Perhaps Havana’s most beloved streets is Paseo de Martí or simply known as the Prado, a beautiful, long promenade that divides Old Havana from Central Havana and is the place to see and be seen. Back in the days of Cuba’s glory before the revolution, the Prado was the place for Havana’s wealthy elite to take a stroll, have a cup of coffee or relax along this long tree-lined promenade.
Today, the Prado still continues to have her charm and is the place where the young enjoy skating, biking, hanging out or playing music. There are also lots of beautiful buildings and hotels around the Prado where you can sit out on a verandah and watch the world go by.
On a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon I took a walk down the Prado to take some photos. Here is what I found.
There is glorious architecture lining the Prado as well but sadly a lot of it is in various states of deterioration. Restoration has not fully hit this part of town like it has in Old Havana. But beautiful buildings still remain and are quite grand.
I enjoyed watching the street life and of course capturing the old cars streaming down the street. Saturday also meant wedding day and I saw lots of old convertibles cruising down the Prado with ecstatic newlyweds.
It was fun to see all the families outside enjoying the afternoon together. There was music playing everywhere and I enjoyed the playful rhythm of the salsa and son.
As the afternoon passed by, the Prado became more alive with people, music and energy. Despite the challenges of living in a Communist state, Cubans have a way of enjoying life with passion and grace.
I couldn’t help myself from taking lots of photos of the Prado. I found it a magical place.
As I continued along further away from the Sea, the Prado was lined with fancy tourist hotels with outdoor cafes and bars. Oh how I wish I would have had time to stop and have a mojito on the verandah. But unfortunately my schedule was booked.
After an hour, it was time to hail a cab and head back to the hotel. We had more meetings scheduled for the afternoon on our “people to people” tour. Next stop would be a visit to a children’s dance theater. Then we would enjoy one last meal in Havana before heading south the next morning to the lovely UNESCO World Heritage town of Trinidad.
I love these photos they’re really good! They really show the character of the place 🙂
Thanks so much! 🙂 I appreciate it!
Absolutely stunning photos – thank you for sharing
It really captures the old world charm.
Thanks Leslie! Cuba is such a photogenic place!!!
To be sure.
The marble benches look beautiful. I imagien you sitting there capturing these wonderful images for us. But no time for a mojito? 🙁
Thanks Sue! Yes unfortunately being on a stick tour I had to follow all the rules and only had small blocks of free time! I used every bit of it doing like photo walks like this. But no worries as I had more than my share of mojitos!
I try to imagine a day when enough money is coming in to Cuba to help the people earn a viable wage and restore some of these buildings to their former glory…what a sight that would be. I love those marble benches.
Yes so true Jo. I wonder what the future will be and if Cuba will open up. If tourism money got in there even more than now I bet it would help. It would change it too but hopefully for the better.
Nicole, what fascinates through your street photography is the past in the present. There is so much to be said about the cars vs. clothes (1950s vs. 2000s). It speaks volumes about their culture and economy. Then there is the historical architecture vs, the neglected buildings and homes. But as you’ve pointed out, the people impress with their philosophy of life. Oh, an there fabulous music.
Sally, great point. Yes, that is true. So much past juxtaposed with the present. That explains Cuba perfectly. 🙂
Wonderful images.I’d love to visit Cuba and maybe that’s in my future, if I keep my fingers crossed.
Thanks! So glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂
I keep thinking we had to be in Cuba at the same or close to the same time. What group did you travel with? I’m enjoying seeing through your eyes.
Yes! I went with InsightCuba. They were fabulous. These pictures were taken when I was on my own though as I always used every small break to explore. Who did you go with Lulu?
U of Texas trip with Go Next.
These old buildings are so glorious… Really enjoy the tour. Thank you for these beautiful images, Nicole!
Thanks Amy! 🙂
You really do take the best pics, Nicole. Such beautiful architecture, and of course, to see those iconic cars, always gives me goosies. 🙂
Ah thanks so much Sylvia. That means a lot to me!!!! 🙂
Imagine how the Prado must have looked and felt in its heyday! Thanks for the tour Nicole. 🙂
Yes it must have been amazing. Hope you are doing well LuAnn! 🙂 Where are you now? Last I read you were in DC.
We are still here in DC, workamping at a park just outside of DC.
Oh that’s right. I forgot for a moment until you reminded me! Hope it is going well. 🙂
Love the wedding car! Why didn’t I do it in that style 🙂 And that wonderful old building with the girl and child on the balcony, next to the falling apart one. All of life, Nicole! 🙂 Have a happy weekend!
Ha Ha. Yes the wedding car is so fun! I loved this street in Cuba!
Hello from the future. Havana is decaying a little, but still glorious. And wedding couples still parade down Prado!
Yes I can only imagine. It was when I was there. I’d love to go back. Hope you enuoyed it!