Our first excursion is at out of Havana itself via the antique American cars. S and I pick a red 1946 Ford (our driver calls us his girlfriends).
He puts on 50s music for the first leg of the trip. We’ll step forward in time musically including some fun salsa (S laughs at me because I almost have to dance (poorly) to it)
We drive through the city, past Old Havana and the former presidential palace (under Batista) now a museum, past schools (closed for the weekend) and bus stops, embassies and hotels for their emissaries, government buildings. We stop outside one for a small lesson on Cuban civics and heroes of the Revolution.
Then we return to cars to drive through parks and shopping districts, to artist areas and the bar that Hemingway made famous.
We are being shown the best of Havana. It would be easy to love this place, with such lovely places shining in the sun, and such smiling friendly tour guides.
But there is also decay, poverty on display down the side streets.
Like with everything, there is more than one side to a story.
Still, we enjoy the tour immensely, and have to hurry back to the ship so we can have dinner before our evening excursion.