architecture, culture, history, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-35

mm35-600_6371-et_wEvery first week of a month, the monochrome madness by Leanne Cole has a specific theme. This week the theme is “bell”.

On Sunday we have had the first of Advent, the last 4 weeks until Christmas. A bell ist used for calling people together, to alert them. In ancient times, bells were i.e. used to alert the citizens in case of fire or war. So, I have an alarm bell for you. I found it in Castillo San Pedro de la Roca of Santiago de Cuba. The Castle high above the small entry to the big bay of Santiago. In the back, you can see the bay.

Be alerted for the upcoming holidays!




Take care!


art, culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: descent

600_6394-ep_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “descent”.

I picked this photo, taken in Castillo del Morro / Castillo San Pedro de la Roca above the entry to the Bahia de Santiago de Cuba, because of the nice view from above. This is the view, the Spanish soldiers have had, when on guard to watch for the pirates of the Caribbean in order to prevent attacks.

Take care and beware of the pirates!

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

La cathedrale

600_6669-s_wde Santiago de Cuba.

Finally we were lucky enough to see a cuban cathedral from inside. One evening, when we came back to our hotel, I saw light from inside shining through the wide open door to the square below. Going upstairs we had to pass the beggars again. They started again following us through the cathedral and didn’t left us alone watching the paintings, the decorated ceiling and the other interior. Our guide advised us, don’t give them anything.

Half of the cathedral was closed with a wooden wall, because of reconstruction works. The cathedral was hard damaged by the hurricane Sandy in December 2012 as several other parts of the old-town, too.

Take care.

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architecture, culture, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

walking around in Santiago de Cuba

600_6606-e_wOnce, Santiago de Cuba was the capital of Cuba. But, the capital moved north to the new built city Havana back in 1552.

As you can see, Santiago is quite old. But, you can find less old buildings then in i.e. Trinidad. OK, you won’t find much modern building in the old town, but the majority of the buildings were built during the 19th and the early 20th century.

As I mentioned in my post on the island Granma in the bay of Santiago, the southern part of Cuba was affected very hard by the hurricane Sandy. And, although Sandy happened more than 3 month ago, we were still able to see, how much the city was affected. Many buildings were destroyed. some of them were only tentative repaired to give the inhabitants a roof. Others were so much affected, that the people set up tents inside the houses. Or put signs at the door, saying that there is still someone living.

Although, many houses are damaged, you can still see, once Santiago was rich. Now, it is quite different. Santiago was the only city where we were hassled by beggars. They even followed us constantly begging for money. In other cities we also met poor people. But, those tried to offer a value for the money. They tried to sell something like cigars, water or soft-drinks. They made music or offered services like guidance or recommending restaurants. But here they were only begging. Fortunately they didn’t departed much from the place Parque Cespedes and thus left us alone after a few minutes.

During our visit we were also affected by the national mourning because of the death of Hugo Chaves, the president of Venezuela. For 1 week all dancing shows and even music plays were forbidden. So, we missed nearly all of our visiting plans here in Santiago.

I, personally, won’t visit Santiago for a second time. There are other places that are more interesting.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel, world

Visiting a stronghold

600_6369-e_wYou might have seen this stronghold above the bay entrance at Santiago bay in my last post on the island Granma. Here you can find out a bit more.

This old spanish castle was built, to defend the citizens against pirate attacks, back in the 17th and 18th century. Nowadays you can visit the castle. You can walk around and visit many of the rooms from the top down to the storage rooms, the jail and the chapel.

Every evening right after sunset (appr. 6 p.m.) a group of soldiers, dressed up like the soldiers back in the 18th century, fire a cannon as a salut. You can watch that from a balcony above. This day, the group was commanded by a capitana, a female captain.

Next stop: Santiago de Cuba!

Take care.

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culture, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

Heading further to the south

600_6383-e_wThe most south part of our tour is nearly reached: Santiago de Cuba!

But, before entering the city, we made a stop at the island Granma. We met the people while doing hard work to repair or even reconstruct their homes. They were hit hard by the hurricane Sandy. Many parts looked good already, but others were still wrecks. We also met a female teacher with her students working to repair the school building. The kids told us about learning in the morning and helping to repair in the afternoon. But, they weren’t lazy or angry, but nevertheless they were quite happy about the pause and the funny foreigners coming up to them.

The small island itself is located in the Bahia de Santiago. You can walk around the island in less than 30 minutes. The Bahia is very calm, because the entrance from the sea is very small. So, it is a bit like a lake. Nearly 100% of the bay is surrounded by land. The entrance to the bay is dominated by the Castillo del Morro, the old, spanish castle. The bay is used i.e. for the rower and sculler as their training ground. According to our guide, the Cuban olympic team is doing their exercises in this bay.

Take care.

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