Cuba and rum travel blog

The barracks

Heros of the revolution

The mothership

Marti's grave

Honor guard

Bacardi's grave


Up and breakfast but argue with Ella. I left for the tour but she soon followed – but a bit late.

We first went to the barracks where Castro led his first assault on the Batista regime. Bright yellow building with pock marks from bullets. The marks were actually from the military as there was little gunfire and the Batista’s wanted to paint Castro as a violent revolutionary.

We toured the building and saw where the torture chamber was as well as many other historic spots. All the barracks in the country had been turned into schools – and this was no different – with posters and the like of revolutionary heros and stuff the children had put together. Even the truck Castro used to drive to the attack. We were told not to take pictures of the school.

Later in the day we took a bus to the first cathedral in Cuba near the first copper mine to be developed there as well. Lots of people selling various religious trinkets as well as stuff from the copper mine,

We then headed off to visit Cementerio Santa Efigenia where Jose Marti – the first Cuban revolutionary was buried. They still maintain an honor guard over the grave similar to what the US does at Arlington cemetery. Then we toured the cemetery itself. Some notable graves were there such as the original Bacardi (who started the rum company) and several musicians.

We were also introduced to Cuban burial customs. Bodies are buried without preparation and left for a number of years. The bones are then gathered and stored to eventually be placed in small marked walls around the cemetery. The do not cremate people as it uses too much fuel. Very eerie to see the boxes of bones.

Later that day we were back at the home stay and had a meal of shrimp. We headed up to the Casa Traditional to listen to music but I got deathly ill and threw up just outside. Went back to the homestay and Ella stayed at the music hall with Mercedes.

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