Tag: salsa

havana again | cuba

travel August 25, 2014

I returned to havana with fresh eyes. I didn’t feel the love when I first arrived but wanted to give it another chance – after all, my whole experience of Cuba had been a tempestuous one! I felt that in the past two weeks I had learnt a lot about Cuba and the culture and Cuba had taught me a lot about just relaxing, enjoying and living.

I started walking the streets in a different manner. The whistles and kissing noises didn’t seem to bother me anymore, I was happy to eat at the same two restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner two days in a row, the tall narrow streets no longer made me feel uneasy, and I drank rum, danced on rooftops and smoked cigars with the locals. I left Cuba in lust, ready to go back again sometime soon and fall completely in love.

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santiago de cuba | cuba

travel August 21, 2014

So in Santiago de Cuba I fell – right on the curb, with bottles of water in my hands, in the middle of the street. It wasn’t like I tripped on something, my ankle just decided to give up on me for a second and I literally just fell forward onto the street. I picked myself up and laughed it off, but in my head I just wanted to be a child and cry! I was just starting to feel better after being sick for a few days and my day so far hadn’t been awesome – a lot of little things seemed to have got the better of me.

As I was walking away feeling sorry for myself I looked around at where I was and felt like giving myself a slap in the face. I was in Cuba, a country that has definitely had its fair share of bad days and at a much larger scale than I ever have and still seemed to carry on in a incredibly happy manner. So I did what any Cuban would do – I went and brought myself a 5 peso slice of pizza, ate a scoop of ice cream from the coppelia, had a rum, listened to music on the streets and went dancing!

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trinidad | cuba

travel August 17, 2014

Since arriving in Cuba I had been battling a serious love/hate relationship with the country. I had always anticipated that I would love everything about Cuba, but I didn’t. There were some things that I found confronting, confusing and at times frustrating.

One thing in particular was the language barrier and that was purely my own fault. I had managed to get my way through situations while travelling through Guatemala and Mexico with my limited Spanish, but Cuba was not allowing me to break through. The accent and the way the Cubans spoke was different and I struggled to understand and converse, which in turn left me travelling completely on the outside of the culture, something that I really didn’t like.

But with every hate, there was a love, and in Trinidad it was salsa! You didn’t need to understand Spanish to be able to dance and I was taught by some of the best teachers you could ask for – the Cuban locals! We danced at every opportunity we had – on the rooftop terrace, the steps of casa de la musica, in the streets, and at the incredible cave nightclub. And when the night was over, we slept and woke up ready to do it all again.

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cienfuegos | cuba

travel August 9, 2014

As soon as we arrived in Cienfuegos, we heard music flowing from down the street, so we followed it to find a group of some of the happiest people I have ever seen. They were dancing, singing, drinking rum and having a grand party. They weren’t celebrating anything in particular, just the fact that it was Sunday and they were able to do all these things. The happiness on their faces was contagious and before we knew it, we had all been pulled into the middle of the group and were dancing, singing and smiling just as much as they were.

Later that night we found ourselves following the music once more. We could hear the music while walking down the mal├ęcon and could see lights being projected into the sky. This wasn’t a Sunday afternoon congregation, but a night club full of young locals. Nevertheless they all had the same glow of happiness on their faces and a love for music that had been passed down through the generations.

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