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.