Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cuba: The Town of Varadero

On our recent trip, we stayed in Varadero, which is a popular resort town in the province of Matanzas. And unlike other areas (Mexico, for example) where you’re advised to stay close to the hotel unless escorted, in Cuba (one of the safest places in the world) you are encouraged to venture outside hotel grounds and mingle with the locals who are extremely friendly. So we did just that.

We hopped on the public double-decker bus and headed downtown.



Our first stop was on the main strip where you can shop for souvenirs. The Cubans are very big on art, which you’ll find everywhere.



And recycling soda cans into art. Aren’t these cool?



You will find these cute vehicles called cocotaxis all over Cuba. They cost less than regular taxis.



There are businesses up and down the street.


 Some more unusual than others.



And you’ll see some interesting things as you walk along.

Abandoned property.

A bit of a fixer-upper.

It's an outdated phone but it works.

You know you're in a hot climate when you see bananas growing in someone's garden.

There are chickens and roosters everywhere.


We got off the beaten path and took a stroll through the residential sections.




Sure, why not take a selfie with the chickens?


Cuba, as one local told us, is beautiful. But poor.






It was a wonderful way to spend the day because you have not really visited another country until you've seen how its people truly live.

And if you ever travel to Cuba, make sure to enjoy the most delicious ice cream you'll ever have.

Vanilla for me; chocolate for him.


Thanks for coming along. I'll share more photos next week. Have a lovely day, everyone. 

34 comments:

  1. Wow that looks like an amazing trip! So glad you got away for a well deserved vacay! OK I want a Cocotaxi for my very own!!!

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    1. I know, right? Those Cocotaxis are pretty cool.

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  2. Looks like a very interesting place! Awesome that you were able to visit the neighborhoods to see how people actually live there--and pretty nice that it was safe enough to do that! That old car is neat!

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    1. Those old car are great. You see them all over the country and they are in excellent condition.

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  3. How very precious I ooh and aaah and love that you take real photos not just the pretty, but real photos, I love them all, you are so special and I'm thrilled that you found the most wonderful, and handsome man in the world...Wow you 2 so belong together, i love photos of places I will never see, not in this lifetime, so I can live them through you, thanks for that x

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    1. Taking real photos is my favourite part. Resorts all look the same but they aren't a realistic view into the country. Staying around the hotel and on the beach doesn't give you a glimpse into the lives of the locals. When you step away from you, you truly see another country.

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  4. great photos looks like a nice place to go.

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  5. Yes, you certainly couldn't wander around in Mexico like that. Love the selfie with the chickens!

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    1. You can't go to Cuba and not take a selfie with the chickens. You just can't :)

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  6. You're a gorgeous couple! I had no idea Cuba's so safe, and the people are so friendly. Did you catch the music/dance scene at all? No need to answer. I'll return for more great photos.

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    1. We saw a few performances at our hotel. AMAZING! The Cubans are very much into the arts in every which way. There is the famous Tropicana in Havana, Cuba's Las Vegas style nightclub that is part of a tour but we didn't end up going. We did go to Havana but just for a day tour.

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  7. Looks like a very interesting country! I too agree about walking about and seeing how the locals live. The ice cream sounds scrumptious!

    betty

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    1. That ice cream was amazing. I don't know if it tasted great because it was so hot that we craved it or if there is something different about it. But Cuba has delicious ice cream!

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  8. you guys look so happy! what an amazing place to visit - love the vibrant colors .... and the old cars! love those

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    1. I love those old cars, too. They were everywhere. And in great condition.

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  9. Bananas on someone's garden! That could be my neighbor's garden. It grows everywhere in the Philippines as well. Cocotaxi is supercool! Nice art too. By the way, just in case you noticed, are Cuban cigars found in every souvenir shop or is it only in some special places?

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    1. Indeed! Cubans are very proud of their famous cigars. They can be found just about everywhere.

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  10. Thanks for the tour of Cuba! Cute pics of you and your hubby.

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  11. You guys really got around in Cuba, Eh?
    Great photos of how it really is there, Martha.
    It's will all be changing soon. Don't know if that is a good or a not so good thing.

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    1. We'll just have to wait and see, Jim. I think that economically it will be beneficial to Cuba when it gets really busy.

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  12. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos! I'd go with chocolate ice cream!

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    1. That's a good choice, too. I like both but if it's only chocolate and vanilla, I usually choose vanilla.

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  13. The pictures of you two are SO CUTE.

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    1. Selfies are fun. We often take silly photos. These are quite tame :)

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  14. Each person who travels goes for a different reason. I agree that one interesting thing is to see how the locals live.

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    1. That is very true. As long as it's safe, I enjoy touring the area. But others don't care. Staying at the resort and enjoying the beach and whatever the hotels is offering is more than enough for some people. We all define our vacation in different ways.

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  15. These photos are wonderful, Martha! Love the photos of you and hubby. The photo of the building and purple car is striking ~ It's the mix of colors and shapes that make it especially memorable! Have a good one!

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    1. There is so much of that, Louise, that's what makes Cuba so fascinating. You can spend an entire week in their capital, Havana, and still not have enough time to photograph what the amazing things you see.

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  16. Will be so glad when travel restrictions are lifted. It is on my bucket list!

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    1. Anne, you will love it! The beaches, the weather, the people...it's all beautiful. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. You'd figure Cuba would be more unsafe than safe given their low-economic status.

    I wouldn't know, we Americans are forbidden to visit Cuba. Damn cold war.

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    1. I know, right? And yet, it's so incredibly safe. And the people are so happy and friendly. It's incredible.

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