Havana, Cuba. The first time was almost 12 years ago, with my father. Back then I wasn’t a travel photographer, but I had a keen interest in taking pictures. And I loved classic cars. My dad knew this when planning the trip. My dad was going because he had finally realized he needed to take more time off of work. To not just leave it all for retirement. My mom was finishing up an art degree at the time and couldn’t go, so I got to be the lucky tagalong.
I’m not usually the all-inclusive type, but we had a total blast during that trip. I’m so happy to have memories like that with my father. That trip was our first and last all-inclusive experience and it was fantastic, yet I was still left hungry for glimpses of a different Cuba, beyond the resort walls.
One day we left the resort and took a day trip to Havana. I remember standing in the midst of those vibrant streets, thinking:
1. I am not made for day trips on touristy buses.
2. Havana is badass.
3. I need to stay in Havana at some point in my life.
#1 was an accurate assessment. I was spot-on about #2. And this past March, I got to fulfil the dream of #3 with a friend of mine. Well…she is now more than a friend 😉 Her name is Daniela, and I hope you get used to seeing her in most of my travel posts to come.
Our first night in Havana was the absolute worst sleep I’ve ever had in my life. And it was worth every sleepless moment.
We were staying in the Centro, in a room that had big double doors opening to a balcony which overlooked the street below. I’d always wanted to stay in a room like that.
During the night we woke up to roosters (turn out they don’t just crow at dawn – now you know), old cars clunking down the street, the restaurant crew moving chairs and cleaning up at 2 am above us, the hotel manager having a fight with his lover over the phone one room over and, last but not least, a group of reggaeton-blasting Cubans partying as they walked through the streets at 5 am.
(Wait…that wasn’t the last. After that, the roosters finally got the time right and started to crow. Yeeeeah.)
As much as I hated that night, I loved that night. That was Cuba. That was what I waited over twelve years for.
A sleepless night in the chaotic heart of an old city, and the chance to snap some more photos of old cars. That’s what I waited 12+ years for.
12+ years for that. And the chance to snap some more photos of old cars. I am blogging Havana in two parts because there is just that much to show you all. So watch out for Cuba: Part III coming soon. If you want to check out Part II check it out here: Cuba Part II, Vinales. I am extremely proud of all of these images. This is why I have taken the time to create three posts dedicated to this one trip. Enjoy 🙂