We’re still in temporary “armchair traveler” mode courtesy of Colombia’s nationwide quarantine. In lieu of new adventures, we’ve been reminiscing about some of our previous trips and remembering what we loved best about each place. Here’s our first installment about our voyage to the Galapagos Islands in 2017.
Over Christmas and New Year’s in 2016-2017, we spent an unforgettable two weeks in Cuba.
President Obama was just about to leave office and had made a historic visit to Havana the previous March. And Fidel Castro had just died a month before we got there. It was an interesting time to visit Cuba: there was an overall feeling of transition and optimism in the air, travel restrictions for U.S. citizens had been eased, and there was still plenty of hope that relations between the U.S. and Cuba would continue to normalize. Of course, the opposite has happened over the past four years (here’s a more recent article about life in Cuba today). We feel very lucky to have seen this vibrant country when we did.
We started in Havana and then traveled by bus to the colonial cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Here are the photo highlights from all three cities. Just like the Galapagos post, we aren’t going into a lot of written detail here. To read more about the trip, check out our detailed blog posts on Cuba.
Note: All photos are all in galleries. You can click through each one for larger views.
Havana was everything we had imagined it would be, and then some. Chaotic, colorful, filled with iconic old cars and exuberant people who live their lives mostly outdoors – in the streets, on the balconies of decaying old mansions, on the Malecón. Havana was emblematic of Cuba as a whole: filled with contradictions and on the verge of big change, which we hoped would be for the better.
After several days in Havana, we took a half-day bus ride to the port town of Cienfuegos, a lovely city filled with beautifully preserved, historic-landmark buildings in the French style (owing to the fact that the town was settled by French immigrants in the early 1800s).
From Cienfuegos, we took the bus to Trinidad, where we spent a memorial New Year’s Eve with the family who hosted us in their casa particular. Trinidad is one of Cuba’s most historic and picturesque towns, replete with cobblestone streets, plenty of horse- and oxen-drawn carts, and bright-hued, tile-roofed adobe buildings. The town is a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage site, and the clear late-afternoon light and vivid colors make it a photographer’s dream.
Thank you for sharing in our Best of Cuba memories! Next up: Peru
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