On Sunday we’ve returned from a short vacations in Cuba. As usual, it wasn’t really a conscious choice, rather a result of having to choose some destination, as my vacation date approached. As it turned out - it worked out great. If I’d have to sum up Cuba (and especially Havana) in one word it’d be irrational. Country like that has no right to exist, yet it does. What makes it feel even more weird, it’s a mere 3 hours flight from Toronto, but it feels like a different planet or like there’s a time machine involved.

Beautiful colonial buildings (sadly, usually in a very bad shape) are mixed with Soviet republic style architecture of dirty concrete. It looks even more absurd and out of place in tropical environment (we kinda got used to it in Europe). There are no commercial billboards, instead they praise heroes of revolution. People with university degrees work for ~15 CAD of monthly salary (that’s close to minimal hourly wage here). Cars are either 80s Skodas/Ladas/Fiats (including famous Fiat 126) or 50s American cruisers (some in a pretty good condition). At the same time it’s a land of great rum, cigars, free health-care & education. In general, one week only let us to scratch the surface. Generally, I’ve a policy of not going to the same place twice, but in this case I think I’ll make an exception. In one of the books author wished (out of selfish reasons) that Cube wouldn’t change. I know it will, that’s also why I’m happy I had a chance to witness it now, but for the sake of people living there - I hope it won’t last much longer. Some photos below, other at my Picasa page (Jibacoa + Havana).


Old comments

roger 2010-08-22 20:16:47

Well, seems you didnt came to Santiago, in the east. If you do next time, I would advise that you come in winter, we are having around 36C and a terrible sun.
I have to admit that you have a found a very precise word to describe my country.

admin 2010-08-23 02:59:01

Sadly no, I’ve only seen a very little part of northern Cuba. Next time, hopefully, read about Santiago and it looks like a very interesting place.

roger 2010-08-26 12:49:43

Well, let me know and I can help you when you come here.