Our little one & Newborn photography

I haven't been able to post lately.
This little one has entered our lives last Sunday and it has been a whirlwind of an experience. Especially when one cannot differentiate day and night.

The photos I have shared below belong to Nur Olcer, my sister-in-law, great support and friend. For more of her photos and portfolio, check out her website @ http://www.nurolcer.com/


Social Media Revolution : How does news disseminate?

Whether it be Facebook or Twitter... or any other social community sites alot of us get our daily news updates from these pages.

The recent events in Egypt and the Middle East in general have been instrumental to demonstrate the role of social media as a tool for systematic social unification.
At a time when cell phones have been shut down by the government, internet remains the main medium for connection.
However, it is not the first time social media has played a political role and made history. During the Iranian elections of 2009, when there was alot of discussion regarding the validity of the election, Twitter or more generally internet was the only bridge between the citizens and outer world.

Internet and its limitations are subject to discussion to many governments around the world. Chinese government has blocked Twitter and many other sites to date and in Turkey YouTube was very recently opened up.

I am sure there are many more examples of these around the world that I have failed to mention. This is just a thought exercise to get us questioning the way we are heading and the new forms of social and political revolution. I'd love to hear your examples and thoughts.



Cuban Art

Here's some of the fine arts that came our way in the galleries at Havana...The paintings are from 1940-60 period.


Travel Notes: Cuba

Part IV:


After a long pause here is the third part of the series of travel notes: Cuba.

It’s a good time of year to travel to Cuba and I hope you will find these notes handy.

Cuba is an embazzlement, a mirage of one being caught up in the 1950’s forever. With the restricted phone operators to 2G, one has access to internet as limited as it gets, there are policemen walking around in noon time collecting money from restaurants, hotels, shops in the sacks... state collecting money from the tenants directly is not a sight one experiences in the capitalist system. But this scene forms the foundation of the economic system in Cuba, as communism. In all frankness, the country seems isolated from the world, I guess Russia’s transition from communism did not help them either. I have many question marks as to how happy the people are as well... they did not seem happy at all in the midst of all the poverty and lacking public services (such as poor transport, infrastructure, housing), in comparison to other countries we have travelled across the world.

The food; is average but I will share some interesting alternatives below. The music; is amazing starting at 12 pm till 3 am it goes on and on ...It is a heaven for those interested in vintage American cars, cigars and alcohol. Pregnancy did not help in this trip either, no rum and mojitos for me I’m afraid.

Ohhh... and the currency, no use of credit cards is not the best experiences for the modern traveller either.

It’s worth going to Cuba if you would like to see the effects of this economic model and it is worth a trip to the sea regions such as Trinidad, Varadero, Playas del Este- please don’t restrict yourself to Havana.


  • Hotel Inglaterra, Paseo del Prado, No. 416 esq. San Rafael, La Habana
Colonial historic hotel in the centre of Havana. The rooms are pretty old but interesting. Music in the evenings makes it a regular stop by for the tourists and the locals. Enjoy!
"Habana’s oldest hotel first opened its doors in 1856 on the site of a popular bar called El Louvre. Facing leafy Parque Central, the building exhibits the neoclassical design features that were in vogue at the time, though the decor inside is distinctly Moorish. At a banquet here in 1879, José Martí made a speech advocating Cuban independence and, much later, US journalists covering the so-called Spanish-American War stayed at this hotel. War hero Antonio Maceo was another famous guest, and a letter he wrote on hotel notepaper is proudly displayed in the lobby. El Louvre (open 11am to midnight), named after the hotel’s predecessor, is the Hotel Inglaterra’s popular downstairs alfresco bar; it’s situated under a colonnaded porch outside the hotel." (from Lonelyplanet.com)
  • Hotel NH Parque Central, Neptuno e/ Prado y Zulueta, Habana Vieja, Ciudad de la Habana
Located just across the street from Hotel Inglaterra, this is a fairly clean chain hotel of at international standards.
  • Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Interesting because of its historic connotations, its mojito and wonderful view of the Malecon. However just like the rest of the city this hotel is in desperate need of a renovation.

Dining and Entertainment:

  • La Cocina de Lilliam, Calle 48 no1311 e/13 y 15, Playa, Ciudad de la Habana
A paladar located in the Miramar region has great food and despite the high percentage of taxes they have to pay to the government, this privately-owned restaurant is symbolic of why models of capitalism actually works. Sad, but its true.
  • La Guarida, Concordia 418, e/ Gervasio y Escobar, Central Havana
Another paladar, located in central Havana, in an apartment where you would never expect to find a spot for candle lit dinner in a bohemian atmosphere. One of our favourites.
  • El Floridita, La Habana Vieja, Monserrate 557, at Obispo
One of Cuba's most famous restaurant since the 1930's. Ernest Hemingway as well as various Cuban presidents have been regulars here, alot of smoke indoors !
  • La Bodeguita del Medio, La Habana Vieja, Empedrado 256, btw. Cuba and San Ignacio
Great restaurant with a choice of local cooking (meat, chicken or fish) with rice, potatoes or black beans, this is a very touristc but lively spot to hang out in the city. If you are in search of Ernest Hemingway in Havana, this is a place to stop by.  Be sure to sign your name to the wall !
  • Casa de la Musica, Miramar
There is music all around Havana. It starts at 12 noon and lasts till early hours of the morning each day every day all across the city.
  • El Templete, Ave. del Puerto esq. Narciso López, Habana Vieja
A good fish restaurant located by the seaside in the Old Town. Alot of international cuisine  not much local food.

Museums and Sightseeing:
  • Capitolio Nacional
  • La Casa del Habano
  • Art studios across the Obispo
  • Edificio Bacardi
"In the center of Havana, along the Calle Monserrate you will find the former headquarters of Bacardí, the famous rum company.  The building dates from 1930 and shows a close kinship to New York's art deco towers."
  • El Museo del Ron, Avenida del Puerto 262, esq. Sol, Havana
A good spot to listen to Buena Visto Social Club songs in the evening programme also the site is interesting to learn the history of rum.
  • Museo de Tabaco
With a room similiar to a gentleman's club located indoors just for smoking, this site has a great museum shop with all kinds of cigars and their storage. There are alot of people located just outside who are willing to sell you cigars for quarter the price!
  • Taking a walk or classic car through Malecon 
  • Communist slogans in Havana
Street art is always a source of inspiration for me. In Havana the potential was endless. Che Guevara and messages of revolution are scattered all over the streets.
  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
  • Sculpture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Founder of Turkish Republic
It was extremely intresting to come across a sculpture of Ataturk in the heart of the city alongside other symbolic leaders of revolution in the world.
  • Plaza del Armas book market
  • Ministerio del Interior
"The ugly concrete block on the northern side of the Plaza de la Revolución is famous for its huge mural of Che Guevara, a copy of Alberto Korda’s famous 1960 photograph, with the words Hasta la Victoria Siempre (Always toward Victory) emblazoned underneath. The mural was fitted in 1995 on the side wall of the Ministry of the Interior, where Che once kept an office. "  (Source: Lonelyplanet.com)

  • Playas del Este
To be frank, Varadero and Trinidad we have not been to. But it has been highly recommended so I wanted to include them in these tavel notes. Playas del Este, which is very close to Havana are indicative of just how beautiful the beaches in Cuba are. Its white sand and turquise waters.
The facilities in Playas del Este are limited, however my friends that have visited Varadero have underlined that the hotels etc there are very updated and modern, not very different than Bali!
There are regular buses that operate to this region and it takes approximately 25 minutes from Parque Central.
  • Trinidad
  • Varadero
    Some old cars in the city centre
    Capitolio Nacional
    Book market in Plaza des Armas
    Restaurant El Templete
    Street art across Havana
    Sculpture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
    Hotel Nacional
    Veiw from Hotel Nacional
    The gardens of Hotel Nacional
    Inside the La Guarida
    Tiles from La Guarida
    Bueno Vista night at Museo del Rom
    Beaches of Playas del Este