Kuba in Cuba

Havana felt like my childhood.

2016 was an important year for Cuba. Warming relations with the United States, Fidel Castro's Death. It was also the year I travelled there. You could see there is something changing, modern cars are starting to dominate the streets, and that those could be last years of Cuba in this form. We'll see.

In Havana I stayed with two different local families, which was probably most cost-friendly and interesting option. Both of them lived in Centro Habana neighbourhood. In opposition to touristic and overpacked Old Havana (Habana Vieja) this sector allowed me to be a witness of regular life of Cubans, which I was really curious about. Staying with the families gave me an extra acces to see their life up close and from the inside.

The city itself is simply amazing, although heavily damaged! I was surprised by its size, looks like many different cities combined into one. At times I felt like I was in a colonial town, then as if I was walking down Wall Street in New York, just a few blocks more and I was somewhere in Europe, then I moved back in time to my native Poland modernist period. I discovered many connections between those two countries.

In many ways Havana felt like my childhood in Poland. I grew up during the transition from communism to capitalism, where the last years of communism were really difficult. I don't remember that part, I know it from my grandparents tales - waiting in huge lines for hours, empty shelves. But for me those were mostly good memories. When the streets used to be so alive and full of people. The time when we played in front of our houses with friends, and our parents/grandparents, were watching over us through the window or from the nearby bench, while having a chat. When people tend to connect more and we weren’t hiding behind the walls and mobile devices.

Cuba car Vintage
havana José Martí memorial
Malecon Havana Cuba
school uniforms havana
Havana centro photography car
Havana Centro
Patterns staircase Havana Cuba
Portrait Havana
Kids streets havana
Cuba street walk
Playing chess Havana cuba
Flirting Paseo de Prado Havana
old car havana
Havana Cuba
Portrait on street Havana
school uniform Cuba
Chinatown Cuba havana
kid street havana
Running Havana Centro
Portrait woman Havana
classic car Havana malecon

In Havana the majority of restored, vintage cars with shining paint serve as taxi cabs for tourists, while beat up versions are taxi cabs for the locals.

Blue classic car Havana
food shop havana
rickshaw havana Cuba
Internet access in Cuba

Access to the internet is limited in Cuba. There are only certain spots in Havana where you can connect via wifi, after buying special card in quiosco (kiosk). You can connect only for limited number of hours per week.

 

flirting Cuba
baseball on the street Havana
Havana dog
Hemingway alike havana
sculpturing street havana
cooks Havana Bakery
Russian Embassy Havana Brutalism

Example of brutalist architecture - Embassy of Russia (formerly Soviet) in Havana.

sky over Havana
Havana Malecon composition photo
fishing landscape havana
Havana Landscape