I spend a couple of weeks in Cuba while the winter turned into spring at home. It was my first adventure outside Europe and also to a country I didn’t know much about.
Before the trip I learned a few sentences in Spanish, just in case I would need it. And I definately needed it. I was surprised about how friendly and open-minded the locals were, even though we couldn’t always understand each other. Some spoke no English at all, some spoke good English and proudly shared their stories with me.
During the short stroll close to the port of Havana and later in Central Havana with Claudia and Nelson all my expectations were exceeded in a second. American classics passing by with loud music, taxis in turquoise and pink and all the other colors you could think of, most probably painted in different shades over and over again. Kids playing football in the streets, locals singing, smoking cigars and selling fruit. It felt like a travel backwards in time.
That sounded quite romantic, right? Well, I want to be honest. Even though I really liked Havana, the super kind locals and the atmosphere it also made me a bit sad. If you’ve known me for a while you know how drawn I’m to old, rough and abandoned buildings. In Havana I didn’t need to search for them – I was surrounded by them. And they were beautiful. What made me tear up was the fact that the majority of Cuban people are poor; they simply don’t have money to buy a house and renovate it, so these historical, gigantic and decorative old buildings just remain empty or fall apart. Literally. It was important to pay attention to where we walked, because every now and then stuccos fall down and buildings collapse.
Overwhelmed by the city I caught myself forgetting to pick up my camera quite often. But that doesn’t matter – I enjoyed the stroll to the fullest. I didn’t come back home with a full memory card, but I’ve something to show you. Down below is the first part, a tiny bit of what I experienced during this trip.