Santiago de Cuba

Santiago web02

Greetings from Santiago de Cuba! Internet access is, once again, difficult. We are anchored off a marina at Punta Gorda (you aren’t allowed to put your boat just anywhere…there are prescribed government marinas where all foreigners are required to stay) and it’s an hour’s trip by ferry to the city of Santiago…and it only goes thrice a day, so I had to get up at 5 a.m. to post this.

I get wifi in the park, having purchased a card with password, but my tablet battery only lasts an hour, so I am racing to get this out before it dies on me! No idea where I can recharge the device, but if I find some place, I will be doing better posts. For now, please enjoy these pictures of the beautiful city, second only to Havana in architecture, culture, and even more historical.Santiago web05Santiago web14

The fort of El Morro is the best preserved in Latin America, a glorious structure that greeted us when we sailed into the protected harbour of Punta Gorda. We have yet to get ourselves over there and have a look inside.Santiago web28

Loving Cuba. The people are warm and friendly and quick to strike up a conversation. It’s good to be able to speak Spanish, if I come into town alone I get taken for a local. I can sit in the park and nobody bothers me. It’s such a beautiful place, orderly and clean, no rubbish anywhere, Cubanos take such pride int heir country and such good care of everything. Santiago web32

I love that they work with what they have, and manage to live well despite the ridiculous U.S. sanctions against them. Their old cars are spectacularly well-preserved, and about 80% of the old buildings have been restored perfectly.

There are lots of tourists here…Canadians, especially, because their close relations with Cuba afford them all sorts of privileges. But we let the tour groups drift past, we come into town on the morning ferry, and sit in the park like the old men, reading the papers and munching on street snacks, taking it all in slowly, giving the city time to unfold and reveal itself to us.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, you guys. I hope to be able to post more and  at length, some other time.

By the way, Dad, tried to send you an e-mail, but Gmail doesn’t work in Cuba, so we’ll have to find some other way to communicate…hope you are well and all set up to have a nice Christmas. Love, N.

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15 thoughts on “Santiago de Cuba

  1. Nat, love, if YahooMail also doesn’t work, howabout Yahoo Messenger, or one of those other little “chatty” aps? Anyway, want you to know I’m fine, had a nice Christmas with old friends and New Year with new friends! ha! Love you lots and you are in my heart always! Hugs to Kris, and thanks to him for taking care of you! Happy New Year to you both!

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  2. You are so near yet so far. Cuba is just around the corner. Might as well stop by Virginia. Thanks for posting photos as well as your write ups. You inspire me & a lot of others going around the world. Seeing & experiencing diff cultures. Awesome! People, sceneries et al. Love it. Happy New Year to Kris & you. Mike celebrated Christmas day with us.

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    1. Unfortunately headed the other direction, back down to Colombia, then over to Guatemala, hopefully Yucatan, Honduras, etcetera… maybe next year, can’t say but will see if there’s enough money to pay a visit. Happy New Year to you & the family!

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    1. It’s still there, and with a bit of scratching the surface, the heart and soul of Cuba remains unchanged. Might be a good idea to get there before the US tourists do, though that’s a long way from happening, honestly. No time like the present!

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  3. Marvelous photographs as always. Cuba looks wonderful. I’m kicking myself now for never having visited all the time I lived in Britain. I worry so much will change there aesthetically and culturally before I can visit from our U.S. base. Best wishes for 2016!

    Liked by 2 people

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