Back to Havana

I got up early the next morning because I wanted to see us cruise into Havana harbor. It was a beautiful morning with a little mist across the water and clear blue skies overhead. I came on deck to see the Cuban coast slipping by and ahead the grey images of the Havana skyline coming into view. It was really quite beautiful.

The Havana skyline from the deck of the Armonia.

The Capitolio dominates the cityscape.

This travelogue has too many pictures to be put on a single page. So I have broken it into several pages which you can navigate with this Menu.

This for has stood guard at the entrance to the harbour for hundreds of years!.

Looking back at the entrance to the Harbour.

we arrive at the San Francesco Terminal.

The old fortress and the Plaza de Armas.

The Armonia tied up at the end of our cruise.

Once we were docked we made a mistake. We didn’t read our itineraries carefullyl Our ride back to the hotel was arranged for 3:30 pm and we didn’t notice this. So we rushed ashore expecting our ride and by the time we figured out why it wasn’t there it was 10:30 and too late to go back on the ship. So instead of a comortable wait on the ship with drinks in hand we had an very unpleasant four hour wait in a very primitive terminal.

I made the best of it by standing in front of the terminal for a while taking pictures of the old American cars going by. Cuba is famous for its old cars, many of which are available for tours of the town. They are colorful but up close they are in pretty bad shape.

Real and Tony and I took the opportunity to go for a last walk in Havana. The ladies were happy to sit and wait so they looked after our bags and away we went. It was a little unfair to them but they didn’t seem to want to move.

We poked around in a couple of art galleries, I took lots of pictures, and eventually we ended up sitting down for a beer in an outdoor restaurant. It was perfect weather to sit out and definitely hot enough to make the beer very welcome!

This was in the courtyard of an art gallery which contained a beautiful garden. Sitting there I was really impressed with the beauty of the place. All around me were photographs just waiting to be taken and I certainly didn’t pass up the opportunity.

Cuba is very artistic and has a rich culture. It shines through the dreary exterior of their government run system. Everywhere you look there is music, or an art gallery, or someone singing, paintings, murals, beautiful stone work: you can see the artistic heart of the people lying below the grey surface.

My first time to Cuba I was not that taken with it. But this time I see more and that makes me want to come back. I would like to see this whole country, starting with Havana. But that would take time, several months, and I find time to be the one thing I have too little of.

The menu at our little outdoor restaurant. This was a very tasteful establishment. Obviously the owner took pride in it. The waiter was very professional. I am sorry we did not have time to stay there and have our dinner.

Tony and Real at our outdoor table. That’s me behind the camera.

This chap at the next table was a real estate agent from Calgary who had retired to Mexico but he said he came to Havana every year.

Sitting having our beer I had time to look around me and get a little artistic with my camera. That is the great thing about photography: you can pursue good pictures almost anywhere and any time. Here is a selection of pctures I took while we sat and had drank beer.

Havana Manhole cover. A strange subject for a photograph but I was taken with it.

A lamp on the wall above us.

Sitting at the table this picture was just down the street.

The wall above us.The doorway at the bottom leads into our restaurant.

Here are two photos that I processed in Black and White. This one is a mail slot although I don’t think I like the idea of getting my hands anywhere near it!

This is our little restaurant but looking on down the street. The waiter at the table was our waiter as well. We take color for granted but we should look more at what can be done without it.

Finally our van arrived to take us back to our hotel in Varadero. Our driver was a real character and we enjoyed his conversation greatly. The dashboard of his car speaks volumes about the man!