly of oil garlic and cumin. Do not loose teh oportunity to taste the “Creole lobster” that is nothing else but a fried lobster with tomato, onions, peppers, spicy pepper and sour orange juice. Among the candies the “boniatillo”, made of sweet potato and sugar and the “coquito acaramelado” also “la mala rabia” also made of sweet potato sugra cane sirope, cinnamon and sweet orange shell. The diffused drink is the coffee, served to the American way, that is to say not few, and the rum is pure that serve as base to any prepared swig or the numerous cocktails so as Cuba Libre, the Rum punk or Piña Colada. Cuba also produces an excellent beer. The diffused national marks are the Mayabe and The Lagarto.

FUN/SHOPPING

Who doesn’t know the Cuban rum and tobacco, known for everyone as best in the world? In the island there are lots of opportunities to return home with some good music, revolutionary souvenir and why not an automobile of the fifty years.

Tobaccos

The tobaccos or cigarettes are of different sizes, they are sold loose or in elegant wooden boxes. Just to see them makes yoy buy them although you are not a smoker, maybe for a beautiful gift. The prices are almost half of the prices in Italy. For example a box with three Montecristo Sigars N.4 costs at about 10 American dollars. They can be bought in the stores. At Havana in the House of 5a and 16 (5a Ave y 16). In Santiago in Casa del Tabaco (Ave. Jesus Menéndez 730). Pay attention to the conservation of the tobacco. An adequate humidity is needed for them.

Craft

Cuban craft reflex the influence of diverse cultures, mainly the African. Many objects are related with the santería, the Afro-Cuban religion diffused per excellency in the island. There can be dolls of pieces and ceramic, masks made of paper maché and wooden sculptures. Puppets of tamarind seeds are also made. Pretty hats palm feathers fibers or of knitted coconut. Baskets and bags are also made. In old Havana there is the Craft Palace (Calle Cuba 64). In Santiago in the Craft House (Cathedral Plaza).

Foods

The rum is bought obligatorily and the most famous mark is The Havana Club in several versions: Liquor, the most economic; Carta Blanca 3 years and particularly used for the cocktails. Carta Oro, 5 years, and the most refined matured during 7 years. The precise goes from 4 to 7 American dollars each bottle. For adventurers the most valuable rum in Cuba is the retained Matusalem, product from Santiago de Cuba matured during 25 years, it can be around the 15 dollars the bottle in Casa del Ron de Obispo y Bernaza in Old Havana.

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Post War and Other Stories


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$12.30


It’s the quarter century before the new millenium. In these stories, Lena Rossi, perplexed speck in the human continuum, wanders through a last epic party in 1970’s San Francisco, before the rents go through the roof and the thrift stores have been picked clean. Dogs howl and she follows them through the Church Street Safeway and the hippie trails of India, while the ghosts of Italian WWII POW’s d…


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    March 11th, 2011 at 16:31 | #1

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