Saturday, December 13, 2008

Letters from Cuba by a son to his mother. Thomas Graham Grier

Cabañas and Morro again Visited - Another Carnival Parade -
Preparing to Leave. Havana , 1906

I sent several packages of postal cards and
films to Margaret to-day . I have tried to have
something moving in the mails at all possibles
times, but no doubt you do not receive any-
thing for several days, and then several pieces
of mail at one time.
To-day I went to Cabañas an Morro Castle
for the second time; only two in the party and
a very interesting guide . The first time I went
there was a party of twenty -two and it was
unsatisfactory . It was by accident that I had
the second opportunity . The old fortifications
are very interesting. Morro Castle was comple-
ted in 1597 , a fac-simile of a Moorish fortress
at Lisbon . I cannot describe it , for it would
take too long. It is all rock , part built of ma-
sonry . There is lots of history connected with
it and the guides are making new history every
day. This history- making business is easy ; all
you need is a good imagination and an easy
conscience and you are off. Morro is on the
point opposite Havana and lying back of it;
along the shore is Cabañas or Cabañas.
Cabaña was completed in 1774 and cost
$ 14,000,000. I do not know who kept the
books, but do know that prices in Havana
are high at the present time. Cabaña is used
as a barracks for the Cuban soldiers. You can
get a splendid view of the city and harbor from
there. Inside the Cabaña is a labyrinth of turnings
and ways ; you can lose yourself.
In both Cabaña and Morro you see dungeons,
prisons , decrepit guns and useless cannon balls.
There are not worth much except as relics and
interesting historical exhibits. Everyone seemed
to think that I, too , was curiosity , because I went
over the same ground twice . The best way to go,
though, is for two or three people to hire a guide
and make it a small excursion.
It grew extremely warm to-day and I rested all
the afternoon. At for P.M. another carnival parade
started, just like the one about which I wrote.
Sunday stops at noon here. Church begins early,
five o!clock in the morning. As I sit in my room
I hear the music of a ball just across the street.
I know of at least six ball going on this evening.
I passed them all coming from Mr. Lychenheim`s
home to my room.
The vafes are crowded with masqueraders and
people in gala attire , and everyone is cheerful
and happy. These people are like children in many
ways. I spent the evening with Mr. J. Lychenheim
and his wife in their apartments. He was a class-
mate of mine and has been exceedingly courteous
to me. I came home at eleven , but will not able
to sleep for the noise, gaiety and music that
keeps floating up from the streets; so
I thought I would write these few lines to you
tonight and mail them, as I will be busy making
my arrangements to leave in the morning. I am
having difficulty about my state - room. The
steamer on which I sail has not come in. We are
supposed to leave at five P. M . but , no doubt,
it will be morning before we clear, so I will mail
this now.
You noticed in a previous letter that I said we
expect lo leave five P.M. Monday, and now we are
supposed to leave at five P.M. I will write you another
letter on the steamer and then it will be definite.
In this warm and luxurious climate many things
have to wait until after they happen before you
can fix the time . I am frequently ahead of time
when I am late . I will mail a postal at the wharf
before I get on the steamer.

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