MY FIRST EXPERIENCE OF CUBA could not have been more different from my second. My first visit was for a wedding in Varadaro, a kind of “roped off” resort area. The endless mojitos were killer but I knew there was an entire culture I wasn’t reaching, and that I’d have to come back.
So, I came back — four years later — this time walking on average 15km a day, camera in hand, and with no agenda. I crossed the invisible border (the Passio de Prado, which runs along the Capitol Building) that seems to keep tourists in the safe zone of Old Havana, and explored out into Centro, Vedado, Cerro, and Miramar, as well as taking a side trip to Trinidad. It felt like around every corner was a new scene, a new side of Cuba or person to meet, a new aspect to consider. Here are 16 moments from my wanderings that surprised me, brought me joy, and have left an impact on me long after I departed.