Viva Cuba! In Photos

We sailed to Cuba searching for lively salsa, music & dance, the real deal mojitos and vibrant culture.  We found a land of contradictions bearing warm friendly smiles, endless colorful street scenes as well as scenic mountain vistas, and endless personalities.  Who knew what to expect, but we definitely got more … and more … and more.  Viva Cuba!!!

Happy school children on a field trip to Plaza de Armas.

What’s better than a field trip to get out of school!  Happy school children on a field trip to Plaza de Armas.

Everyone had warm smiles and enthusiasm for the “gringos” who loved their country!  So many asked “when will you be back?”.

Viva Cuba Photos

Loving his music, entertainer in Ernest Hemingway’s favorite haunt, La Terraza restaurant, Cojimar, Cuba

Hanging out by the harbor, writing music and waiting for his “gig” to start.

Writing music while waitng until time to perform, this trumpet player enjoys the entrance to Havana Harbor.

Writing music while waitng until time to perform, this trumpet player enjoys the entrance to Havana Harbor.

When we expressed interest in the “family car”, this nice young man invited us into his garage where he was changing a flat tire on his taxi.

Viva Cuba Photos

Vintage cars are passed down from generation to generation. This man was changing a flat tire at his home in Jaimenitos and welcomed us.

Street scene Habana Viejo (oldtown)…  Responding to a gringo asking for directions?

Viva Cuba Photos

They went THAT WAY! Street scene, Oldtown Havana.

Pool time in Cuba features loud music laden with bass and lots of dancing, shenanigans, and nonstop fun!

Viva Cuba Photos

Pool fun.  Lucky guy, at one time, both the ladies were dancing on either side of him!

Fishing on the Malecon (busy 4 lane highway along the water) across from the US Embassy.

Boys enjoying the fishing atop the Malecon wall close to the US Embassy, downtown Havana.

Boys enjoying the fishing atop the Malecon wall close to the US Embassy, downtown Havana.

Peanut vendors selling peanuts in what look like straws with the ends twisted, seem to be extremely popular with locals – as indicated by all the peanut straw trash in the streets.

Viva Cuba Photos

“Peanuts, peanuts, anyone want peanuts?” Lady selling peanuts Oldtown Havana

Some families have vintage cars passed down as their family car, other families have a horse and wagon. They all smile and wave!

Viva Cuba Photos

Family Car

Taking a break, enjoying a smoke (did I mention how many smokers there are in Cuba?).

Viva Cuba Photos

Relaxing between waves of tourists. Plaza de Catedral, Oldtown Havana.

Street entertainers are everywhere around Plaza de Armas, my favorite spot to sit in a sidewalk cafe, sip a mojito and soak in the ambiance.

Accordion entertainer with his guitar buddy, Plaza de Armas, Old Town Havana.

Accordion entertainer with his guitar buddy, Plaza de Armas, Old Town Havana.

More scenes from Plaza de Armas in Oldtown. Did I mention I loved this place!  Ironically, when President Obama came and visited Cuba, ALL the vendors and entertainers that completely surround Plaza de Armas and contribute to its atmosphere were removed by ??? and the square was completely devoid of character… and December 1953 stacks of National Geographics magazines.

Viva Cuba Photos

Street Scene in Plaza De Armas, Habana Viejo

Viva Cuba Photos

School children on a field trip to the Plaza de Armas.

Plaza de Armas memorabilia for sale.

Plaza de Armas memorabilia for sale.

Viva Cuba Photos

Tourists with Plaza de Armas street vendors.

Every day was a new surprise.  On our way back from walking to Santa Fe to see about buying some veggies, we passed these three sitting on a bench along side the road.  We stopped to chat and the next thing I knew, they were taking instruments out of cases and serenading us as the vintage cars whizzed by on the street behind us.  Made my day … but then everyday there was something that made my day … whether it was smiles from school children, artists, musicians, people being people, whatever…

Viva Cuba Photos

Serenaded on the sidewalk returning from Santa Fe, Cuba

A street vendor counting her cash between customers for her cinnamon sugar crunchy treats.

Viva Cuba Photos

Street vendor counts her money between selling sweets.

Everyone is trying to make a living … and the street entertainment is truly unique.  Enjoy!

Cigar smoking entrepreneuer posing for photos.

Cigar smoking entrepreneur posing for photos.

These fun kids were at the fort at El Morro, exploring the dark catacombs and tunnels beneath the fort.  They invited us to come along but after several turns, with only the light from the young man’s cell phone and his smile, we politely declined the tour and decided to turn back.  Sunlight never looked so good!

Kids exploring the catacombs of the fort at El Morro.

Kids exploring the catacombs of the fort at El Morro.  The door to the “below” is in the shadow to the left and yes, we followed the young man with the smile and wave down the dark scary steps.  These kids were so excited to show us around.

Smiles from the “hamburguesa” vendor across the street from the Capitol.  Very tasty burger, served with a warm smile, of course.

Friendly smiles from the

Friendly smiles from the “hamburger” vendor across from El Capitolito (the capitol building).

The bici-taxis are some of the most creative entrepreneurs – this young man is advertising he’s “Single, Bilingual and Ready” – and he was personality plus, so I’m sure he had plenty of business.

Viva Cuba Photos

Bici-Taxi drivers are creative to attract customers!

Colorful street art in La Playa, where we switched buses or maquina (collectivo) taxis to get to Havana/Old Havana.

Viva Cuba Photos

La Playa street art

Lest we forget that life in Havana is not easy, colorful laundry hangs from the majority of balconies in the city.

Viva Cuba Photos

Living in Havana is not necessarily easy.

But the people don’t seem to notice, they’re too busy smiling and having fun.

Lively music and dance demonstrations in Havana art district.

Lively music and dance demonstrations in Havana art district.

Who would guess that two young ladies missing their two front teeth would be SO excited to get toothbrushes and toothpaste from a couple gringos walking the streets in their hometown.  🙂  They asked me to take their photo, took a look and then we gave them toothpaste.  You’d think we’d have given them a basket full of chocolate!

Viva Cuba Photos

These two Santa Fe girls wanted their picture taken. Then they wanted to see photo on the camera display.  One of the young ladies refused to smile showing her teeth, since she was missing the front two, just like her friend.

Does it get better?  Viva Cuba!!!

I hope you enjoyed some of our 2000+ photos.  Please leave a comment and let us know your favorite things in Cuba!  Cheers!  Jan

Comments

  1. scott h says:

    photo ops and commentary are outstanding….thank you…
    blessings, scott

  2. Way cool! Can’t wait to get there!

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