Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chinatown in Havana, Cuba

My friend Hong suggested I visit Chinatown when I was in Havana, Cuba. He had told me about a Cuban who sings Chinese opera, and I tried to get information once I was in Havana, but no one knew anything. There is a large opera house in Havana, though I have no idea if the Chinese operas were performed there. The Great Theatre of Havana is a grand building, and quite close to Chinatown. It is the building on the left -

I tried 'googling' for Chinese opera in Cuba and found this interesting blog. The writer mentions that most of the Chinese community has now left.

When asking for directions to Chinatown, as I told not to expect anything like Chinatowns in other countries, as the one in Havana was small with very few signs of it being Chinese. It seems that the old Chinese community has been swallowed up and integrated.

My first sign of Chinatown was the large gateway -

This led into a small area that is generally quite run down and scruffy. As I had been told, there were very few signs suggesting it is, or was once, a Chinese area. Very few shops had signs, though there were a few restaurants.
This is the first section beyond the entrance-

There are 2 main parallel streets -

Dragones Road, house with huge wooden door, and decorative grilles on the windows

A shop, El Dragon Chino, the man inside on the phone is one of the few I saw with Chinese features -

A shop selling vegetables and fruit -

These 2 buildings both have Chinese signs, belonging to Lung Kong society  -

Typical street in Chinatown -

This is the end of Chinatown -

Some shops at Barrio Chino de la Habana, oficina del historiador de la ciudad (Chinese neighbourhood of Havana, historic city office) -

© Liz Price 
No reproduction without permission

Monday, September 28, 2015

Super moon with total lunar eclipse Sept 2015

28 September 2015

A supermoon is when the moon is at its closest to earth and appears 14% bigger than when at the furthest point. It is in its closest orbit to earth. The lunar eclipse is when the moon is eclipsed by earth’s shadow and turns red = a blood moon, due to sunlight scattered in the earth’s atmosphere. 

The last blood moon with super moon was 1982 and the next one will be in 2033. There have been 5 since 1900.

On 27 Sept the full moon rose and looked spectacular , these were taken 6,45 pm in London -

The eclipse began in the early hours of the morning of the 28th. I started taking these photos at 2.45 am -

Now the moon starts to turn red -

It is darker
  The moon above a roof -

This photo was taken at 3.29 am, after that it was too dark to really show on the photos -         

This was 4.05 as the moon started to lighten on the left side -

After that I gave up and went to bed as the moon was taking much longer than I expected to 'clear'.

Quite a fascinating event.

I saw my first blood red full moon at Pulau Sibu , Malaysia, 10 May 1990.


In July 2015 I saw a blue moon  and also a total lunar eclipse in April 2015. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lizards in Cuba

Whilst in Cuba I saw a variety of lizards.

I particularly liked this one, it had a curled tail and the body looked like a baby monitor lizard! I think it is Leiocephalus carinatus , also known as  Little Bahama curly-tailed lizard.

This one has it's tail out straight -

This is a gecko I zoomed in on across the room -

These lizards were on trees -

If anyone can identify any of these lizards that would be great!!!

I saw the Pope in Cuba

I was in Cuba in September 2015 and found many towns preparing for the Pope's visit.

On 20 September we drove back into Havana. In the morning the Pope had been giving a Mass in Revolution Square. This was well documented on TV -

We arrived back in Havana about 4 pm and found crowds of people gathered along the roads leading towards our hotel.

They were also lining the Prado, which is the main street outside our hotel. As soon as we arrived at the hotel we joined the people on the pavement. We had about an hour to wait but it was worth it to see the Pope and experience the atmosphere. Pope Francis -