Cienfuegos, Cuba with Chanel the Bear

Today Chanel the Bear and her group will spend the day in the port of Cienfuegos, Cuba.   She has sailed the eastern and northern coast of Cuba and is now back on the southern coast.   Cienfuegos is on a beautiful bay.   This is the last port for Chanel and her group of tourists.   Walking through the streets of Cienfuegos, Chanel saw this lady ironing.

Lady ironing in Cienfuegos, Cuba

If one must iron clothes, this is a beautiful environment to do so.   Further along this street artist was painting and chatting with tourists.

Street artist, Cienfuegos, Cuba

And this is something seldom seen in the United States now.

Phone booths, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Phone booths.   Before cell phones were invented and so readily available, public pay phones were plentiful.   Phone booths were a common sight, but not now.   It is nice to see these memories of the past still being used.   This is how my friend, Chanel the Bear, spent part of every day.

Chanel reading daily program

Chanel would always lay in bed and read the daily ship bulletin.   Great idea, Chanel.   There is such great  information in the bulletins.   When leaving Cienfuegos, Chanel and her mom, the Tour Manager, will sail back to Montego Bay, Jamaica.   This cruise will end and happy tourists will return to their homes.  Thanks, Chanel, for the great photos.   It was taking us on the cruise with you.   Chanel and her mom had back to back tours from Montego Bay.   Chanel’s mom works for Friendly Planet tour company.   You can get more information about tours to Cuba at http://www.FriendlyPlanet.com    As I am writing this, Chanel and her mom are on another cruise around Cuba.   We loved our Cuban tour and hope you will visit Cuba soon.

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Havana, Cuba with Chanel the Bear

I, Zeb the Duck, want to share with you the photos Chanel the Bear sent from her Cuban cruises.   Chanel and her mom, a Tour Manager, are approaching Havana, Cuba now.

Hotel National in Havana from cruise ship

The National Hotel in Havana is old and was a favorite of American tourists in the 1950’s.   We stayed here when we visited Cuba with Chanel and her mom in December 2013.   The history, not only the famous American actors, sports figures and others that stayed here, but the canons and evidence of the missile crisis between the United States and Cuba in the early 1960’s, is vast and fascinating.   Chanel docks in Havana now and takes us with her.   We go to the home of José Fuster, a prolific artist.

Jose Fuster’s Fusterlandia near Havana

He has decorated his courtyard, his outer wall, and much of the neighborhood.   It is a fascinating place.   Isn’t this classic car, in front of Fusterlandia fantastic?

Classic car near Fusterlandia

We love it!  And here is a horse cart.

Horse cart near Fusterlandia

Cuba is such a fun place to visit.   Heading back to Old Havana, we stop to mail a card at this mailbox at the post office.

Mailbox at the post office in Old Havana, Cuba

Continuing our visit of Havana, we watch this dance group near San Francisco Square in Havana.

Dance group near San Francisco Square, Havana, Cuba

Chanel, thank you so much for the photos.   What fun you must be having and your photos bring great memories for us and all who have visited Cuba.   Next time we will see more of Chanel’s photos.

Chanel the Bear Cruises Around Cuba

My friend, Chanel the Bear, has been traveling a lot this year.   In March she and her mom, the Tour Manager, led two different groups on cruises around, and stopping in, Cuba.   Chanel’s mom is a Tour Manager for Friendly Planet tour company.   Chanel and her mom flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica and stayed in a resort for a night.

From resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica

They met their first group and boarded Celestyal Crystal ship on Celestyal Cruise line.   Jamaica is near the southern coast of Cuba, so the first cruise port is Santiago de Cuba, an old city on Cuba’s southern coast.   For a few years, Santiago de Cuba was the capital of Cuba.   Havana was then named the capital and has remained so since 1607.   The African Cultural Center was wonderful.

African Cultural Center in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is close to Jamaica and also to Haiti, so these countries had an influence on southeastern Cuba.   I, Zeb the Duck, really liked these photos from the African Cultural Center.

African Cultural Center in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

And look at this ferris wheel near Loma de San Juan, also in Santiago de Cuba.

Ferris wheel near Loma de San Juan, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

It would be so much fun.   And here is Loma de San Juan in Santiago de Cuba.

Loma de San Juan in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

This is the famous San Juan Hill where in 1898 future American President Teddy Roosevelt, reportedly led a calvary charge, with the famous Rough Riders up San Juan Hill, defeating the Spanish.  Chanel visited Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba.

Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Fidel Castro formerly lived and studied here in Santiago de Cuba.   We believe Fidel Castro would have given many speeches near Revolution Square.    Chanel’s last stop in Santiago de Cuba was El Morro Castle.

El Morro Castle, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

El Morro Castle was built between 1590 and 1610 as a defense against raiding pirates.   There were 4 main levels and 3 large bulwarks to house the artillery.   El Morro survived attacks, but was damaged by several earthquakes.   El Morro was restored during the 1960’s and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.   Chanel, thank you so much for the great photos.   I especially enjoyed them because when mom and I went to Cuba with you, we did not visit Santiago de Cuba.   We look forward to more photos from your next port in Cuba.

Abu Dhabi Mall and Fish Market with Zeb and Chanel

The humans are hungry again!   Humans do like eat.   Tariq, our guide, says we will go to the mall and everybody can choose their preferred restaurant.  What is this?

Ferris wheel

Ferris wheel

I love ferris wheels, but mom says we do not have enough time.   We enter Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

This fountain is a little different than ours at home.   The water comes from above, much like rain.

Fountain inside Marina Mall

Fountain inside Marina Mall

Chanel the Bear and I, Zeb the Duck, did not get very wet.   Too bad, because ducks love water.   And this…

Dinosaur

Dinosaur

A dinosaur in the mall to promote another exhibit.   Very interesting.   Having lunch, the reason for this stop, leads us to this Lebanese restaurant.

Villa Beirut for lunch

Villa Beirut for lunch

We order humus with chick peas.   The humus, similar to paste, lines the bowl.   Accompanied by a bowl of assorted olives, all very tasty, but not overwhelming our taste buds.

Our lunch

Our lunch

The aroma of fresh, warm bread teases our senses.   We eat the bread and then they brought another basket.   Heavenly!   But, don’t forget, we are from the United States so we ordered French Fries from this Lebanese restaurants.   Tasting perfect, they did not last long.   And the Diet Cokes quenched our thirst.   We also drank water with lemon.   A perfect light lunch for humans, duck and bear.   Wandering through the mall, we saw this sign.

Common sign

Common sign

Rather common here, but not usual in our malls at home.   Leaving the mall, the column caught our attention.

Column in Abu Dhabi

Column in Abu Dhabi

A tribute to the royal family, we think.    Next stop is the fish market of Abu Dhabi.

Fish Market of Abu Dhabi

Fish Market of Abu Dhabi

I wonder if this is like the fish market I visited last July in Maputo, Mozambique.   Let’s go inside to see.   Yes, it is.   I love seeing the different kinds of fish.   This man is showing me the fish.

fish market

fish market

Another seller and I am with a human and more fish.

fish market

Fish market with my new friend

Well, what is this he is bringing near me?

fish market. eel??

fish market. eel??

I believe it is an eel.   This man likes me, too.   He thinks I might be hungry.

fish market for a snack

Fish market for a snack

Now, I, Zeb the Duck, am sampling a small fish.   Very nice snack for me.  Mom takes me to this display.

fish market

fish market

Some different kinds of fish here.   I like the fish market, and the sellers are always so nice to me.   My friend, Chanel the Bear, is here also, but she is made of cloth.   Mom can put me in a tub of soapy water and wash me.   If Chanel sat with the fish, she would smell like fish for the entire trip.   Maybe not a good idea, Chanel.   We are happy you watched from your carrying bag.

Zeb the Duck Flies to New Places

We left Denver International Airport, changed planes in Los Angeles International Airport, and now learning about our new plane.

What???

What???

I, Zeb the Duck, can only read part of this sign.   Now a picture of our airplane appears.

Over 15 hours??

Over 15 hours??

Mom, does that say 15 hours and 15 minutes to our destination??  This is a long flight!   But the seats were big enough.   The plane was not full.   I am seeing the mountain peaks of California.

California's mountains

California’s mountains

And so much food.

That's a lot of food. And tasty chicken.

That’s a lot of food. And tasty chicken.

We received three meals and many beverages.   All delicious.  A long, but comfortable flight, and we were in the economy class seats.   This was nice.   Out the plane window, I see the lights of Dubai.

Approaching Dubai

Approaching Dubai

This is a huge airport.   We are in the United Arab Emirates, and this country was created December 2, 1971.   Everything is new and very big.   So much shopping here, but no time now.

Always places to shop

Always places to shop

We must clear customs and immigration, get our luggage and meet our tour guide.   We are touring with SmarTours of New York.   We meet Tariq, our guide, get on the bus and head for Abu Dhabi.   From the bus we see this mosque, with green lights.

Mosque at night

Mosque at night

Sheikh Zayed Road leads us from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Zayed Road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi

About 2 hours driving through the desert will bring us to Abu Dhabi.   This highway is huge.   We see 5-6 lanes in each direction.   I don’t see much traffic now, but they say sometimes there are many vehicles.   We will stay in Abu Dhabi three nights, at the Southern Sun Hotel.

Southern Sun. Our home for 3 nights

Southern Sun. Our home for 3 nights

The lights move on the front of our hotel.   We have a nice, bright lobby.

Lobby of Southern Sun. Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear

Lobby of Southern Sun. Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear

And you can now see who is here with us!   Chanel the Bear, my good friend, and her mom are in Abu Dhabi.   We will have so much fun traveling together.  I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to find the swimming pool.   It is an outdoor pool on the top floor of the Southern Sun.

Southern Sun pool

Southern Sun pool

A little chilly now, so I won’t stay in here long.   Looking through the glass wall, it is a long way down.

From top of Southern Sun Hotel

From top of Southern Sun Hotel

Chanel and I, Zeb, take our moms for a walk around our neighborhood.   We saw many new things, several small shops and restaurants.   Even a money exchange office to change US dollars into United Arab Emirates dirhams.   We receive about 3.65 dirhams for each US dollar. Carefully sitting on the railing, we wanted to show you how wide the highways are in Abu Dhabi.

Wide highways through Abu Dhabi

Wide highways through Abu Dhabi

We love wide streets.   Walking on side streets, we are happy that most countries in the world use the same type of stop sign.

Stop sign

Stop sign

Isn’t this fun to see?   It is exciting to see new things.   Chanel and I, Zeb, want to show you so many things about our trip to the United Arab Emirates.   We hope you keep reading.

We Visit Denver’s First Church

Trinity United Methodist Church, organized in 1859 claims to be Denver’s First Church.   I, Zeb the Duck, with Chanel the Bear, visited this beautiful church at 1820 Broadway in Denver, Colorado.

Trinity United Methodist Church

Trinity United Methodist Church

Known today as Trinity United Methodist Church, is was first known as Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.

Originally Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church

Originally Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church

We went inside.   From the front this is the view looking toward the balcony.

Looking to balcony

Looking to balcony

We love stained glass windows, so we were happy.   Isn’t this a great wooden Nativity display.

Nativity Scene with Zeb and Chanel

Nativity Scene with Zeb and Chanel

Chanel and I fit right into this scene.   Climbing the stairs to the balcony, we had an impressive view of the organ.

From balcony to organ

From balcony to organ

Completed in 1888, under the supervision of Frank Roosevelt of the Roosevelt Organ Works of New York, this organ has been carefully maintained.   In 1888 electricity was not dependable.  A water wheel was connected to an artesian well in the sub-basement of the building.   Thus in an emergency, there would be electricity to power the organ.    This organ has 4,275 pipes.  That is a lot!  Looking around the balcony, there are a lot of seats in this church.

Inside Trinity United Methodist Church

Inside Trinity United Methodist Church

We liked this sculpture.

He Shall Gather The Lambs

He Shall Gather The Lambs

The inscription says “He Shall Gather the Lambs”.   This church has many symbols of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).   There are three arches over the Broadway Street entrance and three sections of the steeple.

Trinity United Methodist Church

Trinity United Methodist Church

Also within the proscenium arch above the organ’s pipes, there are 66 lights.   Each light represents a book of the Bible.

From balcony toward organ

From balcony toward organ

This Roosevelt organ is so large.   Doesn’t the organist look small?   When you are downtown Denver, we recommend that you visit this church.   The church is beautiful and the organ is fantastic.   Even when the weather is not perfect for outdoor activities, remember to visit special buildings, museums and other great indoor exhibits.

Grand Cayman with Chanel the Bear

Chanel, I love the photos of your Caribbean cruise.    And I think I love the Caribbean.   Today we are sharing your photos from Grand Cayman.  The Cayman Islands were also colonized by the British.   This guy is pretty big and very scary.

Chanel with a pirate

Chanel with a pirate

I am not so sure about that hook for a hand.   Be careful Chanel.    You are a very cute, little bear.   Yep, I do love the Caribbean.   And this is exactly why.

Loving the Caribbean

Loving the Caribbean

This photo could be the cover for Islands Magazine.  Thank you so much for sharing your vacation photos, Chanel.   We love them.