BODRUM ORBUST

Transcription

BODRUM ORBUST
Escape
Monday, June 15, 2015 METRO 27
BODRUM
ORBUST
u
r u rban g
Katie Monk joins a new tour that promises to bring
tourists hip-to-hip with local Cubans before improved
US relations change the old-world country forever
Detox like Kate –
minus the vodka
Page 31 »
PICTURE: SCOPE BEAUTY
Yo
u
id
e
Travel | Culture | Adventure
RU M D E A L
FOUR OF THE BEST
C A R I B B E A N RU M S
Havana Club Seleccion de
Maestros from Cuba £49.95
Doorly’s five-year-old rum
from Barbados £21.25
CUBA
O
N the dancefloor, it is
an evolutionary truth that
not all men are created
equal. One night in a
Cuban nightclub will tell
you that. Ask any Cubano where they
learned to dance and they won’t be
able to tell you – they absorbed it
through the umbilical cord or by
osmosis. Stand still for long enough
and someone will whisk you off your
feet to show you their moves.
Thankfully, I have booked myself
a lesson with a girl who looks like
a cross between Missy Elliott and
Serena Williams. She arrives at my
guesthouse in neon-pink leggings and
acid-wash hot pants, brandishing rum,
a mixtape and a ghetto blaster.
Over one afternoon, we get to work
nailing the basics of salsa, mambo
and casino, much to the delight of
some local boys on bikes.
That night, I practise my moves
with a nimble old boy called Freddie.
Twice my age and half my height,
he spins me around until I’m dizzy,
before announcing ‘drinkies?’ and
gliding to the bar.
There are precious few places left in
Continued on: Page 28 »
The Duppy Share rum from
Jamaica and Barbados £29.95
Appleton Estate 12-year-old
extra rum from Jamaica £34.95
Chosen by rumfest.co.uk
and all available on
thewhiskyexchange.com
28 METRO Monday, June 15, 2015
Escape
Travel | Culture | Adventure
Havana drink, Havana dance
» Continued from Page 27
HAVANA
BIENNIAL
FREE ART
the world where time appears to have
stood still. Cuba is one of them.
Largely devoid of the internet or any
signs of branding – aside from
Havana Club rum and Che Guevara –
it’s a taste of how life used to be
before things went virtual and viral.
Music and dance are its lifeblood.
Since US president Barack Obama
eased diplomatic relations with Cuba
last December, many say all this is
about to change. Once the Americans
come, they say, it’ll be McDonald’s,
Starbucks and golf courses as far as
the eye can see. There’s even talk of
a ferry service running between
Miami and Havana.
The general feeling on the island is
that progress is welcome – needed,
in fact – but not at the cost of
national identity. It’s imperative that
development is careful and sensitive.
There has already been noticeable
change. Cuba encourages small
HAVANA is a creative hotbed
of art and music and, right
now, the 12th Havana
Biennial is in full swing,
running until June 22 all over
the city. From outdoor
sculptures along the
Malecón – the promenade
that runs the length of the
sea wall – to exhibitions and
galleries in artists’ homes,
every day showcases new
and exciting work. All for free.
Venues to make a beeline
for include La Fábrica de
Arte Cubano (FAC) in Vedado
(fabricadeartecubano.com),
which displays jewellery,
clothes, design and
photography, and usually
has live music.
You can visit the Museo
Nacional de Bellas Artes
(www.bellasartes.cult.cu,
below) year-round for pieces
from The Bronx Museum of
the Arts in New York, as well
as its own Cuban collection.
Other places to explore
include Pabellón Cuba
cultural centre (pabelloncuba.
Each town in Cuba
has at least two or
three clubs where
you can dance
with the locals
businesses, where locals open up
their houses to serve food in their
living rooms in what are called
paladars. A hearty meal and a couple
of Bucanero beers can be yours for
around £4. More recently, a clutch
of newer, hipper establishments
has sprung up. In the capital, Havana,
El Chanchullero (el-chanchullero.
com) was my go-to spot for daiquiris
and mouth-watering garlic shrimps,
all had for less than a fiver and always
in the company of cool locals.
And at La Fábrica de Arte Cubano
(FAC) – a former oil factory turned
exhibition space – I listened to DJs,
jazz musicians and rappers while
surrounded by cutting-edge art. This
is where Questlove from US hip hop
band The Roots performed a set on
his recent trip to the country. It’s the
place to see and be seen.
Each town in Cuba has at least two
or three clubs where you can dance
with the locals. In Trinidad – a
colonial town of brightly coloured
Step right up:
Old to new:
one-storey houses and cobbled streets
– the Casa de la Música is on the
steps of the historic centre. Everyone
mingles under the stars to a live salsa
band before heading on to a more
down-and-dirty club to party till dawn.
In Santiago – the birthplace of son,
a fusion of African drums and Cuban
guitar – the Artex is a good bet. And
definitely the Casa de la Trova when
it reopens in July.
Over nine days I travel to four
towns with Intrepid Travel, which has
launched a new nine-day tour in
a bid to bring tourists closer to the
locals. I meet local musicians and
dancers while singing and playing
percussion to my heart’s content.
Quite what will happen next for
Cuba, and to what extent, only time
will tell. To say ‘go now’ would be
an understatement but whatever
the future holds for the country,
I guarantee you will always need your
hot pants and your dancing shoes.
GETTING
THERE
Katie travelled
with Intrepid Travel
(intrepidtravel.
com), which offers
a nine-day Cuba
Music And Dance
adventure from
£1,075pp. The
price includes
accommodation
and all in-country
transport,
excluding
international
flights.
Cycle tracks:
com), the areas around
Plaza de la Catedral and
Plaza Vieja, and the Centro
de Arte Contemporaneo
Wifredo Lam (www.wlam.
cult.cu). Havana Vieja (Old
Havana) in general has
plenty to keep you occupied.
For a cartoon spin on
Cuban-American relations,
check out the Happy
Together project at Taller de
Serigrafia Rene Portocarrero
(Cuba 513). And before you
leave, be sure to stock up on
Cuban-designed T-shirts
and posters at newly
opened Clandestina
(Villegas 403, between
Brasil and Muralla).

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