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For someone who doesn’t spend much time in churches, I love old cathedrals. The Havana Cathedral, or Catedral de La Habana, didn’t disappoint. It’s a shame they don’t build them like this anymore.

My Nikon GP-1 Died Here

I’m a fan of adding geodata to my photos. Partly because I like seeing the places I’ve been pop up on a map, but also because it helps other photographers if they want to know where I found some location. The app called Stuck On Earth depends upon like-minded people to share geodata so others can discover places. It’s crowd-sourcing and I try to contribute as much as I use it.

Sadly, my Nikon GP-1 that I’ve used to tag so many photos bit the dust inside the Havana Cathedral. It’s never had a happy relationship with my D800. The ten-pin connector never fit quite nicely into the port on the D800. In fact, I pushed so hard while in St. Lucia that I dislodged my ten-pin port and had to send the camera off for repair.

On the other hand, the ten-pin connector on my MC-36 intervalometer fits perfectly. No jamming, no fuss. It slides right in place without any problem.

For this trip, the D800 decided to fight back. The GP-1 was hit and miss through the trip, but the ten-pin connector finally snapped off the GP-1 while I was in the Havana Cathedral. Fortunately, it waited until I snapped my last set of brackets. Although I couldn’t get a GPS signal inside the cathedral, it still provided a port for my shutter release.

Once I hit the last frame, I heard the sound of broken plastic as the D800 managed to spit out the connector. Farewell to my GP-1.

Inside the Havana Cathedral

Now, this is what I expect from a church. Columns, domes, and art! It beats anything I ever found in Orlando. Apparently, they built the thing mostly out of coral. That surprised me, as I’ve always heard that coral was a poor construction material and would ultimately disintegrate. As this cathedral has been around for a couple of hundred years, maybe it’s better than I thought.

One of the things I truly enjoyed about Cuba was visiting buildings with a sense of grandeur. Not just here in the Havana Cathedral, but also in other buildings with marble floors and stairs, wonderful stained glass art, and ornate ironwork. It provokes a much better sense of place than another glass office building or apartment complex made from plywood and Tyvek.

This is the kind of work that men performed by hand when they could take the time to be craftsmen. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

Havana Cathedral

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