21 May 2011

Old Havana; beautiful, crumbling, decay

My first day in Cuba was a bit of a whirlwind - figuring out the currency (there are two types), checking into the hotel, unpacking, discovering the rooftop pool, learning names, all on top of not speaking a lick of Spanish! But the second day was even more of a whirlwind - as I soon discovered that our days were pretty jam packed full of walks, day trips, and off-the-beaten path stops selected for us by our guide, Alain.

Day II we visited the orthodox synagogue in Old Havana, and then took a two hour walk through the streets of little neighborhoods. It's strange to be in a place that so clearly feels European, but yet completely different and other-worldly. Beautiful old Baroque and Spanish Colonial inspired buildings crumbling before our eyes, painted in once bright now fading shades of pink, and yellow, and blue. People hung their laundry out from balconies, and conversed with one another in the narrow winding medieval feeling streets. Bicycles competing with old American and Russian cars, competing with foot traffic - and please watch your step because dogs do just as much business in these streets as the merchants! Not to mention the streets are a mix of cracked pavement and wobbly cobblestone - not going to lie, we had a lot of nasty spills in our group.

Here are some of my photographic highlights from wandering around Old Havana. I know an important part of today was visiting the synagogue, but I will write a separate post detailing that experience later. If you want to see more trips from my visit, feel free to stop by my flickr.

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a bicycle cart riding by a ration store
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people walking the streets
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brightly painted homes
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everyday is laundry day
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construction that looks as though it's been stopped

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some cuban police officers
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a man greeting me from his balcony
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one of the many beautiful plazas we stopped by
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a beautiful loggia
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the shell of a beautiful facade that is being restored
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lovely restored and freshly painted architecture
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neo-baroque architecture of the jewish themed hotel
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fixing boats
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old catholic cathedral

2 comments :

  1. Sandy, you have an amazing eye for camera angles which make these images are the more intriguing to look at.

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  2. I love these photos. I'd really love to to to Cuba one day

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