Back in February this year, we went on a touring holiday to Cuba. I thought that I would try to make a brief photographic story of this tour, my first attempt at ‘blogging’.
The tour started with 3 nights in Havana. It then moved on to the Vinales Valley for 3 nights before returning for a single night in Havana en route to Cienfuegos. After 3 nights in Cienfuegos, we travelled via Santa Clara to finish our holiday with a 4 night stay in an ‘all inclusive’ hotel in Varadero. I’ll break the story into instalments as I get the photos sorted.
Before I start I would like to make a special mention of our Tour Manager and guide. He was Irish, lived in Mexico with his mexican family and what he didn’t know about Latin America in general and Cuba in particular, wasn’t worth knowing. It seemed that he did this job as a tour manager as a bit of a hobby, since he also had businesses in Mexico. As the tour progressed, it appeared that he knew almost everybody in Cuba. He was to make this tour one to remember.
Chapter 1 of this story starts in Havana.
After arrival the previous evening, our first full day in Havana saw us embarking on a fullish day of sightseeing. This started at the Spanish built El Morro fortress, from which this panorama of Havana was taken across the water.
From memory, this panorama had over 20 images, hurriedly taken hand-held. It was stitched in Photoshop Elements. It can really only be fully appreciated as a larger image and this can’t easily be done here I’m afraid.
We then travelled to the heart of the old city at the Plaza de la Catedral, where we had a walk around the local streets and a look inside the cathedral.
Part way around our walking tour of the city, we stopped for lunch. With our minds firmly on what food could be found in a local restaurant in Havana, we had no idea that the peace was about to be broken by an enthusiastic display of Cuban Flamenco. The images were a bit tricky to capture because of restricted movement from our table, and the fact that we were still eating.
This image is of a statue of El Cabellero de Paris (The Gentleman from Paris). The man immortalized as the Gentleman from Paris was not French and was in fact a well spoken vagabond. It is said to be lucky to touch or stroke his finger and beard.
When we finished in the old city our tour coach took us to the Capitolio, which was built in 1929 in the style of the Capitol building in Washington DC. It was here that we spotted these old american cars being used as taxis. These cars are found all over Cuba and can apparently make their owners a reasonable living, more than a doctor for example, when used as taxis.
The last tourist spot of the tour was Revolution Square, which is some way from the city centre. Partly because of this, and partly because it wasn’t very interesting, there were few people here.
That’s it for this Chapter. Chapter 2 will follow as soon as I can produce it.