In February 2017, I escaped the island of Japan to visit another island -- Cuba, specifically, the beach town of Varadero. While I stayed mainly inside the resort hotel, Club Kawama, my explorer-self ventured out to the town on two different days.
Varadero town is just one long strip of a road with markets, restaurants, and local shops lining each side. I took a lot of photos while walking about four hours out and back. Please enjoy the pics.
|I love signs cause they're like art.|
|The aforementioned hotel in the previous sign.|
Off the main strip were smaller side streets, all which led to the beach or coast. Heaven, no?
Cubans are given rations for certain food items. This shop is one where locals can pick up rationed items.
Street corners all had these lovely pyramids informing us as to the street and side roads. Loved them!
The art below was attached to a chain link fence and the entire artwork was made of metal!
This is one of the many stops for the tourist bus which takes you up and down the Varadero peninsula. It costs 5 pesos for the whole day, but you can get on and off at any time. I took it and will be sure to post pics from that on another day.
Older Cubans seem to love their rocking chairs. Almost every house in town had a rocker sitting out front. I loved the wood carvings...
|This is my favorite photo I took on the trip.|
It's a little known fact that cats (well, perhaps only this cutenekko) love chocolate. According to the information inside the shop, this factory was created with a grant from the government. Of course I ordered several individual chocolates to sample. The white milky one was my favorite...
|I had to eat those quickly...they melted pretty darn fast!!|
|Me? Why yes daah-ling, I'm Catholic. All the good ones are! (courtesy of Twitter)|
All right, this is the real Elvira....church.
Spanish architecture was all over the town. Many had been converted into shops (first floor) and apartments (upper floors).
Little known fact #2: I have a thing for cactus. When I was 15, my father drove our family around Arizona, Utah and Nevada and I got to see my first real cacti. It later influenced my high school art projects. The shape and simplicity of cacti are just beautiful to me. The cactus below was in front of a Spanish steak restaurant called El Toro.
Vendors sold a mix of things in their shops along the road -- leather goods, such as purses and wallets (really well made), license plates, beads, clothes, hats, hammocks...and of course cigars. I avoided the cigar shops because I had a grand half-day tour while at a cigar club in Bangkok. Visit THIS PAGE to read about that experience....
I hope you enjoyed walking the streets with me in Varadero, Cuba. Visit again as I will post photographs from area which were seen from the vantage point of the open-air tourist bus.
~ Enjoy walking!
Cuba is located in the Caribbean, about 103 miles off the coast of Florida, USA. The island is a favorite winter destination for Canadians. It takes about 4 hours by plane from Toronto.
Varadero is a famous beach resort area on the island. All-inclusive resorts are the norm here. Cost per night ranges from $80 ~ 300 USD per night. Visit Trivago to see hotels and prices.
Very safe for women - only beware of pickpockets. When visiting the markets or vendors, haggle for a bargain. Cubans won't be offended if you walk away and are polite if you decline to buy anything.
November to April. Hurricanes in August to September.