Cuba: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


I wasn’t sure what to expect when going to Cuba. Most of the reviews that  I had read talked about  bad food and great beaches. The beaches were great; fine white sad and green water but the food was actually better than I had anticipated. Yes, there was some unappetizing stuff in the buffet, but there were also some great choices.

The weather was probably the biggest disappointment for us. Yes, it was warmer than Winnipeg but when you go to a tropical place in the winter you expect sunny, hot days. We had clouds and wind for half of our week. There is no WiFi in Cuba, which was something I missed a lot and would probably be the number one reason I wouldn’t go back. And then, my girlfriend and I also were sick for part of the week. I’ve done a fair bit of travelling and have never been sick on vacation before. That part was not fun!

These are a selection of photographs from my trip.

This first one was taken at our resort and shows how choppy the water was.

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The waves reminded me of the ocean in Life Of Pi and I took a ton of them.

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We found these ducks with strange head markings in a park in Varadaro.

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This was taken in Havana. I love the look the pigeons  give to this photo.

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Havana was the highlight of the trip for me. I loved the old cars and the beautiful architecture. To me, Havana seemed part old Shanghai and part Madrid.

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This is a pharmacy in Havana.

cuba 1 13-31This fellow had a good thing going. He posed for you and let you take his picture for a Peso.

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One of my favorite memories of this trip were my interactions with this man.

I saw him working in his butcher shop as we were walking down the street. The meat was sitting out on a window ledge and he was busy serving customers with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I offered to give him 3 Pesos for taking his picture with a cigar in his  mouth. He was more than happy to oblige. His bloody, dirty hands were holding a cigar while he handling raw meat at the same time. Those things are unheard of here in Canada but very common in places like Cuba. This man was really happy to have me take his picture.

The really fun part was when my girlfriend and I were coming back from our walk and he was sitting outside his shop with another man. He was really excited to see me and wanted to show his friend the pictures that I had taken. I showed them on the back of my camera and at that moment wished that I could have given him some prints. He was a gem!



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The next few shots were taken inside our hotel in Havana; a wonderful place with the most amazing stained glass ceilings.


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I was surprised at all the stray dogs in Havana; dogs that were thin and often had sores on them. This particular one was also lame. That is contrast to my dog and his life of luxury.

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This is an example of the outside of a lot of the buildings; not pretty but certainly interesting to photograph.

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There are many plazas in Havana, where you find the most beautiful architecture.

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This lady and her friend were also happy to have me stop and take their pictures. Unfortunately, I only had my wide-angle lens with me on this day and so was not able to get in very close.

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The Havana waterfront.




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The sunsets were amazing on the beach.


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It was hard to narrow down my pictures of the waves. They were very impressive.

cuba 1 13-5We were entertained by these dancers on our first night at the resort. The girl in the first picture was totally amazing. Unfortunately, the entertainment on the other nights was a disappointment. These images were taken with a 50 mm lens at 2.2 and at 6400 iso. I was amazed at their quality!

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4 thoughts on “Cuba: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. Chris,
    I too have just returned from my first trip to Varadero and Havana. I found them a photographer’s dream and have many superb shots. Thanks for sharing your remarkable photos. I’m enjoying seeing the same sights from a different viewpoint.

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