Sights of Havana, Cuba
Cuba - Full of Sights for the Photographer in You
It's hard to know where to begin when speaking about a trip to Cuba. If you are a photographer, amateur or professional, the minute you enter the country, you don't know where to point the lens. Everywhere there is a story that can be told with the lens and a snap. And the Cuban people are happy to supply any details you might miss.
The fact that Cuba is as old a country as it is and that it has survived intact for as long as it has means the opportunities for fantastic pictures are nearly everywhere you turn.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is 500 years old and has been under Spanish rule, British rule and, for a brief period, was under the United States. Today, Cuba is under Communist rule and has been since the late 1950s.
When you enter the country you truly step back in time. The further into the city, the further immersed in what feels like a time warp you become. The Spanish facade is nearly everywhere, with crumbling, yet still beautiful buildings, awash in splashes of color against aging stone. The Spanish influence is especially prevalent in the architecture of beautiful Old Havana.
Listening to the lilt of the Spanish language adds to the surreal feeling. Our guide spoke English, but our driver did not. Our guide told us that he, like many other Cubans, excitedly began to learn English when it was thought that tourism from the States was returning to the island and he acted as our translator in many instances.
Riding in a vintage, pink convertible - sans seat belt, wind whipping your hair - makes you feel giddy with a sense of unlimited freedom as you cruise along a highway that has very few other cars. Those cars you do see are also vintage with a few newer Russian model taxis or utility vans here and there.
Take a moment to follow my path through Old Havana as the lens tell the story.
Havana at Night
Many of the pictures are of Old Havana at night. Safety was not a concern and we roamed the streets without thinking of begging mugged or something worse. The people were just as friendly at night as they were in the day. On Malecón Way they would talk to you as you watched the promenade of the vintage cars that made the nightly cruise along the Way.
There are lots of clubs with salsa dancing and cabarets. In other words, there is plenty of entertainment.
For the record, Old Havana was just as spectacular and intriguing at night as it was during the day!
You can reach Cuba by air. At the moment, there is a different set of rules for visiting the country than when I went in 2018, but you still can visit the Caribbean's largest island. However, added to the difficulty of getting there, the country is currently experiencing another food shortage. That is unforturnate for the people who have endured a lot over the years but still maintained their spirit and sense of independence along with their extreme pride in their country and in their rich, colorful culture.
Change may eventually come to this island lost in time, but with it will be a loss of some of the charm that makes it so unique. A specil loss will be that sense of being suspended in another time.
"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love." Ernest Hemingway, Cuba's adopted native son.
Plaza del San Francisco Havana, Cuba
Plaza de San Francisco de Asis has been a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals since the Spanish traded in the square.
© 2019 Cynthia B Turner