07 february Miami (UNITED STATES)

The clouds fall apart and there in the distance the beautiful bay dotted with many white skyscrapers: Miami. It’s weird but we really are in the "Sushine State".

We stay at South Beach Hostel along the famous Washington Avenue, parallel to Ocean Drive and just a few steps away from the beach.

We spend the whole day walking aimlessly between Washington Avenue and Lincoln Road entering each shop met along the way... like two kids at Luna Park we get excited when we see something that seems common because it is seen in a movie or because it’s an American stereotype.

We find stores that sell food at bargain prices because they are expired (is not illegal?), or the one of "empty cellars"; the tattoo artists are in every corner; pharmacies sell "also" medicines; barbers cut "also" hair; we chat with people we meet: a Cuban, a Serbian receptionist, a pedestrian from El Salvador, another Peruvian, two Mexicans... is there any American in America?

08 february Miami (UNITED STATES)

Pumped and tattooed guys walk on the shore, girls are in sexy "training" suites on Ocean Drive, the "Baywatcher" trains on the turret; blue jellyfish melt in the sand...

After crossing the bridge that connects the city with SoBe, we wander in the shadow of Downotwn majestic skyscrapers to Calle Ocho in Little Havana.
We enter the Maximo Gomez Park where enthusiasts spend their days playing dominoes... an old man with a cowboy hat approaches us and invites us to take pictures without any problems and tells their story of Cuban exiles from the 60’s...

Everyone speaks Spanish, you see only Hispanic shops, reggae ton music plays in the streets, Cuban flags and cigars factories…
We stop at "Titan de Bronze" where quick and nimble fingers roll up, cut, paste all kinds of tobacco leaves turning them into attractive huge cigars!

Brigade 2506 Memorial commemorates the Cuban exiles trained by the Americans and killed during the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.
A couple of old men stop to chat with us and between stories and anecdotes they begin to sing "Volare" by Modugno!

After a batidos by Los Pinarenos, as indicated by our Lonely Planet, we end up for dinner at a McDonald's... what the hell, we are still in America!

09 february Miami (UNITED STATES)

Everglades.
[Stefy]: "We get on an air-boat sailing in the river on the mangrove swamp where we spot several alligators and turtles. Beautiful amphibians by the prehistoric charm! We admire a small show and I take a small puppy in my arms.

Shopping day in SoBe, we stop at the famous Miami Ink to buy a couple of Tshirts before getting to Lincoln Road, also known as Lincoln Mall because of all the stores that surround it.

The Wolfsonian Museum is a bit disappointing, luckily on Wednesday evening is free of charge.

10 february Miami (UNITED STATES)

We buy a daily pass to hang around all Downtown with local buses… even if, at the end of the day, the only mean used will be our feet!

We start from Bayside Market, we pass next to American Airlines Arena, where the local NBA Basket team: Miami Heat, plays.
We move along the feet of the majestic skyscrapers that made this city so picturesque.
As pinball balls, we bounce from a shop to another till ending on a bench to enjoy a fresh salad by 7-Eleven...


We visit “Miami Art Museum” and  “History Miami Museum”, the second Saturday of each month they are both free! ;-)
Maybe because we are used to the rich and cured European museums but these were very poor and disappointing!
Anyway, I was impressed by the huge lab/space, at the entrance of the art museum, reserve to the kids… it’s great that hey have a chance to express themselves in freedom!

Time to go back to SoBe for a romantic dinner along the familiar Washington Avenue.

11 february Miami (UNITED STATES)

[Stefy]: “This morning Miami has given us a great warmth on our skin. We need a couple hours on the beach to recharge us thinking about the return to Italy".

We stroll around the stalls of an antique trade market along Lincoln Road.

We reach the Holocaust Memorial, a monument dedicated to all the victims of the concentration camp of the Second World War, there is a huge hand that goes out from the ground and that stretches to the sky, all around there is a gallery that shows pictures, sentences and all the names of the victims as eternal memory…

I have to say that these days in Miami between deluxe cars, puppies dressed as dolls, roller-blades, skate-boarders, guys with surf , long limousine, small restaurants of every type of menu, amazing shops have been the right gift of a wonderful journey!”

 

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