This is meant to be a Picture Book as I don’t think I am qualified to write on the complexity that is the Caribbean Island of Cuba, which for the most part is time frozen in the 1950’s. This is the reason why it is unique. Whislt most of the rest of the world has developed exponentially over the last 40 years, Cuba is still stuck in time. I am not saying that strides are not being made to bring it into the 21st century but on account of the existing regime that propulsion will be a long time in coming.
I have a treasure trove of photos gathered over the last 4 years of my visits (I am not a professional photographer) so it was difficult selecting which photos to include in this “picture blog”. Photos from before have been “lost”.
The photos below and their brief captions do not even begin to capture the history, the color, the people, the life, the music, the dance, the architecture, the art, the food (not much) but I tried.
Behind each photo are so many stories and even secrets, told and untold.
She is Cuba. If you want to love her, you have to be with her, but you can’t be with her in her current state. It’s the point of view of the exiles – you have to leave the things you cherish most.
~ Andy Garcia, actor.
I will begin a bit back to front, that is with photos from the Vinales Tour, then show photos of Old and New Havana, throwing some photos from Vedado on the outskirts of Havana and in the mix are a couple photos taken in Trinidad de Cuba.
One of the most recommended tours is the Vinales Tour.
Pinar del Rio a stop on the Vinales Tour – Tobacco hanging out to dry in a special purpose shed.
Cutting of tobacco the traditional way. Get your “Romeo and Juliet” cigar here as well.
Located in the western province of Cuba is the Mural de la Prehistoria. This is part of the Vinales Tour. This fresco painting represents the bio-geological past of the region.
Exiting th Cuevas de Indios by skiff – this is also part of the Vinales Tour.
Inside the intricate waterways and stalactites and stalagmites in the Cueva de Indios. The Tainos were the “original” people of Cuba.
Catedral de San Cristobal in Plaza Catedral.
Plaza Catedral – a for people watching and chilling.
Wedding in Plaza Catedral – great place for photo shoots
The Cuban National Orchestra giving a free open air concert in Plaza de Armas.
View of the city of Havana from the Morro Castle.
Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos is perched on the promontory on the opposite site of Old Havana. To reach the castle a taxi would take the sub-terrainian ride across from Old Havana. Every night at 9:00 pm prompt without fail the “Firing of the Canons” takes place at this location.
Morro Castle presents spectacular photo ops.
Gateway to Colon Cemeterio in the Vedado District.
Couples experiencing fertility issues visit Senora Amelia Goyri or La Milagrosa to ask for natal favors and return after to thank her and pay tribute to her when they conceive.
There is color being introduced to Old Havana Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The streets of Old Havana are narrow and cobblestoned. The best way to navigate them is by horse and buggy and you get good viewing opportunities as well from this vantage point.
Hotel Saratoga – one of the high end hotels in Havana, it’s where Jay-Z and Beyoncé stayed when they went on the “People to People” visit.
The newly refurbished Gran Teatro de La Habana, lit up at night. This theatre serves as home to the Cuban National Ballet.
One of the ubiquitous classic cars. They are available for city tours.
One of the many pieces of art you would see along the Malecon. The Malecon a seafront boulevard is 7 kilometers long.
Our Lady of Kazan Orthodox Cathedral, Old Havana
Coco taxi – popular mode of transportation amongst tourists
View of El Capitol from atop Hotel Parque Central. It is under renovation but still remains a striking landmark. This building is taller than the Capital Building in Washington.
Hydroponics in Parque Central.
Locating La Isla de La Juventud (second largest Cuban island) from Hotel Nacional which also has a nice view of the Malecon
Street and Human Art in Old Havana
La Conversacion – a sculpture donated by Vittorio Perota as a gesture of friendship between France and Cuba.
School Children in Trinidad de Cuba
Bar in Trinidad de Cuba
Museo de Revolucion in old Havana.
Both for Havana’s beauty and decay, it’s very hard to restrain yourself from staring everywhere you look
~ Brin-Johnathan Butler, journalist