A Week in Cuba - Part 6

a pretty sweet snag from the tobacco farm in Viñales, 20 of their hand rolled cigars for $60

on our way to Fusterlandia in the way west of Havana, if it's even havana anymore.

on trip advisor or elsewhere they described Fusterlandia as a whole neighborhood of mosaic madness but in reality it is just one shortish street.  I would not recommend coming out here since its so far from anything unless you have been in Havana so long that you have nothing to do.  We were in Havana for 6 days and ran out of things to do but I still wouldn't have come here if I did it all again.  Just not enough out here to warrant the trip.

We bought hats from the shop guys set up across the street from the entrance of Fusterlandia.  I asked them if it was true if Hugo Chavez the dictator of Venezuela was really Cuba's best friend and he sullenly said...was and said he died, which I forgot about.  So I guess it looks like he was at least pretty good buddies with Cuba.  Also the shop hustlers left us alone and were friendly with us for the rest of the day cuz we had to pass Fusterlandia a few more times.  So maybe if you just buy something from every vendor you can evade their street touting ways for the rest of our trip.

it was closed for lunch or something and wouldn't open back up til 2pm which was 2 hours away.  We set off for an adventure

is there a joke to be had here?  Che, Cienfuegos, and Fidel get on a boat called Granma and................

Jen had Maceo's revenge which made up to be the Cuban counterpart to Montezuma's revenge in Mexico.  Montezuma II was a ruler of the Aztec civilization that was defeated by conquistador a-hole Hernado Cortez and thusly the Spanish took over everything, just like Cuba.  So Montezuma's revenge was both a video game for Apple IIe computers and the colloquial name for traveller's diarrhea in Mexico because Montezuma is now extracting his revenge on your gringo foreigner bowels that are on his native land and is cursing you with diarrhea.  In my Cuban version the closest name I could get with my limited Cuban history knowledge is Antonio Maceo, a general during the fight against the Spanish for independence.  Maceo's revenge.  So Jen wasn't having the best time for the next 2 days.  I was still feeling great and drinking beer and relaxing on this beach we found randomly.  The first beach we went to was all Cuban and they stared at us as we walked through.  Jen proceeded to destroy their bathroom and left

This is Fusterlandia, the studio and residence of Jose Fuster who after seeing Gaudi's mosaic work in Barcelona decided that mosaic was the medium for him.

he would do commissions and also do some for free for good people/causes

we went to the Paladar that Anthony Bourdain went to on his 2011 show. Los Amigos which is two blocks from the Hotel Nacional in the Vedado neighborhood

Ropa vieja is tied for 2nd or the 3rd best thing we ate in Cuba.  Very delicious

Masas de Cerdo, pork.  All in all this place was ok, which remember in Cuba if you get ok then go with it.
more contradictions in Havana.  Vedado looks like a rich neighborhood and then you have this all over.
we stumbled onto this place, I remembered seeing it in lonely planet as a place to see celebrities and cool people and it did look full of cool/important Cubans.

Cuba has a 99.?% something literacy rate thanks to Fidel's program.  Drunk musician on the left introduced us to this older gentleman in the middle who I think was saying was basically Fidel's man and responsible for that literacy program.  We were hanging out with a bunch of people we had no right to be hanging out with but because they were drunk we got to hang.  

lots of super nice houses in this area of Vedado

after trying to find a few bars that are hidden inside the Bacardi building in old havana and then one that was supposed to be hidden in an old theatre here in Vedado we ended up getting a drink at the Hotel Presidente on the corner here (both of those bars are gone now).

the Hotel Nacional from the front.  Just off the property there is a swarm of taxis both legal and illegal, coco taxis, and classic car taxis waiting, just waiting for you.