Was thinking about doing this in a top-10 list -- but here it is, just as lists. Tomorrow I leave!
Good things about
Friendly Cuban people. Sure, there are some hustlers – but they are not aggressive.
Very little begging, children aren't begging or selling things (unlike other poor countries), instead children are in school.
Relatively safe – low crime rate, lots of police. Walk freely anywhere.
Beautiful scenery – ocean views. Waves crashing on the Malecon (walkway / ocean breaker – walk for miles along the edge of the ocean).
Amazing contrasts – impressive colonial mansions that are crumbling into ruins, or have been randomly divided up into multiple units, with chickens in the yard …
Some real architecture – art deco, art nouveau and colonial – although mostly crumbling (lots of the old city has been restored – very beautiful!! But just go around the corner, and …..
Good --- and bad
Lots of cute dogs -- lots of sad homeless dogs – scrawny, bald or balding, limping, etc..
Lost of cute cats (especially after dark – they're nocturnal) – lots of sad homeless cats, herds of kittens in dumpsters …
LOTS of buildings that were once impressive and elegant -- and that now are on the brink of collapsing. It's pretty astounding and hard to grasp.
Me thinking: "This building MUST be abandoned, condemned and empty.
WHOOPS, no, lots of people, several generations seem to be living in it, going up and down a skeleton spiral staircase with no railing. Since it's hot, everyone leaves their doors open ….."
Lots of open-air book sales. --- But it's mostly all the same –it's the best of Fidel and Che… .