April 25 2016 – Ashley Schenkein
Ashley recently embarked trip to Havana. Here's her experience in her own words...
Havana: Part 1
After landing in Havana and taking a short taxi ride to my Casa Particular (B&B) in the Vedado neighborhood, I was ready to walk around and get some fresh air. I found myself walking along the beautiful and iconic Malecon, chatting with a local woman about politics and life in Havana. She told me about all the things I couldn't miss, then took me on a short tour of the streets of Havana. After saying goodbye, I strolled the streets of Hamal in Central Havana, watching the kids box in the streets, buying Cuban cigars (as gifts!) and sipping on mojitos in an authentic Cuban bar while Buena Vista Social Club music filled the space around me. This is when I realized: Havana is not a place to see, but a place to be experienced. This is what it was all about...and I was loving every minute of it.
Havana: Part 2
As an old 1957 Chevy taxi dropped me off in front of the Fabrica Del Arte (Art Factory) in Vedado, I felt like I might have been taken to Miami. People were dressed to the nines! This was a different side of Havana than I had previously seen. We waited in a loooooong line to get in (this was apparently the place to be) and once inside, I could see why. Every where I looked was inspiring! It was <art gallery> meets <unique art installations> meets <photographic bliss> meets <Cuban bar scene> meets <discotheque> meets <community meeting space>. Amazing! We danced the night away amongst locals and some tourists...I wanted to stay in this moment forever.
Until next time, Havana...