Postcards from the past: How Cuba has changed in seven years

Posted: 18-Mar-16 11:24

Having first visited Cuba in 2008, traveller Robert Lang returned to the island nation this year to discover how the country has changed since American travel restrictions have been relaxed. While there, he captured some stunning images that encapsulate precisely why record numbers of tourists are currently flocking to Cuba.

Postcards from the past: How Cuba has changed in seven years

When Robert Lang first visited Cuba in 2008, he was a bright-eyed traveller venturing to the country for the first time. What Lang found there certainly left an indelible mark on his psyche, but now – some seven years on with the country in the grip of a tourism boom – would the picturesque vistas from his memory be replaced by chain eateries and franchise coffee houses?

Reporting for the Mail Online, Lang recently returned to Cuba and documented his trip in stunning detail, with intimate photographs of the country's residents and their homes providing a rarely-seen peak behind the curtain of Cuban life. Though times have changed and Cuba has changed with them, it would seem that the island nation has retained the charm that left such an impression on Lang.

"It was like no country I have ever been to before. My love for it had lingered throughout all these years, but I questioned whether it would be the same and – by returning seven years on – would the memories I had of it be ruined by the fact that I was older and a different type of traveller than I was in my twenties?"

Wrote Lang in his blog for the Mail Online.

The seven year itch

Taxi-ing from city to city in classic American cars and staying in casa particulares – homes of Cuban locals that offer guest accommodation at an affordable rate – Lang's re-experiencing of the country was vividly captured through the lens of his camera; and though the once empty cobble-stone streets are now teeming with tourists, his snaps show that in many respects, Cuba remains unspoilt.

True, the country's children may now be sporting Nike Air trainers and the formerly quiet cafes of Havana are now bursting at the seams with Americans clutching their travel guides, but the iconic billboards of Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos and Fidel Castro remain just as prominent as ever as Cuba's notoriously dangerous drivers whizz down pot-holed streets in their Chevrolets and Buicks.

"Overall, not much has changed in Cuba and it still has the same qualities that make it such a unique country. It still has to be the greatest country I have ever visited and I will be sure to see it again in another seven years."

Concluded Lang after seeing in New Year in the old colonial town of Trinidad.


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