When in Rome, smoke a cigar

This past June as I sat in the HI Hostel in New York watching the top ten videos (mine included) in the 2nd annual Nomading Film Festival I saw a film about Cuba called “Incubation“. As the film started to play and the audience realized it was about Cuba, the room fell silent. My first thought was “Oh I’ve been to Cuba, ya that is what its like.” Then I realized I was sitting in a room, in New York full of Americans, many never having seen images like this of a place where they are banned from visiting. Ultimately this video won one of the awards at the film festival, I’m not sure if it was just because of the audience loving the peak into the unknown or its great cinematography or all of the above.

Watching that video inspired me to write about my trip to Cuba in 2009 before I started blogging. I went on an all-inclusive trip with two girlfriends to the area called Cayo Guillermo just under a 6 hour drive away from the capital of Havana. The seven day trip was filled with a lot of lounging by the pool, drinking rum, eating buffet food, swimming, a spa day, dancing the night away and typical all-inclusive resort activities. It also included a day trip into one of the near by cities called “Moron” (pronounced Mor-own with a Spanish accent). Even though it was just a day trip to the city and we didn’t have much free time to ourselves I felt that I got to see a nice taste of this interesting, history filled little country.

Here is my photo essay from my trip to Cuba:

The streets of Moron were filled with gorgeous old architecture.

 

We visited an old sugar cane factory where they made sugar and rum from sugar cane. These guys were leaning out the windows whistling at us. Aside from a few whistles and hisses here and there the people that we met in Cuba were some of the nicest most welcoming people I had ever met.

 

Typical street scene in Moron, Cuba. Lots of pastel colors everywhere and of course old cars.

Friends doing yoga on the beach, you could walk out at waist level into the warm ocean forever until it turned dark blue.

 

 One of many old cars in the streets.

 We visited a crocodile farm and got to hold the small ones.

 These two kiteboarders were the top female kiteboarders in the world, in Cuba for a magazine photo shoot.

 While in Moron, Cuba we were taken to a cigar factory. The women who work there must make a minimum of 230 Cigars a day.

 I think I fit in quite nicely. They were more than happy to have me sit down with them and after this photo was taken the two ladies even taught me how to roll a cigar and then stuck a free one in my purse for me to enjoy later.

 But then I might of slightly gotten carried away…

 Pretty Cigar photo.

 Walked all the way from shore and the water still wasn’t above my waist. Gorgeous beaches.

 More cigar art.

Have you ever visited Cuba? If you are from US the would you want to visit?