by Jim and Melanie
We’re going to wrap up our trip with a few thoughts and favorite photos from each of us.
Often I suggest going somewhere — “We should go to Portugal!” “We should go to Turkey!” Even imagine much less exotic locales — “we should go to Missouri!” Agreeing we should is easy, but scheduling it into our lives is harder. Imagine my surprise when I came out of the copy shop in February to hear Jim say, “We should go to Cuba!”
He’d been listening to our local jazz station, KCCK, on the car radio. They had a group tour to Cuba scheduled for October. Given all the political changes between the two countries, we knew this would be a prime time to go, so we said “Yes!”
We hadn’t been on a group trip before. One question I had was if I would feel like punching someone by day 3. In fact, the other travelers in our group were lovely, and I hope for long-lasting friendships with some. Another question I had about group travel was if the arrangements including food and accommodations, as well as tour stops, would justify the price. For this trip, in my opinion, it was. We had access to some experiences that would have been difficult, at best, traveling on our own.
Cuba was an interesting country, full of contradictions. As Cubans themselves say, “It’s complicated.” I hope we can go back in a few years to see how things change.
Here are a few of my favorite photos. The common theme in all of them is lines. (Click on any picture to see the gallery with larger photos.)
I have one other favorite, of a sculpture in the Plaza de Vieja. By Roberto Fabelo, it is titled “Viaje Fantastico.”
“We should go to Cuba!” I’m glad we did. It revealed a land of beautiful people who work very hard to make ends meet. The were kind and receptive to us. May they move cautiously into a more normal relationship with the rest of the world. I hope they retain a sense of control over the strong influences of people and money that will want to profit from them.
My pictures don’t seem to have a theme. I like these for a variety of reasons.
My last image is from the works of Jose Fuster. This large hand reaching upward toward the light is symbolic to me of the dreams and aspirations of the Cuban people. I wish them peace.
You can find the previous posts about our trip by following this link. Thank you for joining us.