Cuba: Where Eras Collide

airtransat By airtransat / 15 July 2015

Cuba: Where Eras Collide

airtransat By airtransat

Article originally published in the Atmosphere magazine. Read the latest edition here.

Cuba has evolved at a pace all its own, and the Cuban people have developed a solidarity and a warmth unique to themselves, which they are only too happy to share.

A perfect mix of vintage and modern

Comfortably settled at an outdoor café, we watch the carnival-like parade of Cuban transport. An ancient Chevrolet with impressive scarlet fins, a pale green Lada backfiring as it ambles by, a horse-drawn wagon whose occupants fly into the air with every step, a caballero atop his horse, and several bicycles: it is a typical scene, repeated daily all over Cuba, surely the world’s most eclectic automobile show. Here, on the Caribbean’s largest island, bygone eras coexist comfortably with the present.

The Cubans’ legendary warmth and generosity

Watching Nené handle his machete, a cigar in his mouth, in the middle of a sugar cane field protected by the hills and windbreak of palm trees, it’s obvious that he belongs to a time long past. This septuagenarian never goes anywhere without his straw hat firmly planted on his head. He cultivates the small plot of land that has been passed down from father to son for three generations, growing not only sugar but also just about every fruit possible under the sun and warm rains of Cuba: pineapples, coconut, guavas, mangoes, bananas, oranges, avocados and papayas. He’s delighted to share the fruits of his labours with his visitors, as long as they’re ripe, of course.

A farmer of sugar cane and his cigar

Surprising? Not in Cuba, where sharing and helping out are second nature. In the countryside as in the city, gestures of solidarity are common currency. Just take a look at the roads, where you’ll see Cuban-style carpooling happening everywhere. If they have some space in their ancient Chevy or their noisy Lada, motorists don’t think twice about giving needy people a lift. It’s economical and it’s safe. In Cuba, wherever you are, day or night, you’re always safe.

And Cubans are warm. On the sidewalks, at a cafeteria counter or at the beach, visitors to Cuba are always taken aback the first time they hear a perfect stranger greet them with “Hola, mi amorrrr!”, with an “r” sound that goes on forever. A simple, friendly custom kept alive by the warmth of the Caribbean.

Find information about Cuba and all-inclusive packages in Cuba here.

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

You might also like

Arts and culture Discoveries Food and Drink

5 reasons to spend a long weekend in Toronto

By Catherine Maisonneuve

Often described as the New York of Canada, Toronto is a vast multicultural metropolis that has been primarily known as a major business destination. But...

#Artsandculture, #Canada, #Discoveries, #FoodAndDrink, #NorthAmerica

On board Tips and tricks

Travelling in the age of COVID-19: Eight tips to enjoy your trip safely and with ease

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed the way we travel. Indeed, the various players in the tourism industry, from airlines to hotels...

#Onboard, #TipsandTricks, #Trucsetastuces

Discoveries

12 Most Beautiful UNESCO Sites in Europe

By Marie-Eve Vallieres

As the birthplace of many great civilisations and as the continent that colonised the New World and beyond, it goes without saying that Europe is...

#Belgium, #Croatia, #CzechRepublic, #Discoveries, #England, #Europe, #France, #Greece, #Hungary, #Ireland, #Italy, #Netherlands, #Spain

Arts and culture Discoveries

7 Things You May Not Know About the Pyramids of the World

By Marie-Julie Gagnon

It's not only in Egypt that pyramids spark curiosity. In Latin America, these mysterious constructions attract travellers from around the world. Here are some...

#Artsandculture, #Artsetculture, #Discoveries, #Mexico, #South

Activities Tips and tricks

Picture This: Tips on Snapping Amazing Vacation Photos

Our photographer reveals tips on snapping amazing vacation photos. Find the light The best times to catch good light is just after sunrise and before...

#Atmosphere, #TipsandTricks

Trending

Quiz: What Type of Traveller Are You?

Canadians listen to them every morning on the hit radio show The Roz & Mocha Show. But you know what they say: you don’t...

#Atmosphere, #Trending