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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Cuba experience anyone?
Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 3:34 PM on 03.09.10
->> Okay, so, while still awaiting visas ... everything else is in place for me to be going to Cuba in a couple weeks to cover an international slavery remembrance day event ... I've never been ... anyone out there who can give me insight on anything from cultural issues, logistical/technological issues would be greatly appreciated.

Sean
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 4:17 PM on 03.09.10
->> Sports Shooter Robert Caplin wrote a story for the newsletter about a year and a half ago about his trip.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/2028
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Dave Chidley, Photographer
London | Ontario | Canada | Posted: 1:17 AM on 03.11.10
->> Sean, Robert's article is very good. I remember it from when he posted it.

For those of us who live in Canada, it's not a big deal. You will find about 80% of the tourists in Cuba are from Canada.

You will find
-The people are very friendly
-English is widely spoken
-it is very poor
-there is very little crime (as my driver said would you like to be in a Cuban jail?)
-yes the food is different, and that is good
-music is great
-like everywhere some people will try to scam you but it's rare
-I felt very safe and welcomed almost everywhere
-people are a proud people
-politics is actually talked about especially casually
-cell phones are not very common
-internet is very hard to access and very shaky
-black market is alive and well especially considering you can make a month's wages in a day.
-talk to the locals in tourist industry and you will the find the help you need, be it a guide, internet, translator private car/driver etc.
-you can negotiate a car/driver for the day and they will wait for you, guide and assist, easiest way to get around
-on every side street there were friendly people and great subjects for images
-relax it's a cool place to visit

If you have any specific questions email me. I'm no expert but I've gone there with my kids and had rich, inexpensive and memorable visits.
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PF Bentley, Photographer
Planet Earth | HI | USA | Posted: 1:35 AM on 03.14.10
->> I've been there about eight times. If you have the expense account stay either at the Nacional or Cohiba in Havana. The Nacional is old style and the Cohiba newer with a nice Italian restaurant in the lobby. I'm a fan of the Nacional - the patio area out back is like some idealist idea of what Cuba is. Plus both hotels have internet.

http://www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp

http://www.solmelia.com/hotels/cuba/havana/melia-cohiba/home.htm

So much to do and see just in Havana, but get out to the countryside. Pick up people along the way who are hitchhiking, it's the nice thing to do, being you have a car. Plus you never know who you might pick up and what great photographs it may lead to. And I mean this is a good positive way.

You have to eat the both the Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, both Hemingway hangouts. See Hemingway's corner bar stool roped off in the Floridita (where they invented the Daiquiri). They keep it open just in case he comes back. :)

Great people has as been said and it's good that you're going before the American embargo is dropped (maybe after 50 years and 11 Presidents, the US will realize it's not working) and the country is tainted by American culture!

Also, go to the Press Center by the Nacional and buy your International Press Card. They are also a good resource.
If you rent a car - get the insurance since spare tires are a very hot item.

Have fun and enjoy.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 7:16 PM on 03.15.10
->> thanks for the advice all. one specific question ... outlets? do I need an adapter to plug-in?
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Thread Title: Cuba experience anyone?
Thread Started By: Sean D. Elliot
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