Cuba At It's Finest
I'm finally able to sit down and share with you information from our trip to Cuba.
Now there are some who say they are reluctant to travel to Cuba. Well on our trip we had people who partied at the Cuban clubs with the locals until 4am in the morning. There were others who ate at rooftop restaurants. And probably the best example of just enjoying the country is the two young ladies we met from Denver, Colorado. Kaitlyn and Sydney had been in Cuba for 9 days before we met them. They had backpacked across the entire country, stayed in hostels, and even dived. What a joy it was to meet them!
It was a fantastic voyage filled with educational moments.
We got to see the beautiful Cuban architecture and take in the Cuban culture. The highlights were having a tour of the Hotel Nacional and seeing in person those classic cars.
As you recall the Hotel Nacional is a historic hotel located on the Malecon in the middle of Havana. Chicago developer Arnold Kirkeby acquired the hotel in the early 1940s and operated it for over a decade. In December 1946 the hotel hosted the Havana Conference, an infamous mob summit run by Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and attended by Santo Trafficante, Jr., Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese and many others. Francis Ford Coppola memorably dramatized the conference in his film The Godfather Part II. Walking through the hotel was like stepping back in time.
If you love classic cars, Cuba is one of the best places on the planet to see them! Cars from the 1940's and 1950's fill the streets of Havana. There are Chevrolets, Fords, Pontiacs, Buicks, Dodges, Plymouths, and Studebakers.
American cars were imported into Cuba for about 50 years, beginning near the early 20th century. After the Cuban Revolution, the U.S. embargo was erected and Castro banned the importation of American cars and mechanical parts. That’s why Cuba is the way it is today—essentially a living museum for classic cars.