Camagüey the great unknown jewel of darkness
Most tourists go to Havana, Trinidad or maybe Santiago de Cuba. Hidden in the middle of these three cities are Camagüey. This is Cuba’s third largest city on dusty plains in the middle of nowhere. Camagüey is a long way from Trinidad but even longer from Havana or Santiago de Cuba. For me it was an eight hour long bus ride from Santiago de Cuba arriving at the hotel in the middle of the night. Most people go to bed at that time but Camagüey fantastic photographic opportunities surprised me. It was darkness like a Charles Dickens city with colors, shades and reflections from the colonial buildings. I grab my camera and tripod for a several hour long stroll through the darky Camagüey.
. This was in the middle of summer then Camagüeyans goes to sleep during the day and wake up well after sun set. The city was living up in the middle of the night then the oppressive heat of the day has given way to a comfortable breeze of the night.
The core of the old city Centre is built with irregular meandering labyrinths of streets. These odd shaped cobble stoned streets lit up by the yellowish light from the streetlamps created the darkness mystery of Charles Dickens from old London times. The streets was devoid-of-light but not of people. A long the walls of the colonial buildings in the dark shades of the night people were sitting in their chairs people watching.
If one follows the stray light from one of the street lamps into the darky areas of the wall, one was greeted with a warm smile from a lit up face. For a walk in the night Camagüey can be far more rewarding than even Habana Vieja in Havana.
Havana is the crumbling colonial city alluring tourists, photographer and art directors from every corner around the world. While Camaguey’s very well maintained and carefully stored core of historical building from vanishing times goes unnoticed.
. If one visits Camagüey as a tourist one might have the whole city for one self. Most tourists go to Cuba for a party in Havana or in Santiago de Cuba while the darkness of Camagüey is a photographer’s party. If arriving Camagüey in the late evening don´t go to bed you will miss the great unknown jewel of darkness.
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