I'd like to thank the moderators for allowing me to post images to an older thread. I had been a member of Airliners.net for only 1 year when I took my trip to Cuba. At that time, older threads were not archived in the other forums. I posted many photos of my Cuba trip in this thread as well as Civil & Non-Aviation.
Unfortunately, the site that hosted my images (Webphotos) went belly up without notice. I foolishly did not save a digital copy of my prints from that trip after I had uploaded my photos to that site.
So all of those scanned images only existed in my photo album. (these were all taken with a 35mm film camera).
Also, I wasn't too detailed in my initial trip report and had a few misspelled words.
So here goes......
|Quoting Superfly (Reply 37):|
I'll post more pictures when I have time to scan more.
8 years later but I kept my promise.
Check in at Cancun (CUN
) was rather unusual. There were no 'Cubana' check in counters at CUN
. Me & my girlfriend at the time
were searching up & down the terminal looking for the Cubana ticketing counter.
We asked several airport personnel and they all pointed us to Mexicana. That added to our frustration which started that morning at the hotel we stayed at. That is another story in it's own right
Eventually a lady with a fast Cuban-Spanish accent started shouting out loud and pulled out a large sheet of paper and threw it over the Mexicana sign. She started writing with a blue marker CUBANA!
That was the make shift Cubana check-in counter.
We stood in line for about 10 minutes. When it was our turn, the lady pointed us to an old man a few feet away that looked like an angrier version of Fidel Castro with sunglasses and a 3-piece wool suit. Nevermind the fact that it's June.
We handed him our papers and he gives me & my girlfriend a hard stare up & down and then reaches in to an old briefcase.
He hands us an envelope and gives us a huge smile. I'll never forget the shine from his gold tooth when he smiled as he handed us our tickets and visa. His smile told us 'we were in for a really good time'.
His smile said a thousand words and they were all correct!
The flight was amazing!
Even though all announcements were in Spanish, I understood most of what they were saying as it's the same in just about any flight. The roar & whistle of the Soloviev D30KU turbofans are just incredible!
Long takeoff roll and gradual accent like most Russian/Soviet aircraft. That was OK
because the drinks were served shortly after takoff rotation.
I took this photo after we landed in Havana and everyone else exited the aircraft.
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Photo © Larry Jackson
After customs check in, we hire a taxi to our hotel. Our taxi was a brand new Lada.
Blue with black vinyl interior. Ideal for the hot & humid weather in Cuba, NOT!
I swear, those cars have no shocks what so ever. Felt every bump and pothole in that car but was thrilled to be riding in a Russian car for the first time.
This sign greets you as you exit Jose Marti International terminal.
Did lots of sightseeing throughout Havana.
Some of the friendliest people I've met and was amazing to see so many talented artist; musicians, painters, dancers, spoken word, street theater, etc
Here is a street performance of some spoken word presentation on stilts.
Capitol building in Havana.
I just hate it when people just don't know how to focus and center a picture!
That is supposed to read Revolucion.
That is at Revolucion Plaza.
Native Cubans often greet tourist and get to know them and ask if they can show you around. We met a cool couple that was thrilled to hang out and show us around. The guy was a saxophone player that had performed in East Germany, Poland, USSR
, China and even here in the USA.
There was a house party at his family's house and they rounded up many random tourist and friends to just hang out and drink, eat and listen to some good live music.
This lady was over 80 years old and still had lots of energy and was able to sing & dance and party out with the rest of the youngin's.
The old American cars alone is worth the trip to Cuba. Amazing to see how many 45+ year old American cars were still running on a shoestring budget most Cubans earn. That is proof that the United States makes the best cars in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the taxis I rode in was a 1947 (?) Plymouth with linoleum floors and 3-on-the-tree manual transmission and diesel engine.
Can anyone point out what kind of car this is?
Only in Cuba can you see a nice classic American car sharing the road with a Russian/Soviet car.
Streets of Havana after the rain.
We purposely boycotted places like Veradero where native Cubans aren't allowed. We made the trip to get a taste of what life is like for ordinary Cubans and NOT hang around other tourist.
Went to a beach with the locals about 1.5 hours outside of Havana. The ride out there was interesting. A tractor-trailer that once carried cattle was converted to carry passengers. Linoleum floors, school chairs and a wire with a naked light-buld hanging from the ceiling was the 'bus' out to the beach. (sorry I don't have pictures of that)
The beaches were amazing!
Turquoise blue water, white sand beach and beautiful women!
didn't include many beach images as they almost all have my ex in them
Back in Havana, had to do more sightseeing.
Rode in a Coco-Taxi.
Damn that driver was cute!
I am going back to Havana and find her!
He had a flat tire as Havana has many potholes. I insisted on changing the tire but she would not let me. She just wanted me to hold the taxi upright while she changed the tire. It's seemed routine for her.
While in the in the Coco taxi, rode past the Cubana and Aeroflot ticketing office and had to get a photo in front like any other aviation geek.
Standing in front of Hotel Nacional.
That is the top hotel in Havana.
It cost a whopping $95 a night to stay there!
Accommodations at the hotel we stayed at was very nice.
Here are a few views from our room.
The hotel had a house band that performed and they were INCREDIBLE!
This was the first/only time I've seen a skinny lady playing a baritone saxophone. That is usually a fat guy instrument as a large lung capacity is required to play such an instrument.
They were moving so fast, it was hard to get a good photo.
Afro-Cuban performers with the live band.
Drinkjng and partying out with the locals.
Dancing with fine Cuban lady.
Made it out to the Malecon before our flight home.
I really like this photo I took of the Havana skyline prior to sunset.
The fun came to an end and it was time to return home.
The return flight was supposed to be on a Yak-42D but we had an equipment sub for the same IL
-62 we flew in on.
I was so happy it wasn't an A320!
Had to enjoy a cigar before the leaving Cuba.
Yak-42D coming in for landing as we taxi for takeoff.
Long takeoff roll.
Notice the AN
-24s and the AOM DC-10 in the background.
-62 converted in to a restaurant down on the ground.
Rainbow over the Gulf Of Mexico.
Shores of Mexico.
Flight from Cancun was on a Mexicana 727-200 Nuevo Laredo (XA-MEH)
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Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum
It was the pilots last day.
We had the 12(?) soldier salute on push back.
Then took off like a bat out of hell!
That pilot was flying the plane the entire time and it was a thrill flying in to Mexico City.
After the flight, there were plenty of champagne bottles popping in the terminal as it wa his last day flying.
Overall, it was a very fun and memorable time!
Great people, beaches, music, women, cars and aircraft.