For most of us the chance to get away is a luxury in short supply. Annual leave is strategically used to best optimise your time – hours are spent scouring the internet for the right destination, flights and hotel, and pennies saved away each paycheck just to cover the train ticket to the airport. Travel is my passion, and I’m lucky enough to do it frequently and blog about it here – but I also have a full-time, demanding career which pays for my (relatively) expensive hobby. So for me, like many, the planning stages of a trip are the most important parts – hours spent calculating how many trips are possible this year, looking for deals daily, and getting inspiration and envy from Instagram – but the most difficult part is often making that final decision of where to go. Planning is the make or break of a stress free trip.
1. It’s Insanely Photogenic
The streets lined with tiled cafes and ornate churches are pretty enough, but hit the Riberia and you’ll get mesmerised by the Duoro and the scene stealing Bridge. You’ll want to capture every panorama, then start it all again once the light changes or you walk along a few feet.
One of the most unusual experiences when visiting Cuba’s the lack of advertising – it’s something you don’t consciously think about at home, but once you hit the sun soaked streets it’s noticeably absent. There are no flyers on lampposts, or even jingles over the radio in taxis. Instead, the only disruption you may see to the authentic Cuban vistas are messages from the government, often in the form of propaganda murals. It’s safe to say Cuba has more Che Guevara stencils than all the bedrooms of teenage boys combined. In this post I’ve included some examples of these public propaganda symbols from my travels through the country.
I never know quite what to expect with both exhibitions or events, so I was pleasantly surprised by the blogger launch party at the LUMAS gallery. Located on south Milton street amongst designer stores, LUMAS is a surprisingly accessible art gallery focusing on contemporary photography. While there is plenty of craft and artistry in the showcased work, it is lacking in the pomp and pretension I had feared. Instead, themes of vivid colour, exploration, glamour and beauty were core to most of the pieces.
Given the transient nature of street art I always mean to shoot more photos of the pieces I see around Shoreditch, and with the start of 2016 and a new iPhone on hand, I’m making a conscious effort to do just that.