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!!!
Everyone had warm smiles and enthusiasm for the “gringos” who loved their country! So many asked “when will you be back?”.
Hanging out by the harbor, writing music and waiting for his “gig” to start.
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.
Street scene Habana Viejo (oldtown)… Responding to a gringo asking for directions?
Pool time in Cuba features loud music laden with bass and lots of dancing, shenanigans, and nonstop fun!
Fishing on the Malecon (busy 4 lane highway along the water) across from the US Embassy.
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.
Some families have vintage cars passed down as their family car, other families have a horse and wagon. They all smile and wave!
Taking a break, enjoying a smoke (did I mention how many smokers there are in Cuba?).
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.
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.
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…
A street vendor counting her cash between customers for her cinnamon sugar crunchy treats.
Everyone is trying to make a living … and the street entertainment is truly unique. Enjoy!
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!
Smiles from the “hamburguesa” vendor across the street from the Capitol. Very tasty burger, served with a warm smile, of course.
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.
Colorful street art in La Playa, where we switched buses or maquina (collectivo) taxis to get to Havana/Old Havana.
Lest we forget that life in Havana is not easy, colorful laundry hangs from the majority of balconies in the city.
But the people don’t seem to notice, they’re too busy smiling and having fun.
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!
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