Even though, it’s fun to immerse ourselves into the Cuban culture, there are still tourist attractions that need to be seen while we’re here. Tuesday, we visited the National Tobacco Factory where we got to see the step by step process of how the famous and unattainable (for Americans) Cuban cigars are made. It was interesting to hear all about the process and even better to see the workers actually doing it all by hand. We also learned that the tobacco worker makes three times the national average salary, something very rare in a socialist country. At the end of the day the number of salable cigars are counted and the number of mistakes are subtracted to determine how much money they have earned. There are also only 17 workers in the whole country who are trusted to roll the most famous Cuban brand, Cohiba. The brand uses high quality leaves with extra flavor to give them their unique taste.
We also learned that although variations in cigar color are normal, cigars are boxed according to color in order to make them more visually appealing to the consumer.
The Cuban national capitol was designed by the same person who designed Madison’s city capitol and they are remarkably similar:
It isn’t used anymore so it was open for exploration:
Outside of the capitol, I saw a pink convertible taxi and immediately fell in love. I wanted it to keep it forever but had to settle on just a few minutes in the driver’s seat.
We also checked out the Museo de Bellas Artes to see original works by Cuban artists:
Tired and hungry, we stopped at one of the fancy hotel restaurants to split a pizza. Even though it was $10, it was enough to feed two and a good supplement to the bread and peanut butter we’re making a big part of our diets.
The night ended with a bottle of wine and some people watching on our balcony.