10 Photos of Cuba

By |2018-02-11T10:24:32+00:00January 14, 2017|Categories: Cuba, North America, Photo of the Day, Unesco World Heritage Sites|Tags: , , , |23 Comments
fortune teller havana

A fortune teller and her assistant. Old Havana. “If you want a picture, that will be one peso.” Gladly.

This is a rather quick post. There will be others from both of us with more detailed impressions of Cuba. However, internet here is extremely rare and slow. So, while I have some in our hotel, I’m just going to let you have a first look, though ten photos I’ve processed so far.

BTW, we’re here on a “People to People” tour with Cuba Unbound. Our impression of the Cuban people is that they are among the friendliest we’ve ever met. We love Cuba and are looking forward to our next five days in Havana. And to returning soon.

fidel speech police day havana

January 5 is the annual “Police Day” celebration in Cuba. Naturally, even though he’s gone, Fidel still makes a speech.

tobacco farm pinar del rio

A newly planted tobacco field, Piñar del Rio.

garden paradiso restaurant vinales

We hiked through a national park at Piñar del Rio for a couple hours this day and ended up at a remote organic restaurant that grows much of its own produce.

men on street trinidad

A couple of guys in Trinidad. Smoking and hanging out.

casa de valle cienfuegos

Originally a wealthy sugar plantation owner’s home, Cuban dictator Batista wanted to turn the Casa de Valle in Cienfuegos into a seaside casino. Now it’s a restaurant and a curiosity.

blue car trinidad

It’s true. The American cars from the 50s are everywhere in Cuba. Most are taxis for the tourists.

people on balcony trinidad

The center of Trinidad is pretty much the same as it was a few hundred years ago–except for the ubiquitous capricious decoration and souvenir stands. That’s why it’s a Unesco World Heritage site.

man bass fiddle trinidad

The other thing about Cuba: there’s music everywhere. This guy was lugging his bass to a gig in the town plaza in Trinidad.

girls umbrellas playa larga cuba

The sun is strong here, even in January. If you are out for a walk, take an umbrella.

This post is part of a series that won the Bronze Award for General Excellence in photography from the North American Travel Journalists Association for 2018. See the other posts in the series posts here:

10 More Photos of Havana, Cuba
Havana at Night, A Dozen Photos

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  1. Donna Janke January 14, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Great photos. Cuba is such a scenic and colourful country.

    • Tom Bartel January 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Yes it is. We’re looking forward to another week here.

    • Larry Berle January 14, 2017 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      I loved Cuba but I fear how its going to change — let me know when you want to go back– I would join you in a heartbeat
      When are we going

      • Tom Bartel January 15, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

        Any time, Larry. I’m thinking that Trump will soon close it off again, which would be terrible for both sides.

  2. Debbra Dunning Brouillette January 14, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Wow, I love your pix! The main pic of the fortune teller with the cigar is priceless! I’ll be interested to read more about your time in Cuba.

    • Tom Bartel January 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Debbra. She was a character. As were lots of other people we’ve met.

  3. Anne Reilly January 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed looking at your photos of Cuba, especially the fortune teller.

    • Tom Bartel January 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Anne. She was a pistol. I’m going to find her again now that we’re back in Havana so I can get the future told.

  4. Bonnie Henning January 14, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    The photos are great! Glad to hear the trip is so enjoyable. Smoking any cigars?

  5. Sandy Bartel January 14, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Wonderful Pics!! Thanks for sharing

  6. Marilyn Jones January 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness; I want to go!!! Your photos are beautiful!!

    • Tom Bartel January 22, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Thanks, Marilyn. We highly recommend it. And take a tour, because arranging your own logistics there is a bit harder than normal.

  7. Suzanne Fluhr January 17, 2017 at 12:06 am - Reply

    As usual, your photos are the bomb, dope, sick—or whatever the current slang for “great” is. The first one of the fortune teller is tremendous. Do you think the fact that you speak Spanish very well enhanced your interactions with the locals? Like everyone else here, I’m wanting to visit Cuba before it changes overly and before DT reslams the door.

    • Tom Bartel January 22, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Thanks, Suzanne. Speaking Spanish definitely helps, especially when they start with you in English and you switch to Spanish. It makes them so happy and willing to really open up. I wish I spoke more languages. Like Chinese. Gonna have to work on that. As for visiting before Cuba changes, I don’t think you have to worry much about that. First, it’s a country; not a museum of 1950s culture. Second, as far as I can tell, any change there is going to come very, very slowly.

  8. alison abbott January 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    It will be interesting to see how things change with the new powers that be ( I can’t even type the initials) You’ve captured some truly amazing shots and such a feel for the country. Are you there with a group? We saw such amazing art and dance during our trip. I was blown away with how artists used so little to make beautifully, creative work!

    • Tom Bartel January 22, 2017 at 10:36 am - Reply

      As usual, we bought a piece of art in Cuba. We do it almost everywhere we visit. Ironically, we got it in a government-owned gallery in Havana, which was pretty much the only place we found that had visual arts that weren’t primarily focused on 1950s American cars or Che Guevara.

  9. Peggy January 23, 2017 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    Such colourful pictures of Cuba! We went independently and stayed in casas the whole way. The best part of Cuba was meeting all the people!

    • Tom Bartel January 24, 2017 at 6:35 am - Reply

      Absolutely. The nicest people we’ve ever met on our travels. And casas is definitely the way to go. We did a couple of hotels in Cuba, and the casas were far better.

  10. Angelica February 7, 2017 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Looks like such a vibrant, lively place. I hope that I’ll get a chance to go. Gosh, these pictures, though! What kind of super elite camera are you using? I need it (and your knack for framing and capturing amazing moments).

    • Tom Bartel February 8, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Thanks, Angelica. These were taken with all three of my cameras. I use a Nikon D800E, which I guess you could call the professional level machine. Also a couple of these were with my Sony RX100-3, which is small but an amazing camera that I’m using more and more these days–mostly because it is small. And finally, my iPhone 7+. I leave it up to you to figure our which is which. But, if I had only the budget for one camera these days, I’d probably go with the Sony. It’s a great camera, and, maybe most important, it has a Zeiss lens. And Zeiss is the best.

  11. Therie February 23, 2017 at 4:15 am - Reply

    The fortune teller! I love her smile! Cuba is so colorful and fascinating, so rich in culture. Thank you for sharing these stunning photos, keep it up!

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