Me and Anders have been away for a few weeks, hence the lack of posts, on a trip to Cuba. It was amazing. If you get the chance I would really recommend it to anyone. It's a really beautiful country, with lovely beaches, lush green countryside and all that, but most of all it's a fascinating communist country, trapped in the fifties to a large extent, like a living museum.
Here's a few pics, just to explain a little what I mean:
A shop in the Old Town. When we got back we were a bit overloaded with all the signs, imagery, ads and visual clutter in Britain. That sort of thing is really at a minimum in Cuba. Even road signs. There are only about 10 signs on the whole motorway there, there's about a million here!
A restaurant near where we stayed in Vedado.
This picture illustrates a story which itself neatly illustrates what's so fascinating about Cuba. The building is the American Embassy. In front of it there are 138 flags. In about 2006 the US started to broadcast anti-Castro propaganda from a TV in a window of their embassy. They had messages saying things like "It's a shame that everyone who knows how to run this country is driving taxis". Castro was obviously not happy, so he erected 138 flags in front of their embassy so no-one could see the messages. It's kind of like a piece of public art in a way, the flags make an amazing sound as you stand near them. Plus on the other side there is an area used as a stage... for political rallies and public celebrations. A lot of public space in Cuba seems to be used for these dual purposes - speeches & salsa.
This is a bookshop. Anders read a phrase in a guidebook which has really stuck with us... a modernist gorilla of a building.
The museum of the Revolution.
Wish we were still there!