Home » Inside Malvern

Destination Cuba

29 November 2013 No Comment

Written by:

Who said IT was a sedentary position? Not so….meet Martin Weaver, Desktop Support Manager and known to his colleagues as Martin the Adventurer. When Martin is not at his desk in Malvern’s UK head office, he is having the time of his life exploring sights, sounds people and cultures from all over the world. Who better to tell you more than Martin himself…

Martin-at-Cuba-banner

First things first, I love to travel. I find it the most natural thing to do with my free time and the more adventurous the destination, the more relaxed I feel – odd perhaps but true.  To date I have travelled to 70 different countries with many more yet to be explored. Diving into the local culture, enjoying different food and drink, admiring architecture, experiencing all types of accommodation adds to my list of memories, but most importantly, throughout my travels, the highlight throughout  has to be meeting amazing and yet at the same time, ordinary people, along the way.

Martin-at-Cuba-DSC00212

I embarked upon my first solo trip back in the early 1990’s. A three week inter-rail trip around (the then) new Eastern Europe, Poland, Czechoslovakia (as was) and Hungary, where, outside the Hungarian parliament, I was lucky enough to shake hands with the Dali Lama. Since then I have had many adventures including ….   whilst visiting the Caspian coast in northern Iran, I asked a smartly dressed passer-by, where the bus station was… several hours and a very big bunch of flowers later, I was an honored guest at his brother’s wedding…. in Kazakhstan (not quite awake at six in the morning), I got into what I thought was a taxi – it was in fact a police car. Several hours later and several dollars lighter they let me go… all 1970’s Ladas look the same, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! … whilst travelling on a bus, in deepest Siberia, an off duty Russian police woman told a fellow bus passenger, in no uncertain terms, that he was now ‘in charge of me’ and must ensure I get to my hotel safely ….…or else! and he did – this was after the bus caught fire, but that’s another story! If you want to know about ‘granny smuggling’, bumping into a “first class” fighter pilot, who helped develop the USSR Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft and more, then visit Martin’s website www.martin-weaver.co.uk and read more.

Martin-at-Cuba-DSC01849

In January, I travelled to Cuba (making sure I went before Fidel did!).  Other than cigars, Fidel Castro, the Missile crisis of the 1960s and the trade embargo, I knew little about Cuba – all the more reason to go.  My most striking observation was the eclectic mix, the Spanish language, no indigenous population, the ex-USSR  support (in terms of transportation), visible signs of the slave trade, the music, cigars and rum and the faded charm of early 20th century art deco and art nouveau architecture.  Yet this all molds together under warm sunshine to create a relaxing yet invigorating experience. I have some wonderful photos, too many for Materials Talks but hopefully you will visit my website and see more.

There are so many memories it is virtually impossible to choose highlights, but I would say it is the kindhearted, sincere and genuine openness of the people I meet on my travels that instills in me a belief that ‘you should always have trust in your fellow man’ and this man is happy to report that to date this has never let him down.