Cuba

Deryk at the Beach in Varadero Cuba

Deryk at the Beach in Varadero Cuba

Hopefully these pictures speak for themselves…. The trip to Cuba was amazing and we loved it. So much to learn and it is really hard after just 10 days to say whether we have anything close to a true understanding of what life is really like for these wonderful people.

Natural beauty. Beaches, jungles, amazing weather! We walked for hours each day.

Architectural beauty… some restored but much in ruins with encouraging signs of many sites being made ready for restoration. And yet the project seems insurmountable. Since coming home I read that three buildings per day collapse in Havana. From what we saw, I believe this to be true.

Everyone was friendly and we always felt safe even though we were often in very impoverished areas. It seems to be a completely drug-free culture and even the easy flow of rum and beer didn’t seem to lead to anything very problematic. Just music and dance.

We didn’t buy as many cigars as the street folks would have liked… but we escaped some of those situations with everyone’s good humour still intact.

Below are some pictures, in no particular order:

Jose Marti

Monumento Jose Marti, Havana Cuba

Karl Marx Theatre in Havana

Karl Marx Theatre in Havana

Architecture in Havana covers a range of eras. When older buildings have been maintained or restored, they are magnificent.

Architecture in Havana covers a range of eras. When older buildings have been maintained or restored, they are magnificent.

Looking at the door of our casa in Havana Vieja

Looking at the door of our casa in Havana Vieja

Looking out our door in the casa in Havana Vieja

Looking out our door in the casa in Havana Vieja

I loved the water!

I loved the water!

The horse and carriage is still a common form of transportation in Cuba - not just a tourist thing it seems

The horse and carriage is still a common form of transportation in Cuba – not just a tourist thing it seems

doortoCourtyardofCasa_inCuba

Old architecture in Varadero

Old architecture in Varadero

They gave me a flower after our first dinner in Varadero

They gave me a flower after our first dinner in Varadero

red car in Varadero Cuba

red car in Varadero Cuba

tobacco man havana

tobacco man havana

Deryk near our casa Havana Vieja

Deryk near our casa Havana Vieja

Malecon Havana

Malecon Havana

Red Car on the Malecon Havana

Red Car on the Malecon Havana

Old cars parked Havana Cuba

Old cars parked Havana Cuba

gorgeous beach at Varadero

gorgeous beach at Varadero

jungle vegetation in Varadero

jungle vegetation in Varadero

old mercedes - best cab ride ever!

old mercedes – best cab ride ever!

I *do* love my fresh coconut water!

I *do* love my fresh coconut water!

coconut kiss

coconut kiss

I swear I didn't inhale!

I swear I didn’t inhale!

Backyard smoke break in Varadero. Lots of cigar scams on the Cuban streets :-)

Backyard smoke break in Varadero. Lots of cigar scams on the Cuban streets 🙂

Deryk and the Cuban flag

Deryk and the Cuban flag

caring for an old car in old Havana

caring for an old car in old Havana

reno about to start

reno about to start

looking up at museo de la revolucion

looking up at museo de la revolucion

museo de la revolution was pretty interesting and very grisly. Lots of bullet holes in the walls, bloodstained shirts of freedom fighters etc. We spent hours and learned a lot about when is cherished here

museo de la revolution was pretty interesting and very grisly. Lots of bullet holes in the walls, bloodstained shirts of freedom fighters etc. We spent hours and learned a lot about what is cherished here

Two cool cars, two contrasting buildings

Two cool cars, two contrasting buildings

Restored building beside ruin

Restored building beside ruin

Restored building beside a ruin

Restored building beside a ruin

old cars Havana

old cars Havana

peoplelivinginruinedbuildings

projectstalled

artcommunityHavana

art from old piano Havana Cuba

art from old piano Havana Cuba

scary wiring

scary wiring

 building in decay Havana

building in decay Havana

building in decay Havana

building in decay Havana

Bird and dog on the roof of a decayed building. People live in some very unstable places

Bird and dog on the roof of a decayed building. People live in some very unstable places

Havana Vieja jester

Havana Vieja jester

lots of stray animals

lots of stray animals

cafe and postcard

cafe and postcard

Havana Vieja architecture

Havana Vieja architecture

Amazing coordination

Amazing coordination

Later, this guy picked up a child from the audience and danced with her on his shoulder.

Later, this guy picked up a child from the audience and danced with her on his shoulder.

Street dancing!

Street dancing!

Square miles of decayed buildings are dotted with beautifully restored areas, generally this is where the tourists spend their time and money (by the way, I never saw as many Canadian dollars as I did in a Cuban bank.)

Square miles of decayed buildings are dotted with beautifully restored areas, generally this is where the tourists spend their time and money (by the way, I never saw as many Canadian dollars as I did in a Cuban bank.)

So much work to do

So much work to do

amazing restoration

amazing restoration

I have a theory about jump rope. In North America it's usually a girl's game - especially the style where two people turn the rope and one or more jump inside. I think it teaches collaboration and perhaps that's why it's also a boy's game in Cuba. Just sayin'

I have a theory about jump rope. In North America it’s usually a girl’s game – especially the style where two people turn the rope and one or more jump inside. I think it teaches collaboration and perhaps that’s why it’s also a boy’s game in Cuba. Just sayin’

how would you start to renovate this?

how would you start to renovate this?

coco cab Havana

coco cab Havana

Old cars on Malecon Havana. In Varadero we thought perhaps the old cars were just for the tourists. We changed our mind when we saw Havana!

Old cars on Malecon Havana. In Varadero we thought perhaps the old cars were just for the tourists. We changed our mind when we saw Havana!

Elizabeth at church on Malecon Havana

Elizabeth at church on Malecon Havana

Street culture was tons of fun.

Street culture was tons of fun.

Repair in progress - there are so many projects that need to be done. Some seem like they are well under way and others look like they may never get started.

Repair in progress – there are so many projects that need to be done. Some seem like they are well under way and others look like they may never get started.

Favourite quote: "Cuba doesn't have the technology to make a bad beer"

Favourite quote: “Cuba doesn’t have the technology to make a bad beer”

people live with disrepair

people live with disrepair

repair and disrepair

repair and disrepair

Classic View of Havana Harbour

Classic View of Havana Harbour

We saw many stray cats and dogs.

We saw many stray cats and dogs.

Small carts were everywhere. The fruit was delicious.

Small carts were everywhere. The fruit was delicious.

The schools were in about the same state of repair as the housing. Kids know Manchester United though....

The schools were in about the same state of repair as the housing. Kids know Manchester United though….

The iconic image of Che Guevara was everywhere! In Cuba we learned that the photographer, Korda, is highly respected for the impact of his work on the world's view of the revolution.

The iconic image of Che Guevara was everywhere! In Cuba we learned that the photographer, Korda, is highly respected for the impact of his work on the world’s view of the revolution.

Right across from the Jose Marti monument (big tourist attraction) was an 8 or 10 lane highway, so empty even in mid-day that it was easy to jaywalk. There just aren't many cars on the road in Cuba.

Right across from the Jose Marti monument (big tourist attraction) was an 8 or 10 lane highway, so empty even in mid-day that it was easy to jaywalk. There just aren’t many cars on the road in Cuba.

Sign on school wall says "practice physical exercise"

Sign on school wall says “practice physical exercise”

Another view of the beautiful patio at Betty and Jorge's

Another view of the beautiful patio at Betty and Jorge’s

patio of our casa in Varadero (Betty and Jorge's)

patio of our casa in Varadero (Betty and Jorge’s)

Staying in "casas" meant breakfast prepared by a family and served in their living room!

Staying in “casas” meant breakfast prepared by a family and served in their living room!

7 Responses to Cuba

  1. umanbn says:

    some great photos…yes Cuba is amazing…

  2. Karen Gardner says:

    What an intriguing look place. I have wanted to go there for about 40 years but have not yet managed. Perhaps one day. Karen

  3. Hi Elizabeth

    Great Pictures!! Can you grab me a few handfulls fo that Canadian currency you mentioned is laying about, Certainnly a nice time to bein the Carabbean. Give my best to Deryk.

    Your Gringo Pal

    Bob

  4. Ann Marie says:

    These photos are amazing, especially the contrasts between side-by-side buildings. The people I’ve known who’ve visited Cuba have all loved it and generally made a return visit. You now join that list.

    Ann Marie

  5. Sara Balbin says:

    Hola Elizabeth!

    Such wonderful images. Yes, the only way to truly experience the Cuban culture is to stay in homes. I long to visit my Cuban family and artist friends again….and dance!

    Sara

  6. anne swannell says:

    I’m home with a dreadful head cold, but seeing your photos really cheered me up. Ray and I were there for an ed. conference at the University of Havana in 1991, or was it 1993….forget. But the pictures brought back lots of memories. So thanks a bunch,
    Love,
    Anne

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