Madison and I went to the Cadeca today during lunch and then we ate at La Rampa and used the internet. I said a happy (belated) Father's Day to my dad and a happy (early) birthday to my brother, and sent a message to Ryan.
The conference today was about religion in Cuba and it interested me a lot. The professor told us different stories about the warrior gods and the story about why coconuts are white inside and not outside. She also told us that Ochosi is the oricha with the bow and arrow symbol, and the sculpture that I saw symbolized him.
I explored the area close to the Castillo del Principe (the prince's fort/castle). You can't go in, but I climbed up the stairs and the side of the hill to see some things, the most interesting of which was a vulture. There were also some cool trees and carvings along the wall of the Castillo. I continued walking toward the Plaza de la Revolucion. I took photos there of the Jose Marti sculpture and memorial, the image of Che on the Ministerio del Interior, and the image of Camilo Cienfuegos (which everyone thinks is Fidel, but the driver of my CocoTaxi assured me that it's Camilo).
I took a CocoTaxi to Old Havana and the driver talked a lot with me because he's learning English and wanted to practice. He told me that I have "wonderful eyes", talked about the prices of cars in Cuba, recommended I go to the Callejon de Hammel, told me that he studies English for one hour each day and eventually (of course) asked me if I have a boyfriend. I told him that I have a husband and he told me something about how in Cuba "you can have many lovers"... I politely declined.
When I arrived at the Capitol in Old Havana, I took a taxi across the bay to Castillo del Morro. I liked it a lot because I could wander around the castillo (fort) without any signs telling you not to touch things or restricted areas. It also had great views of the bay, the other fort (the Cabaña) and of Havana. The man who is in charge of the bot signals showed me his equipment and took photos of me for a tip. The fort closed at six, so I walked in the direction of the other fort, la Cabaña, although I stopped in a restaurant first.
I ate cordero al vino (lamb in red wine) and it was the best meat that I've eaten in Cuba. I also had a sangria that was very good. I wish that the others had gone with me.
I explored the Cabaña also and went places around the fort where there weren't any other tourists (I climbed around a lot and went to areas that in a historical site in the US would definitely have been off-limits) before seeing the Cañonazo. I sat down at 8pm, but it turned out the ceremony didn't start until 8:30 so I sketched the cannon and it looked a lot better than my earlier drawing of the Che face at Plaza de la Revolucion. I had a really good spot right up front to see the Cañonazo ceremony, but I couldn't stay there the whole time because the crowd was giving me really bad anxiety, so I went down to a less-crowded area to take video of the rest of the ceremony. Pepe and the others were going to go and meet me there, but I couldn't see them, which didn't help the anxiety at all. I couldn't find them afterward, so I just took a taxi back to my house.
I should sleep now. Less than a week left!
PS - I forgot to mention that the taxi driver told me that his cousin left Cuba on one of the balsas (rafts) during the past New Year and now lives in Naples, Florida. He told me that many Cubans want to go to the US (but they can't of course) so they try to find an American girlfriend to marry so they can move to the US. So that explains why we constantly get asked "Tienes novio?"!