PHOTOGRAPHED: Exploring Old Havana and Beyond

PHOTOGRAPHED: Exploring Old Havana and Beyond

The neighborhood we stayed in in Old Havana was so loud that our Airbnb host put earplugs on each nightstand next to our bed. But we loved the cacophony of adults talking; children playing in the streets below; dogs barking; and roosters crowing; even until the wee hours of the morning.

(Above photo: This was the street where our apartment was located in Old Havana.(Photo by Mark Micheli ©.))


Cuba sign outside the Hotel Nacional de Cuba.
WELCOME TO CUBA: The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is off limits to Americans because it’s a government-owned hotel and the United States government does not want its citizens spending any money that will benefit the government there. However, the Cuban government has no restrictions on Americans staying there or visiting it. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


Cuban driver in a 1950s pink car.
AMERICAN HEIRLOOMS: Lester, our driver, in his pink Impala. 1950s American cars are passed down from generation to generation in Cuba and families can make what is considered good money using them to transport tourists. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


Man sits in front of empty shelves at a government store.
WAITING FOR SUPPLIES: One of the government stores where Cuban citizens can get rations. The shelves are often bare and you can tell when items are in stock because there will be a line of people. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


A woman hugs the back of a man on a bicycle in Havana.
RIDE BY: Cubans will ride by on anything. It’s not unusual to see them on bikes, horse-drawn carts, and cycle rickshaws, even on the major highways. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


A couple poses in front of building with the image of Che Guevara.
REVOLUTION SQUARE: An image of Che Guevara (above) and Fidel Castro adorn buildings in Revolution Square. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)





A man is greeted by the arms of a woman in a doorway in Havana.
AFTERNOON ENCOUNTER: The Cuban people are very friendly and warm. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


Man walks down the street with a 1950s Chevy parked in the background.
PRESERVED: The only American cars you’ll see in Cuba are from the 1950s before the embargo. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


STREET SCAPE: The view from our balcony in Old Havana.


People work and talk in front of a rundown building in Havana.
THE HOOD: Cubans go about their daily lives in Plaza Christo near our apartment. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


A young man looks out from behind a chainlink fence.
DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?: I stopped for a few seconds to take some photos of a basketball game in a park in Old Havana. This young man asked me if I wanted to play basketball with him and his friends. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


El Capitolio in Havana.
EL CAPITOLIO: The National Capitol building in Havana is often compared to the U.S. Capitol but it is not a replica. It was built in the late 1920s and was the tallest building in Havana until the 1950s. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


A woman poses in front of artwork.
ENTREPRENEUR: In recent years Cubans have been allowed to own small businesses, mostly geared to tourism. This woman sells arts and crafts in Old Havana. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)



The light from El Capitolio shines on a 1950s car in Havana.
BY NIGHT: The light from El Capitolio brightens a dark street in Old Havana. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


A woman in traditional clothes.
DRESSING UP: A woman strolls one of Havana’s plazas in traditional clothes. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


An aerial view of an old pink Impala.
BIRDSEYE IMPALA: Our driver, Lester, and tour guide, Jasmine, waited below our balcony on our first full day in Havana. Lester’s pink Impala was passed down to him from his father and grandfather. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)



A street sign on a colorful old building.
COLORFUL PAST: The worn buildings are adorned with colors that look as natural as patina on bronze. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)



A government fruit stand in Havana.
THIS WAY: Jasmine, our walking guide, points out a government fruit stand. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


A woman talks on a phone in an old coffee shop in Havana.

COFFEE BREAK: The coffee was strong and sweet at most shops in Havana. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©.)


[Check out more of my photos of Cuba here.]