Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fun Times and the Cuban Missile Crisis

We are on the final stages of our Cuba tour. Today we visit the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. As mentioned before, everything of significance over the last century happened here.

Hotel logo

From its beginning in 1930, the hotel is an American hotspot. Let's see if we can spot some Americans ...

Impressive building - designed by a New York architectural firm.

With a very impressive guest list.

Beautiful grounds.

With the ever present Che.


Hotel bar is a classic

It's located on Havana Bay

Enjoying the view

These cannons date back to the 19th century

Pretty impressive

2nd cannon

We come across this bunker on the hotel property

Turns out, the bunker is a remnant from the Cuban Missle Crisis

This map shows the Cuban defense plan for the air/sea attack from the US - which never materialized

These are the ramparts of the bunker

We are touring the site - Monica is ready for a battle

These tunnels form a full circle

This is a piece of the U2 spy plane that was shot down with Russian surface to air missle. The pilot, Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr., was killed immediately in the high altitude explosion.

We need to keep low passing through these tunnels

Exiting one of the tunnels into the rampart

Watch your head

We read a lot of material about the missle crisis - Cuban version

This is President Kennedy's response to Nikita Krushchev - the key was agreement to remove missiles from Turkey

This was Fidel's proposal to end the missle crisis, never adopted

There is even information on Maj. Anderson

Those green covers are the air vents for the tunnels we just passed through. The Hotel Nacional is in the background.

Jenée and Mike under the Cubsn flag

That's better

Lovely Hotel - rooms run $50-$100 per night. Not bad

Work still needs to be done to upgrade some of the properties in Havana

Mike and Monica under the flag

A view across the bay to the Spanish fort

Some of the famous guests to visit the Hotel Nacional over the years

Time for a cocktail!

A happy pose

A not so happy pose - but adorable

We found a great restaurant for lunch

Time for a tour through the outdoor market

Jenée and I have visited many of these over the world

Love them fruit and vegetables

Walking back towards our apartment, we see work being done to beautify this building

Now on the waterfront

A beautiful day

And beautiful sights

We are enjoying the sights

And the coastline

And the city

And this statue

We are now in the airport waiting room - our flight is delayed for many hours

There is the airport in the distance - Cuban Airlines treated us to this place due to the delay. I've been stuck at worse places. We fully enjoyed our time here. I got to achieve my goal of seeing Havana before it becomes Americanized once again. I might have a few Cuban cigars in my luggage, I'll have to check. Adios amigos.