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I Traveled to Cuba! Here are the First Gorgeous Photos.

A stunning view of Trinidad, Cuba.

A lush view of Trinidad, Cuba. What a beautiful place!

Cuba is one of my favorite places I have ever traveled, but I have never written about my 2008 trip… that is, until now.

You see, for the past 50 years, it has been illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba, except in rare circumstances. Finally, however, it looks as through the travel ban between Cuba and the U.S. will be lifted!

Me posing with a donkey and yellow wall in Trinidad, Cuba because... why not?

Me with a donkey and yellow wall in Trinidad, Cuba.

Once I saw the news that relations with Cuba were thawing, I immediately contacted my friend Oliver, with whom I’d taken that 2008 trip.

“Oliver!” I said, breathless. “Can I go through those 800 photos you took of our Cuba trip and edit the best ones? I want to publish them into articles!” (2008 was before I bought my first camera for the 2009 launch of this blog, so I always used to mooch off the photos of friends.) Oliver kindly agreed to contribute his pictures to the effort, and thus I spent the next seven hours getting these luscious photos ready to lure YOU to Cuba. Are they working yet?

Okay, okay -- no post on Cuba is complete without the fancy old-fashioned cars.

No post on Cuba is complete without the fancy old-fashioned cars… and there are plenty!

The truth is that Cuba has haunted my mind with its beauty, joy, intellect, and sadness for the past six years. If you are on the fence about visiting this legendary island when the doors for travel open, I highly suggest you leap at the opportunity — and fast — before everything completely changes.

Here's a REALLY old-fashioned vehicle. Ahh, Cuba...

Here’s a REALLY old-fashioned vehicle. Ahh, Cuba…

I am now in the process of dividing our edited Cuba photos into three articles which will be published this month. The second Cuba article will show Havana, and go more deeply into the politics of the country. It will also reveal the powerful confessions local people told about their lives.

Cuba has some of the most incredible beaches in the world.

Cuba has unreal beaches. Look at those colors!

The third article will focus on Viñales: one of the most uniquely beautiful towns on Earth. So, you may ask, what is the theme of this article? Here’s my answer: Trinidad, and beauty.

Lovely local ladies smiling in Trinidad, Cuba.

Lovely local ladies smiling in Trinidad, Cuba.

All of the photos in this article were taken during our stay in the glorious seaside town in the southwest of Cuba called Trinidad. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can see why: Charming cobblestone streets, brightly colored houses, mountains, creamy white clouds in a blue sky… and an out-of-this-world beach.

These pastel houses and cobblestone streets are dreamy.

These pastel houses and cobblestone streets are dreamy.

As you can see from the Trinidad beach photos throughout this article, Cuba has ridiculous beaches: white sand, azure sea (warm as a bathtub), and swaying green palms. Like most of Cuba, it also boasts historic colonial architecture dating back to 1514 when the town was settled by the Spanish.

A small pizza place in Trinidad, Cuba.

A small pizza place in Trinidad, Cuba.

Like every other town we visited in Cuba, the local people were friendly and fun. We kept in touch for years with locals we met in Trinidad, though it was difficult for them to obtain Internet access to write to us.

Historic buildings mix with blue sky and palm trees in Cuba.

Historic buildings mix with blue sky and palm trees in Cuba.

That said, the time to talk politics and logistics will come (in the next article, in fact), but for now, I just want to swim in the beauty of Trinidad with you for a little. Scroll through the rest of these Trinidad photos and feel what you feel!

Here's another incarnation of Cuban blues.

One incarnation of Cuban blues.

This is me enjoying the beach and sun in Trinidad, Cuba.

This is me being silly on the sunny beach in Trinidad, Cuba.

Even waiting for a bus looks beautiful in front of a building that color.

Even waiting for a bus looks beautiful in front of a building that color.

Blue doesn't get any better than that azure ocean of Trinidad, Cuba.

Blue doesn’t get any better than that azure ocean of Trinidad, Cuba.

So what do you think? Does Trinidad, Cuba seem like a place you’d like to go? Have YOU been to Cuba? Do share! More Cuba articles are coming very soon, so stay tuned.

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