Few words to Cuba

I've been trying to write about Cuba for a long time now without success. I'm not quite sure if it's because of the duality I felt while moving around but it has been very hard for me to express my feelings about the Caribbean Island. Perhaps it's because it was just so...Everything was just so different! The decay of beautiful buildings, the amount of people lining up for milk or bread, the highly educated people we met, the lack of opportunities they have, the buzzing street nightlife, the music, the rum, the beautiful blue sea, the many happy people and their smiles, the heatwave that never went away or the mini-tiny supermarkets with empty shelves.

I was blown away by the country but when was time to leave I found myself happy, deeply relief, that I was able to do so.

I feel puzzled. While I'm trying not to forget all I experienced and at the same time expressing it somehow, I decided to say less about Cuba and instead let the photos do the talking for me.


My favorite moment of the day was when the sun was about to set and everyone was coming outside. The chit-chat between neighbors, the vendors calling for some additional pesos, the kids playing barefoot. The street life in Havana was truly unique and inspiring! 
Paseo del Prado footballers
Classics in Havana
At the back, El Capitolio, currently under renovations.
Built 103 years after the Capitol in Washington, the Cuban building used to be the house of the Government until the 59´s Cuban revolution. As a fun fact, like our proud guide mentioned to us, El Capitolio´s dome is 3,7m (12feet) taller than the American version.
Due to decades without maintenance many buildings in Havana are decaying and deteriorating, as this one even though we found a city in reconstruction as a result of UNESCO´sponsored programs. Tourism and the increase of demanding tourists has been pointed as an important reason for the shift in mindset. 
From the 12 days we were in Cuba, we only stayed in Casas Particulares - private houses licensed to host tourists. This is Centro Havana, the neighborhood we stayed. A very convenient location, easy to walk anywhere.

La Bodeguita Del Medio is a very famous restaurant-bar in Old Havana.
Back in the 40´s this was the only bar that was not located in a street-corner and therefore it was named the bar in the middle by one the its many famous personalities/customers.

Old Havana packed with tourists and young artists. The former seeking a shade from the flaming sun and the later a small extra coin.
The '59 Revolution's leader respected and adored by all. 

With 72000 square meters the Plaza de la Revolución is surrounded by the National library and many government ministry buildings. This Che Guevara tribute is the Ministry of Interior building, where once he worked as a member of the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution, PURSC.

In Havana is still all about Revolution. Always. Maybe it will be forever.

Sunset in the Malecón, a seaside walk connecting Centro Havana and Old Havana. 
"Do you want to meet more Cubans? Just walk the Malecon in the evening, that's where we go for fun", told us our great guide Juan Carlos.
The view from our casa particular, a 17th floor apartment in Centro Havana. 
A city representing the country - fighting to open the doors and at the same time keep its identity. 

Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara and Varadero

Cienfuegos main square. A peaceful seaport city with beautiful historical buildings but little to do and see. 

Cuban Carnival in Trinidad.
The cobblestone streets, the colorful colonial buildings and the nature close by make Trinidad a charming city to stay for few days.
A steam engine train travels the distance between Trinidad and Valle dos Engenios almost everyday.
Havana looked like a paradise compared with the conditions some people lived in Trinidad´s countryside.
Los Ingenios Valley, the center of sugar production from the 18th century until late 19th.
We took the picture from the top of the Manaca Ignaza tower, after a 136 steps climb and a much needed rest.
The Manaca Ignaza tower was built to observe and control the slaves working in the sugarcane fields.
Santa Clara was an important base for the ´59 Revolution and there are many, many Revolution's points to visit across the city. This is Che Guevara's Monument and Mausoleum. 
Varadero is the Cancún of Cuba. Resorts, all inclusive deals, catamarans and yachts, luxurious villas and a lot of tourists.
Do not expect to see the real Cuba in Varadero but it worth to see the deep blue sea of the Caribbean.

I know that I still did some talking about Cuba, but I guess that´s it. Go and see it by yourself, I'm sure we can talk about it after.