Cuba is a gorgeous land: very raw, yet rich in culture and history. On one side there is tourism and on the other there is poverty and oppression from the communist government.
Tourism is Cuba’s main source of income, closely followed by exports in Tobacco and Rum. Thereby, making the culture pro-partying and having fun. The Cuban government puts a great priority on tourists and their safety by having armed officers patrolling almost every intersection of major tourist ddestinations. I was also told that theft from a foreigner received severe punishments.
So my trip took me to Varadero (Playa Azul), a resort town with over 20km of gorgeous white sandy beaches and beautiful blue ocean water. For the first time in my life, I went Scuba diving and the experience was truly amazing (Corals, the aquatic life and rock formation 10-15m under the ocean are breathtaking).
My voyages then took me to Havana, the capital and major port of Cuba. Havana is a very historic city with vast culture and outstanding architecture, museums and monuments. Some major buildings include: Capitolio Nacional, Chamber of commerece, Cathedral of Havana, Austrian Center. I went to the place were they invented Pina colada: Floridita, and it was the most splendid Pina colada I had ever tasted. I was also fortunate enough to watch a Flamenco performance.
To be continued…
The Costa Concordia, an Italian cruise liner with over 4200 people on board was going over on a trip around the Mediterranean when it apparently hit a reef near the island of Giglio on Friday. Apparently, the cruise liner was out of course as a courtesy call to its head waiter who is from the island and it was a promotional stunt involving the ship honking and the whole island and the crew on board waving. So far 5 are reported dead and 15 till missing. Prayers go to the victims and survivors.
The saddest part of all of this is that when the ship went sinking the Captain Francesco Schettino, the same guy who crashed the ship abandoned the ship, crew and passengers. He has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and abandoning of ship. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2087704/Costa-Concordia-captain-Francesco-Schettino-ordered-cruise-ship-coastguard.html
Pictures/Rescue effort can be seen at: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/01/the-wreck-of-the-costa-concordia/100224/
Shares of Carnival the parent company of Costa Concordia fell over 15% today. But if you are planning on investing read this before because it will not bounce back soon: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/01/17/carnival-shares-plunged-what-you-need-to-know/