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Magical Mystery Tour

It’s not often I get on a plane with no clear idea of where I’m going when I get off. The contract says I’ll be met by a chauffeur and driven to a five star hotel so it looked promising if a bit short on detail. In fact I was whisked off the plane (as they say) and taken to the VIP lounge (that doesn’t happen very often) and then driven to the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever stayed at. I’m still exploring my suite, with the Atlantic rumbling seven floors below, and have discovered two bathrooms so far. There may be more. The hotel manager  rang to apologise for not greeting me personally, and he’s just sent round a bottle of 7 year old Havana Club. It’s surreal.

The travel was surreal too. I realised I was getting off a Virgin train onto a Virgin plane. Both were very friendly and on time. Tempting to do one of the Herrick settings as an encore: To the Virgins to Make Much of Time. And a transatlantic flight without any Americans on it, just returning Cubans and holidaying Brits. It was fascinating. I also discovered you could improve the Virgin curry no end by stirring in the butter and Boursin meant for desert. They ran out of alcohol as they have to save enough for the trip back, but no one seemed to mind.

Interesting times ahead. I’m hoping to hear some Senegalese griots tomorrow night. I’m giving the world’s first counter-tenor contest a miss though. And our concert is on Thursday, not Wednesday as I’d thought.

3 Responses to “Magical Mystery Tour”

  1. Nick Goulder says:

    We’re flying to Cuba next year and I note the inflight catering advice for which thanks. I don’t think our hotel will match yours though. Enjoy the performances, sorry we’re not there now!

  2. Don says:

    To ‘Our Man in Havana,’
    John, lots of your readers will not make it to Cuba, nor to a music festival there. So do feel free to pass on a generous number of observations during this trip.
    Best wishes, Don.

  3. John Potter says:

    Hi Nick – yes it would have been wonderfully serendipitous if we’d coincided! So far I can recommend Cuban hospitality 100%.

    Don – Yes it’s a privilege to be here and I’ll try to blog every other day or so. I did actually propose writing up the festival for the Guardian (it’s an amazing gathering of musicians) but got no response.

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