Cuba has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is known for its white sands, clear blue ocean and amazing places for snorkeling. Hot weather and extremely nice resort staff makes it one of the most desired destinations in the Caribbean. Oh and almost forgot about the rum... Have a look at the pictures and judge for yourself.
It is a cold winter in Toronto this year with -30°C outside tonight. It made me want to go through my old pictures from Cuba. Looking through them makes me feel warmer.
During our stay in an all inclusive resort in Cuba we visited some nearby cities. The first trip we took was to the city of Holguin. It is the third largest city in Cuba with population of nearly 350,000. It is located in the eastern end of the country close to its northern shore. We had wondered the streets of the city trying to catch as many sights as possible. On almost every corner people greeted us and tried to start conversation. It was not that easy considering our knowledge of Spanish was as close to zero as it gets. Regardless of that we would exchange some information. They knew where my homeland, Poland is and that it used to be a communism country. They knew John Paul II, Fiat or sometimes even Walesa. They would talk to us about Che Guevara or Fidel Castro.
While looking at the bas-relief on the facade of one of the buildings, we were approached by the English teacher from the local University of Holguin. He decided to give us a short lecture about the history of the city and the country as it was depicted on the bas-relief. That was the best history lesson I ever attended. We almost missed our bus.
We next headed to Gibara, also known as the White Town (Spanish La Villa Blanca). It is a fisherman’s village located in Gibara Bay. It is the same bay in which Christopher Columbus landed in 1492. He described it as "the most beautiful land human eyes had ever seen". It is partly because of the beautiful colonial architecture reflecting almost two centuries of history. Gibara was declared a National Monument in 2002. The city is known for its friendly people and it is becoming more popular tourist destination these days.
Town of Guardalavaca was just 5 kilometres away from the resort we stayed in. It is a small tourist town known for its souvenir market. You can get there a lot of unique local crafted treasures like jewellery, various accessories, local art work, postcards, clothing or swimsuits. Guardalavaca has a beautiful public beach, where you can meet some local people chilling at the bar or just enjoying the day by the ocean.
It was my first trip to Cuba and it will always be special in my memories. I remember Cuba as a country of happy people, as if they got too much vitamin D. Beautiful beaches with palm trees and turquoise ocean are absolutely one of the best places for relaxing vacation, but what’s really beautiful about Cuba are its people. It was so refreshing and positive to see people just genuinely smiling, saying ‘hola’ or starting conversation, just to find out what brings you to their country or to share their story. Their joyful outlook was very energizing. I hope the pictures reflect at least some of that energy.