I went to Havana a few years back, and I fell in love with Cuba, cigars, and classic cars! So when I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba again, I took it! You’d love Havana; it has some of the most fantastic street murals. One of my favorite things to do is to find original street art on my travels to take Insta-worthy pics.
I’m not any different from the many tourists and locals looking for unique murals so, I joined one of the tours in Cuba and took some awesome looking pictures. It brings out the culture and soul of the city, whether it’s decorative signs or just random street art. I also rented a room right in the heart of Old Havana. I was able to enjoy my room view because of all the wall art it had to offer.
There are paintings on every street corner and sidewalk bench. Initially, I booked a photoshoot with this beautiful photographer, but it got canceled so, I decided to take the pictures myself. I’m not sure if the gods were on my side that day or not, but I dropped my phone and broke into 1000 pieces.
I lost all the beautiful pictures of Cuba, cigars, and classic cars I had on my phone. Although there’s no way I can recover the precious photographs, I was happy one of the locals agreed to give me a few private tours in Cuba. We were able to take some great shots with his camera.
If you don’t have a private guide as I did, take at least one of the walking tours in Cuba and enjoy as many attractions as you can. You’ll learn so many facts about Cuban culture that you didn’t know before, like Hemingway’s Havana, Valley de Vinales, and Hamel’s Alley Street Art.
I had never heard of Hamel’s Alley before. It’s not the most visited tourist spots in Cuba, but I’m sure true artisans know this spot well. I also know you will appreciate the Cuban artist, Salvador Gonzalez. He is responsible for two blocks of murals and sculptures in Havana, but so that you know they turn up from noon until about 3 or 4 pm on Sundays.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
Get an Appreciation for Cuba, Cigars, and Classic Cars
You must see Jose Fuster’s creation. If you don’t know who Fuster is, his story is one of the more fun facts about Cuba and its radical spirit and culture. Jose found a way to bring a little happiness to his neighborhood. This man and a few of his friends painted a lively homestead for his community after completing his inlaid masterpiece, many know as Fusterlandia.
When Fuster began his project in 1975, you would have thought Jaimanitas block was a run-down fishing district. Times were hard economically, and it seemed as though the whole country was going through depression as Fidel Castro was in charge. But through Fuster’s creative efforts, he changed the way people looked at their home.
His home was small, but then it became this larger than life project as he built this great courtyard using nothing more than broken pieces of pottery and tile. He added a plethora of plants and figures to his place. Fuster painted mermaids, fish, flowers, and fishermen on the fences and even gave a phrase to each of the walls.
The artist gave each project details and interesting facts about Cuba that meant something specific to his community. He didn’t forget the bus stops or the benches in the park. I think it became an obsession for Jose Fuster and lucky for us it did. When you think of it, Fuster turned clay into a marvelous display. He decorated more than 80 buildings, and as of today, he’s still working on his legacy.
What’s So Special about Old Havana?
Cuba, cigars, and classic cars; the narrow ghetto streets, the old buildings, the traditional red convertible passing by, and the fat cigars, this is what it is like living in Cuba! It’s something you have to experience for yourself.
The facts about Cuba are that as it’s a developing country and everything there is torn; still, I love meeting women in Cuba and hearing them tell stories about the beautiful array of people who visit. I love seeing the old buildings, vintage cars, and men smoking cigars. Havana is as much a feeling as it is a sight for sore eyes. If you get a chance to travel to Cuba, you really must go and don’t forget to lay your eyes on the infamous Tropicana Club for a little salsa dancing.