I have been back from Cuba now for a good 4 days and I have to say I miss it. What a wonderful experience it was to be in that country. Im far from a political expert but given everything that the country has had to endure its amazing they can get anything done at all.
The jazz festival which ran the last 3 days of the trip was a total disappointment on a number of different levels. It was extremely dis-organzied (shows starting two hours late, bad sound, and bands that quite frankly weren’t that good) but the overall tour was absolutely amazing. Cuba Education Tours did a great job of keeping us busy and all the activities that were set up were amazing. We toured the biggest cigar factory in Cuba which was fascinating. We visited the Havana Club Rum museum (you can imagine the trouble we got into there) and we visited a tabocco leave cultivation camp which was amazming. The most enjoyable part of the trip however was walking around Old Havana which is a beautiful city. Its unfortunate that there isn’t the resources to restore the old buildings that make up the city. They look pretty run down but they are beautiful nonetheless. The best music we saw as in the restaurants in the afternoons during lunch. It was mostly more traditional cuban music with the out recognizable ditty like Oye Como Va and of course Besame Mucho. There is music everywhere in Havana whether on the street or in the restaurants which is very very cool. We had two tour guides who really new the history of Cuba and the politics of Cuba like the back of their hands and they serverly enhanced the enjoyment of the trip.
It was also great to hang out with some Cellar regulars. All in all there were about 34 people on the trip, 16 from the club so it was good to have Cellar contingent there.
When and if this tour comes up again next year, think seriously about it because it was a gas!