I have been clinging to this image of the Caribbean since getting back from Cuba (to snow! Thanks for that British weather.).
It was the kind of trip that makes it hard to answer "how was your holiday?". Any and all of the following: Amazing, fascinating, frustrating, hilarious, tipsy, hot. I loved it.
What do you think of when you think about Cuba? Well, probably at lease some of your Cuba pictures will feature classic cars. That's true. I can't even drive and half my photos are of classic cars. Leap into a taxi and you've as much chance of getting in a 1927 Ford as a Lada (they're hanging on in there too).
And, of course, there's the politics. With no consumer advertising, there's images enough of Che Guevara to rival even Camden Market, and also of Fidel and their fellow revolutionaries. Their words and letters to each other are repeated over and over again, like Che's famous ¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre!. It's pretty hard to leave Cuba without a sixth-form worthy crush on Che.
The Americans had their input on Cuban architecture too. My favourite mojito was served at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. The hotel, overlooking the Malecon which is the seawall and road which sweeps around an edge of Havana, was opened back in 1930 to serve American tourists. Its clientele was seriously glitzy - above shows only a fraction of its hall of fame, though it also had serious mafia ties - think The Godfather Part II. It was closed by Fidel in 1960s, eventually being restored and reopened in the 1990s. Its clientele is still pretty glitzy: there was a Saudi Prince hanging out in the foyer while we were trying to enjoy our mojitos.
So, yes, there was a lot of drink. Mojitos naturally but also Cuba libres (of course!), pina coladas, trinidad coloniales, coco locos. The rum flowed freely. If the rum wasn't flowing freely, there was always Cristal. How I like a can of beer with a palm tree on it. Almost as much as I like a van full of beer.
It's hard to sum up everything we saw, learnt and enjoyed on our trip, hence me resorting to finishing with this gorgeous scene instead. More Cuban sea and sky to try and sustain me through the rest of winter.