Here is the last upload as I close the book on my 2015 trip to Cuba. What an amazing experience. Cuba is a country I think everyone should make an effort to visit. From its white-sand beaches, to its fascinating historical cities, and especially its warm, inviting people, Cuba is a travel experience you will never forget – especially if you are into photography!
Of course, we’re all familiar with the stereotypical classic 50s car culture that Cuba has become known for, but cars are certainly not the be-all and end-all for getting, and moving stuff, around in Cuba.
Cuba has local bus service for short distance travel, and electric-powered trains for longer journeys. In addition, hitchhiking is extremely important to Cubans. Although I have not verified this, I’ve been told that if you are driving a car that’s not full of passengers, you are obligated to pick up hitchhikers, so basically the opposite of how we deal with hitchhikers in Canada!
For internal neighbourhood travel and transport, Cubans depend a great deal on both two and three-wheeled varieties of bikes and carts. In spending just a few hours walking around Matanzas, I could see that bikes are tremendously integral to Cuban day-to-day life.
While on the subject of bikes, you will notice in the photos below that Cubans have a very unique way of adding passengers to two-wheeled bikes. This method is very common… although it looks very uncomfortable to me!
Matanzas means “massacre”. A name that hints at the location’s bloody history when Spaniards wiped out a local population of natives (all of Cuba’s natives were killed by the Spanish) who fought viciously, but who were ultimately overpowered by European gunpowder and steel. It’s a beautiful little city that’s grown around an ocean inlet on the north shore of Cuba, not far from Varadero. I met some wonderful people there. It’s not a typical tropical vacationer’s destination, but all of you photographers will love it.