Growing up in the UK I have to say I am accustomed to the cold and don't really mind the rain. But the heat just about does me in. And to think I even considered moving to Spain when I retire! Much as I love Spain I think I will stay in France where I have made my life for many years now, and just tootle off to warmer climes in the winter for a few weeks.
Talking of warmer climes, now that I am divorced and the kids are grown up I am again indulging in my life-long passion for travel. As a single girl all my money was spent on travel. Then along came marriage, two kids and a mortgage so that kinda slowed things down, but now, with careful planning (and saving), I am aiming to take a European break every autumn - if only for a week - (summer is lovely here so why go away) and (again hopefully) a long-haul break every winter.
This March I was lucky enough to make it to Cuba for 2 weeks and what a beautiful country it is. And while I woudn't presume to pontificate on the revolution, something definitely worked there. The people are educated, cultivated and musically-inclined for the most part. It really is quite amazing. Our guide told us that higher education was mandatory (and free), as was training in music and the arts. Add to that the free health care it was a complete eye-opener. Of course, they are also desperately poor, something which I hope the easing of relations with the US will change.
But what a lovely country. We spent 4 nights in Havana. Visited an amazing cigar factory, a great musical show and beautiful old town Havana.
We also visited the home that Hemmingway lived in for many years - so beautiful - I mean, I really want that life. He split his time between his lovely home and a hotel room in central Havana. Must have taken a few $$$$$$ but absolutely stunning all the same.
|(I'm the one in the life jacket)!|
Other people we met went on different "dolphin trips" and had nowhere near the experience that we had. It was out of this world. We then spent 7 lovely days at a beach hotel. Now I'm not a beach person but it was so relaxing to potter around, read, take a siesta and then watch the entertainment in the evenings. A great way to re-charge I have to say.
I also got to meet up with a friend who had retired out there with her Cuban husband and they told me just how difficult it was with the embargo. Just trying to get her hands on her pension was a major feat. I really really hope for everyone there that things ease up for them. At the same time, I really hope that they can hold on to their wonderful culture and not lose it to the almighty dollar. Who knows. Good luck to them though.