Guest Post: Cheryl Howard in Havana

Hello, dear readers!

In case you didn’t catch the announcement I made on Friday’s post (click HERE to read it), I’m here to remind you that I will be on the road for the next 6 weeks (maybe more if I can’t shake the travel bug in time!) trekking through Central America.

Since I won’t be bringing my computer with me, I have called upon some of my favourite bloggers to contribute a guest post. Usually, the guest posts will appear every Thursday, but today is an exception :) I wanted to start the blog-week off with a bang instead of keeping you waiting until Thursday.  The very talented Cheryl Howard of was up for the challenge and has supplied us with a pant-load of gorgeous photography.

Are you ready for a bit of Cuban flavour? I thought so ;) Here’s Cheryl:

The town of Havana in colourful Cuba!

I got lost and wandered down this street in Old Havana. Getting lost along random streets brings you lovely surprises such as this - vibrantly colored flowers hanging over the roadway.

The architecture in Havana is a mishmash of many different styles including Colonial and Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Contemporary and Modern.

La Habana Vieja (Old Havana) is the city’s most stunning neighbourhood.  Built in Baroque and Neoclassical fashions, the area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sadly this city, so full of beautiful architecture, is suffering from decay and neglect. As much as the government sets out to repair historical landmarks, Cuba is a poor nation and restoration is an expensive endeavor.  Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for locals to be injured or killed when balconies fall off the side of buildings.

Statue of Gustavo Ameijeiras Delgado, a Revolutionary Brother.

Locals standing on their balconies, in a decaying yet gorgeous building that may not be safe for them to live.

As I walked around the streets of Old Havana (making sure not to walk under any balconies), I took in the glory of various sites. I checked out El Malecon, an 8 KM roadway and seawall, fell in love with the beauty of Plaza De San Francisco, home to a 16th century basilica and monastery and laughed at how El Capitolio looks strangely similar to the American Whitehouse.

El Malecon, said to inspire poets, is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike

Industry along the Malecon - I wonder what this boy is thinking about as he stares out at the sea.

Fountain and façade of Convento de San Francisco de Asis.

Street near Near Plaza de San Francisco.

El Capitolio, Cuba's “Whitehouse”. Locals cheekily joke how it’s bigger than then the American version.

While there were castles, churches and museums to go inside and visit, I never entered one single building. I put away my guidebook and maps and walked for hours, snapping photo after photo. When I was tired, I hired a “cowboy” (he had a hat) to take me around in a horse-drawn carriage. It’s another great way to see La Habana Vieja, not to mention very romantic.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of the Royal Force) - The oldest stone fortress in the Americas.

Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes Cuba contains colonial and contemporary forms of art.

Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula, another beautiful church in Old Havana.

An old taxi cab in La Habana Vieja - As iconic as it gets, a 60 year old American car set against the backdrop of Colonial architecture.

Convento de San Francisco de Asis, the basilica and the monastery of San Francisco de Asis located in Plaza De San Francisco.

Hire a horse drawn carriage to take you through Old Havana.

My name is Cheryl Howard – I’m a Canadian girl conquering the world one country at a time and documenting my experiences on – all about travel and food, books & movies as it relates to travel.

Thank you so much for contributing this guest post, Cheryl. Your photographs are stunning – Old Havana truly is a gem, and it sounds like you had a wonderful time wandering around and stumbling upon some gorgeous vistas.

Dear readers: Please do check out Cheryl’s blog – Her posts are jam-packed with entertaining stories and great photographs. I know you’ll want to keep in touch with Cheryl in every way possible, so be sure to follow her on twitter, @cdngrrleh, and join her Facebook fan page:

Stay tuned on Thursday for another fabulous guest post by the ever-so-sweet and bubbly Shannon, the brains behind What’s Up Whimsy!

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