Trip to Havana and Trinidad, Cuba Sept 2004  
  comments and photos by Dimos  
     
     
  PHOTOS  
  Havana  
  Philologia, Istoria del Arte, University of Havana
 
  Sacra Catedral Ortodoxa de San Nicolas  
  Trinidad  
   
  Many people go to Cuba for the all-inclusive resorts... I went alone and tried to get a feeling of the real Cuba. I arrived at 8pm in Havana Vieja (the old center of Havana) without a hotel booking...I thought I would find signs "Rooms to Let" as one finds in Greece, Spain etc. There were no signs... The travel guide book says that people will offer you accommodation... Truly, few minutes latter, someone asked me if I was looking for a room...  
   
  Once you walk just outside Havana Vieja, dozens of people try to sell you cigars or sex. Even if you say "No", they just walk with you... Of course, at the moment that you are tired and your senses are relaxing, someone will take advantage of you (in my case I was persuaded to buy milk for a woman that looked pregnant. We went to the store, she ordered the milk, kissed my hands 10 times, and disappeared. The "milk" cost me 13USD.. I latter found out that the salary of a professor in Cuba is 13 USD...)  
   
  Havana and Trinidad are difficult places to understand. All buildings look ready to collapse. But once you enter inside, you find TVs, VCRs and even computers. People use really old busses and drive old cars, but some actually drive new cars... People ask you for money, for soaps, but then again you see young people at night clubs that charge $5 for entry...  
   
  If you dress like a Cuban, you can walk around Havana without anybody noticing you...until you stop to take a picture...  
   
  My best experience was talking to the students at the Philologia, Istoria del Arte at the University of Havana about culture.  
   
  I left Cuba quite disturbed by the poverty, the buildings etc. But if you compare Cuba with other countries in Latin America, one thing is certain: everybody gets to go to bed with a full stomach in Cuba thanks to the coupons provided by the government. This is not the case in the other Latin American countries.  
   
 
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