Havana and Cienfuegos

Feb 17, 2018 - Harmony V

Morning dawned a clear, pleasant, day in Havana, and after breakfast some of the group went to the famous Columbus Cemetery for a historical tour of the famous Cubans interred there. The rest of us went to the Museum of the Revolution, and the Presidential Palace, where we learned more about the revolution and saw evidence of the attack in the bullet holes on the building’s façade and in the vehicle used to make the charge on the presidential palace. Inside the palace, we visited the room where many discussions and decisions were made by Bautista and his staff. Bautista left by way of a secret door in the palace and went up to the rooftop.  The interior of the palace is a beautiful example of the grand architecture of that time.

Our morning history lesson complete, we boarded our buses for the drive to Cienfuegos, riding through agricultural fields, past sugar cane, rice fields, cattle ranches, and watching a very informational documentary on the lead up to the Bay of Pigs incident. After stopping for lunch along the way, we arrived in Cienfuegos mid-afternoon and went to listen to Cantores De Cienfuegos, a wonderful a capella choral group. The group started as a choir in the cathedral, about 56 years ago, and gradually became a non-religious choral group sponsored by the Ministry of Culture in Cuba. They have traveled to Europe and took top awards in many competitions. They sang traditional Cuban songs, a gospel number, and ended with a popular tune from the USA, a rendition of Shenandoah.

With that familiar song ringing in our ears, we headed to our ship that would be our home for the next 6 days, and embarked, gathering on the upper deck to enjoy cocktails while the sun set.

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About the Author

Brenda Tharp

Brenda Tharp

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For over 20 years, Brenda has used her photographs of the world to celebrate its beauty, and inspire others to protect what we have. Brenda grew up exploring the woods, lakes, and coastlines of New Jersey and New England and her family traveled regularly throughout the eastern U.S., camping, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing. She spent most of her childhood engaging with nature in some form or another and learning about animal behavior. When her father taught her some photography at 13, Brenda soon combined her love for nature with her newfound passion, and several years later her adventure began as a freelance photographer, teacher, and writer.

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