culture, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: humanity

600_4234-s_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “humanity”.

Funny enough, I send my post unfinished. Accidentally I forgot to write the right title and left ‘adventure‘ from last weeks challenge. But: I guess ‘adventure’ also fits to ‘humanity’. Living a live as a human being always means, living the adventure of live on you own.

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, travel, world

¡Adios! Cuba

600_4269-e_wMany years ago here was a song popular with this line in the chorus (I translate it for you into English, while the song is in German): “Everything has an end, but only the sausage has two of them”.

This post is the end of my series on Cuba. I hope, you liked it. But, don’t be afraid, next week I start the next series.

Here’s my résumé on Cuba: It’s a nice country, friendly and open-minded people. A country with some problems, but the people try to manage them by creating new ideas. Cuba is undergoing huge changes currently and I guess, during the next few years it will change more than during the last 50 years.

Instead of saying “Goodbye” I’d say  more likely the German “Auf Wiedersehen” (see you again) or the French “Au revoir!”.

In case, you have Cuba on your bucket list, I’d recommend to go as soon as possible and don’t wait too long. There is so much changing, you’d probably miss that original spirit of Cuba. I guess, I already wrote more on this in an earlier post.

Take care!

landscape, photography, travel, world

remains of Sandy

600_8334-e_wDo you remember Sandy, the heavy hurricane in the Caribbean from December 2012? Well, Cayo Levisa also was hit quite hard. Many mangroves were removed from the shore, trees were cut and several other damages. The hotel, consisting of about 80 log cabins and a central house of stone with the reception and the dining room, didn’t show any damages.

I guess, it will last many years, until the nature recovers from that storm.

Take care!

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landscape, photography, travel, world

cooling down on Cayo Levisa

600_8510-e_wAs I wrote in my last post, it was quite cool on Cayo Levisa because of the wind after the storm over the sea. As you can see in the photos nearly no-one is on the beach and the wind brings high waves. Also, the palm branches are bent by the heavy wind.

Our stay here was planed for being a beach holiday with swimming, diving and snorkeling. Instead, I walked around wearing more clothes as during the last days and enjoyed the nature.

I attached a few more photos than usual in this posts gallery at the end of this post. I hope, you enjoy them.

Take care!

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landscape, photography, travel, world

transit to Cayo Levisa

600_8551-e_wCayo Levisa is a small island at the north shore of Cuba, right opposite to Florida. The bus needed more than two hours for the distance of about 50 kilometers from Viñales to the small ferry harbor, because of the very bad roads. The first 30 kilometers were quite fine, like most of the Cuban streets we saw. But, the remaining 20 kilometers were very bad.

We arrived quite early at the ferry harbor. While waiting for the ferry, we got notice of a  coming up very slowly. It seemed, the car’d have a technical problem. When the car finally arrived at the parking ground next to the bar where we were waiting, we noticed, the car was a rental car and 4 young ladies came off. They checked the engine and some more parts. Some Cuban people also looked for the car. As far as I understood, the front axle or a wheel was damaged because the driver didn’t pay enough attention to the street or was too careless. I don’t know about the end of the story, because the ferry arrived and we got on board for our passage to Cayo Levisa. About an hour later we arrive on Cayo Levisa.

Unfortunately the same afternoon we were able to see a heavy tropical storm on the sea and the sky became cloudy and gray – no more tropical feelings 😦 This kept on until the next afternoon, when the sun came back. But, with a strong and cold wind. Being at the beach was quite difficult. Strong tropical sun forced us to put some clothes away, but the wind forced us to up them on again. I’ll tell a bit more in my next post.

Take care!

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culture, landscape, photography, travel, world

A hiking trip to Los Acuáticos

600_8178-e_wLos Acuáticos de Viñales is a tiny village at the side of one of the hills above the Valley of Viñales. The path to that village looks more like a dry riverbed than a path. It’s narrow, steep and stony. You really need solid shoes for that trip. And you need a local guid to find you way. Neither street signs nor direction signs will help you find this village. According to our guide, there are only about 12 people are still living in Los Acuáticos. 

The name was given to the village, when an old, wise woman lived there like a hermit. She was a healer and was assumed to be able to heal with water. In the rush time, there were 60 people living there. But now, since the old woman passed away several decades ago, more and more people moved away to find another place, where living is a bit easier. The remaining families are still farmer and work in their steep fields as you can see in the photo gallery at the end of the post. Continue reading “A hiking trip to Los Acuáticos”

architecture, culture, landscape, photography, travel, world

Visiting Viñales

600_7639-ec_wIn my last post I focused on the UNESCO world heritage, the valley of Viñales. Literally this valley ist named by the town nearby.

Viñales is a small town. A few tiny shops along the main street, the main square and a nice little church. From the visitors aspect, the town isn’t very interesting. But the valley itself is. So, Viñales is the perfect location for starting your exploration of this interesting valley.

In one of the smaller valleys you can also find an art project: mural de la prehistory. A photo is in the gallery below. One side of a hill is covered with a huge painting. It’s 120 meters high and 180 meters broad. The Mexican artist  Leovigildo González Morillo created it in 1961. Every few years this painting has to be refreshed, because the periodical heavy rains fades out the paint.

To watch this painting, you can go and pay an entrance fee. I didn’t. I my opinion it was enough, to see it from the street (path). But, have a look yourself.

Take care!

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architecture, culture, landscape, photography, travel, world

Valley of Viñales

600_7644-e_wThis valley is a UNESCO world heritage. Valle de Viñales (in spanish) is located in the Piñar del Río Province in the north-west of Cuba. Being a world heritage means, people aren’t allowed to change the landscape. They are forbidden to build telephone or electricity lines by using pillars to hold them up in the air. So, you won’t see any of them in the valley. But, most, if not all, farms do have sun collectors for making their own electricity near by the houses. The people own different electrical devices. Not only devices in the kitchen, but also devices like radios or TVs.

The soil in the valley is very red. You might have noticed this in my earlier posts on tobacco farming. But in my photo gallery at the end of this post you can see, that I didn’t change the color in my photos accidentally.

Continue reading “Valley of Viñales”

culture, landscape, meeting, people, seasons, travel, world

at a cuban public bath

600_7376-s_wWhat do you think, do they have public baths in Cuba? And if so, how do you think they look like?

As I mentioned before, Cuba is a modern country with stadiums and swimming arenas in the big cities, but how about the rural areas?

After paying your entrance fee you can have a nice afternoon swimming in the clean, fresh and cool water of a river surrounded by shadowing trees, some picnics places and even toilets. So, everything is available for a nice pause from your daily routine.

Although we were here during the dry season, there was enough water in the river, to be able to swim in the ponts and to have a shower in (small) waterfalls.

Enjoy.

And, while having your rest and waiting for my next post, you might recheck the past posts on Cuba here in my blog. Take care!

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landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

A hike at Las Terrazas

600_6958-s_wIn my last post I introduced you to the community of Las Terrazas.

Today I want to take you on a hike through the forests on the hills around Las Terrazas.  You don’t need hiking shoes or a backpack full of water for out little trip, but I recommend both in case you go on that trip yourself.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s green here. Many plants are covering the ground. So, we found orchids, and many other plants, I didn’t knew before.

The most interesting tree is the tourist tree (Bursera simaruba). You can see it on the photo on the right. When in the sun, the bark becomes red first and than falls down, just like the skin of the tourists.  🙂

We also met many bird. I’ll put them up in another separate post.

Take care

and stay tune on, what else the forests hides.

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landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

Las Terrazas

600_6932-e_wLas Terrazas is a cuban community. After a deforestation the people build flat terraces in the sides of the hills and planted trees again. Now, the have forests again around their village. They can pay their living by the products of the forests without cutting trees and by showing their community and their achievements to visitors.

More on the plants, flowers and animals we saw on out guided tour through the hills, I’ll put in another post.

Take care.

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landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

It’s green here

600_6718-s_wFirst stop: Artemisa.

This region is very green, but we had a slight problem with fresh water. You know, I mentioned it a several times, we were there during the dry season. So, the government was rationing the fresh water. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. there was no water. Nevertheless, the area was still very green and the plants seemed in proper shape, although the dry period lasted nearly 5 months already.

In case, you plan hiking trips, this could be the region to do so. Hills, forests, many birds make the area interesting.

Stay tuned for the next posts on this area.

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culture, food, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

Heading back north

600_6786-ec_wWe started in Havana and went south after a few days. We saw many different cities and regions. We visited cities, historical places, beaches, mountainous regions and rural areas. In Santiago we reached the most southern point of our journey. When you look on your map, you’ll see, that there is another region left, where we weren’t until now: the north-west, west of Havana. So, we took a plane for a domestic flight from Santiago de Cuba back to Havana, to visit the remaining provinces Pinar del Rio and Artemisa. This time we arrived at another airport. Originally we arrived at José Marti International Airport, but this time we arrived at Ciudad Libertad. It’s smaller and less crowded.

Here in the north-west the areas are widely used for agriculture. Although we saw much agriculture in all parts of the country, I felt agriculture is a bit more present here in the north-west. Here you can find fields with sugar canes, rice, beans, manioc, pineapples, bananas, coffee, flowers and of course tabacco. We also found plantations growing flowers. Here they grew flowers, than I knew as indoor plants (i.e. the Amaryllis) or from exotic flower bouquets.

You know, we were in Cuba during the dry period. Here in the north-west we had some problems with water rationalisation. From 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. there was no drinking water available for taking a shower, cleaning your hands or using the toilet.

Take care!

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culture, history, landscape, people, photography, technic, travel, world

A sad decision

600_4069-sc2_wYesterday evening I got aware of a recent decision of the Cuban government, published by Raoul Castro, the Cuban president: Cuba allows the people to import new cars.

While this is good news for the Cuban people, I feel a bit sad about it. You ask me why? The answer is easy. I’m a photographer and it was fantastic to see all these wonderful old cars in the Cuban streets, when I was in Cuba. Not in a museum, they are still in use, even they are more than 60 years old.

I’d miss them.

More on Cuba? Have a look here in my blog and you can learn a bit about that court from a photographers view.

Take care!