Throwback Thursday: Captivating Cuba

We visited Cuba back in 2005 and fell in love with it’s faded grandeur, beautiful beaches, colonial architecture and friendly people.  I would love to go back again before it changes irreversibly and loses much of it’s charm. Following the death of Cuba’s charismatic leader, Fidel Castro, and the renewing of relations with the US, I think it’s only a matter of time before the big American chains move in…

Here are the highlights of my trip to Cuba many years ago:

Visiting the iconic Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Enjoy cocktails and maybe take in the cabaret at the iconic Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana… we stayed here for 3 nights and fell in love with the place!  You can still see and feel the 1920s/1930s grandeur throughout – it must have been amazing back in its heyday, packed full of celebs enjoying the high life.

Relaxing on white, sandy beaches in Varadero

Whilst Varadero is full of 4/5 star hotels, the beaches and the sea are so beautiful that it’s worth sharing them with other holidaymakers.  Although we never found it overcrowded when we were there, even though it was high season… As you can see, it is not packed full of tourists like the beaches in many other holiday destinations!

Visiting a cigar factory

No visit to Cuba would be complete without visiting a traditional Cuban cigar factory to see how this world famous export is made.  I am a non-smoker but it was still fascinating to watch the cigars being rolled by hand, as they have been for hundreds of years.

Visiting the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad

We took a day trip across the island to visit beautiful, peaceful Trinidad.  The old, colonial architecture is stunning and the vibrant colours shine bright in the Cuban sunshine.

Admiring the beautiful buildings and fabulous American cars in Havana

Havana is full of beautiful, brightly-coloured, old American cars – they are absolutely everywhere!  And the architecture is fantastic, even if it is all looking a little worse for wear due to years of neglect.  Fancy a drink? Why not enjoy a refreshing mojito in La Bodeguita del Medio, the bar where Hemingway drank and where the famous cocktail is said to have originated…

If you get the chance, go and visit this lovely island which offers so much to see and do…

Happy Travelling!

Kate x

Note: The images in this post were taken using a film camera and scanned in, hence the graininess and slightly faded appearance… but I figured this was appropriate for a post on Cuba!

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