Cuba Day 1 (November 14, 2015)

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The crankiness melted away after some sleep and going to the top floor for breakfast. All of a sudden, we had a splendid view and could appreciate that we were in Havana.

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Today there is a 3k run throughout Cuba as part of the marathon weekend celebration. It started at 10am, which gave good exposure to the heat and humidity. It was warm, but not really oppressive, which made me optimistic for tomorrow. That’s a good thing, because I’ve been spending too much mental effort psyching myself out about the weather.

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IMG_0059IMG_0053IMG_0062Ellen walked over to the start of the race with me, but then went off to her companion part of the tour. She got a lecture, a walking tour of the old city, lunch at a paladar and a tour of the Fine Arts Museum from the curator.

 

I came back to the room to find no water. No problem, I went down to the lobby and in a few minutes they were able to fix it. My next task was to change money. Cuba has two currencies, one used by the locals and one for foreigners. We use the later, referred to as CUCs and pronounced “kooks.” I tried our hotel and the hotel next to us with no luck. I was pointed to a money exchange a few blocks away. There was a short line of Cubans and tourists, it moved quickly though. Armed with CUCs, I walked around some and then found lunch at Los Nardos, across from the capitol. Billed as “cheap and good” by our tour company, it seemed fancy at first, but I got a huge meal that was quite reasonable.

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I then went to the Fine Arts Museum, and was able to join Ellen and the companions for the tour there.

 

For dinner, we joined my high school classmate Jon Kirn and 6 others from the race group at a paladar a few blocks away. We were seated on the roof, which was quite pleasant. An extensive menu, good food, good conversation, it was a nice night.

 

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