As 2016 came to an end, it was awesome to have an adventure in Cuba. The recent passing of Fidel Castro may lead to changes for Cuba in the years to come, and this seemed like a great time to go experience and take snapshots of how things are now.
For this visit to Cuba, a resort was found in Jibacoa, an hour drive from Havana, and so this vacation offered both beach relaxation and snorkeling as well as easy access to nearby towns and cities. Of course, one goal was to visit Old Havana and see things before too much new change has taken place.
As you view Havana from a distance, you know from the colors and skyline that this is not a typical north american style city. As you step into the streets, it feels like you stepped out of a time machine. Old cars, bicycle taxis, open market storefronts, phone booths…
Within Old Havana, visitors are treated to the sights of old buildings, many made from coral stone, architecture from prior centuries, tiny storefronts and markets, cafes, and a rich history that you can barely scratch the surface of in any single visit.
It felt safe to roam around Old Havana streets. There is poverty at every turn, and people do seek handouts, but even lost in the poorest of areas with a camera around my neck I didn’t feel there was any danger. People are friendly, going about their daily business of living.
Over the course of 3 different ventures to Old Havana, many spots were visited. I had the best Mojito ever on the rooftop patio at Ernest Hemingway’s preferred hotel, and also visited his favorite Daiquiri bar Floridata, among other landmarks around this historic area.
One additional place I saw was Revolution Square, where Fidel Castro was known to give lengthy speeches, some having lasted up to 8 hours.
So much to share about Cuba, I’ll let the pictures tell some of the story.