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.

Advertisements

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.

Channel the Bear in Trinidad, Cuba

Today, I Zeb the Duck, want to show you where my friend, Channel the Bear, has been.   You may remember that Channel and her mom go to Cuba frequently.   Channel’s mom is a tour guide for Friendly Planet trips to Cuba.   Channel sent this photo from Trinidad, Cuba.   Often animals from towels are left on the beds, but look at this.   Channel also received a rose and more rose petals on her towel.

Trinidad Cuba highlights rose and rose petals for Channel the Bear

Trinidad, Cuba highlights a rose and rose petals for Channel the Bear

This is beautiful, Channel.   Thanks for sharing this photo with us.   We love to hear and see what you experience in Cuba.

Reflections of Cuba by Zeb the Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, am back at the airport in Havana, Cuba.

We are in Havana, Cuba

We are in Havana, Cuba

As I wait for my plane to Miami, I pause to reflect on my Cuban adventure.  I met many very nice people.  I liked my group of human travelers.  As expected they were all very experienced travelers eager to explore a new place and adaptable if the planned schedule was changed.  I also met very nice, friendly people living in Cuba.

I remember narrow streets with old buildings.

Narrow streets with wonderful old buildings

Narrow streets with wonderful old buildings

Many horse carts,

Horse cart

Horse with cart

many bicycles, many people walking, some classic American cars

Classic cars as taxis

Classic cars as taxis

and some new,

New smaller taxis

New smaller taxis

small taxis.

The school children were wearing uniforms.

Their uniforms look nice

Their uniforms look nice

We stopped at a ballet school and saw them practice.

Wow!

Wow!

While we brought gifts to the senior center, we enjoyed the dancing and music and the people gave us a gift also.

Zeb with new hat

Zeb with new hat

I think I look pretty good in my hat.

As a yellow rubber duck, people were curious about me and many became my friends.

Zeb's new best friend

Zeb’s new best friend

These decorated cakes are examples of art and attention to detail.

Look so yummy

Look so yummy

Bet they taste good too.

Cuba has many statues; some large and some smaller bronze statues.

Statue of friar near Havana's Plaza Vieja

Statue of friar near Havana’s Plaza Vieja

It appears that they remember and honor many people.

This man was so nice and I was fascinated as he made sugar cane juice.

Made fresh sugar cane juice

Made fresh sugar cane juice

I remember shopping in the market in Havana.

Indoor market in Havana

Indoor market in Havana

I remember music everywhere.

Musicians playing in Trinidad

Musicians playing in Trinidad

After dinner one evening, many in our human group learned some Cuban dance steps

After dinner dance lessons

After dinner dance lessons

and many danced after the lesson.

I remember and admire the art, the color, the talent and most of all, the smiles and

Our new friends

Our new friends

friendliness of the Cuban people.   Our governments may have differences, but the friendly people of Cuba and the United States get along well.

Such colorful dresses

Such colorful dresses

I am so glad that we visited Cuba.  If you want to see Cuba, check out http://www.friendlyplanet.com and see what they offer.  There are other tour companies that offer people to people tours.  We decided to travel with Friendly Planet and enjoyed it.  I hope you will visit Cuba soon.

Alejandro, our local guide, enjoying a Cuban cigar.

Alejandro, our local guide, enjoying a Cuban cigar.

Connie our Friendly Planet guide and Santos our driver with Zeb the Duck

Connie our Friendly Planet guide and Santos our driver with Zeb the Duck

It is time to board the plane and return to Miami.  I have more adventures planned with Soapy Smith Duck, my Alaska cousin will send Alaska updates and JB Duck is also traveling.  Please check here to see what we do and tell us about your adventures, away from home and in your home town.

More Cienfuegos, Cuba with Zeb the Duck

Arriving at La Sociedad Grafica de Cienfuegos

School of graphic design

School of graphic design

I, Zeb the Duck, spotted this motorcycle.  Like any guy, I asked my friend Channel, to go for a ride.

Zeb and Channel ready to ride

Zeb and Channel ready to ride

Here we are on the motorcycle.  But we do not have the keys.

Inside this school, we see some finished work

Inside the school

Inside the school.  The Working Class Herd

and listen to the plans and accomplishments of the school and the students.  The Sociedad Grafica de Cienfuegos is similar to a City College.   The print shop’s mission is to provide activities and support for children with Down’s syndrome.  The finished pieces were created here, with this equipment.

Work area for students

Work area for students

The students and faculty are very talented and dedicated.

We cross the patio to enter the gallery or sales room.   Many paintings are available for purchase.  There are masterpieces available in the patio also. Here my friend, Connie, admires some pieces of art.

Connie admiring art

Connie admiring art

Leaving the school we admire the murals on the buildings.

Murals by school in Cienfuegos

Murals by school in Cienfuegos

I think the Cubans like to paint

Street art

Street art

and I believe they are very good artists.

On building near school in Cienfuegos, Cuba

On building near school in Cienfuegos, Cuba

Santos drives through Cienfuegos to Punta Gorda and the Palacio del Valle.

Palacio del Valle at Punta Gorda

Palacio del Valle at Punta Gorda

We will eat lunch in the restaurant here.

I am getting hungry

I am getting hungry

This building was constructed between 1913 and 1917.   Near the entrance, I spot a resting place for me.  Short duck legs require many resting spots and this one is perfect for me.

Zeb the Duck at rest

Zeb the Duck at rest

We enjoyed a delicious fish lunch and then wandered through the Palacio del Valle.

Palacio del Valle has a gorgeous upper patio.  If there were more time, later I would ask for a drink and snacks here.

Beautiful area

Beautiful area and ready for a snack

But we return to Havana tonight, so no snacks here today.  From this patio the views of the Caribbean Sea are wonderful.

Bay of Cienfuegos, part of the Caribbean Sea

Bay of Cienfuegos, part of the Caribbean Sea

This building has restaurants, patio with bar and food, a museum and rooms for rent.  Palacio del Valle is beautiful.  I hope you visit here soon.

Next time I will share more adventures in Havana, Cuba.  Cuba is a new experience for this duck and my human.  To visit and experience Cuba, check out http://www.FriendlyPlanet.com    You will enjoy your time in Cuba.