Showing posts from February, 2018

Cuba: Our Time in Havana

As I wandered through the street of Havana, I was reminded of a quote by Hippocrates, “Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, judgment difficult." Wandering the streets of Old Havana is like walking into a living museum. The art is manifested in many different ways. I joined a walking tour that started in the San Francisco de Asis square just in front of the cruise terminal. While the basilica and monastery were the main centerpieces, the square was surrounded by other colorful buildings dressed in intricate details. The architecture in Cuba range from Colonial, Baroque, Greek, Roman, and Neo-Classical Our walking tour was interrupted by a visit to Teatro Retazos to watch some dance performances. Teatro Retazo is home to one of the city’s most avant-garde dance troupes. The theater included an art exhibit – paintings of local artists – at the lobby. We listened to a short talk about the Teatro Retazos contribution to the world of dance. It’s credited wi

Mexico: Beneath the Yucatan Peninsula

I’ve traveled from country to country visiting museums, seeing different architectures, experiencing different cultures, but I’m mostly drawn to the natural world. So, imagine my delight when I discovered the beauty of Rio Secreto, a subterranean world. Rio Secreto or Secret River is Mexico and Central America’s leading Nature Reserve that features wonderful ‘cenotes’ or cave pools, limestone caverns and rivers beneath the Yucatan peninsula. My adventure began at Playa del Carmen. The drive into the National Reserve from Playa del Carmen was about thirty minutes.  After the paved road, we bounced farther away from the park entrance over a bumpy and dusty strip into the depth of the jungle.  I had expected a bare minimum changing and restroom facility in the middle of the jungle.  But when we arrived, we were greeted by a professional guide who handed us our keys to our lockers. A professional guide by the name of Carolina led our group step-by-step through the journey. There wa

Grand Cayman: From Paradise to Hell

After two days of rough sailing, I was not really in the mood to participate in any water sports activities.  When we reached Grand Cayman, I decided to just relax on the beach.  Our driver took us to the Royal Palm Beach Club with beachfront access to the Seven-Mile Beach, a sun-bathers mecca of Grand Cayman.  Although it’s said that the Seven-Mile beach could get crowded with people from the cruise ships, the cabanas and lounge chairs were mostly empty.  There was no crowd, and the weather was just perfect for me.  I did not have to use the umbrella. I saw a couple popping in and out of the water and three others swimming away from the beach. After drowning a mango smoothie and a blue alcoholic drink, and lounging for almost an hour, I was tempted to swim in the clear turquoise water.   I went in, face first into the wave and gave myself no moment to adjust to the water.  It was invigorating.  I swam along the wave and was enjoying it until a big wave hit me like a truck and pus