Hemingway spent a lot of time in Cuba. He loved the people and the country. He wrote many of his books here, some in his hotel room in Havana and some in his home in the country, now a museum. We visited two of his favorite bar / restaurants.
La Bodeguita is a tiny hole in the wall that seats maybe twenty. It was packed with tourists drinking severely overpriced, watered down mojitos. We stuck our heads in for a breath of the atmosphere and moved on.
El Floridita is a bit larger with a old fashioned bar and a bronze statue of Papa sitting on his favorite corner stool. The daiquiri's were also overpriced and reportedly not the same quality as Hemingway drank here. We paused for a few photos but said “No, gracias” to the daiquiri's.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
These are relics from the 1962 "Cuban Missile Crisis" and below is the offices across the bay from Havana where Che lived and worked during the crisis. He moved outside of Havana to keep his headquarters safer from any American blanket bombing while he managed Cuba's part in the crisis and negotiations which thankfully ended peacefully with the Americans agreeing to remove their missiles from Turkey. In exchange, the Russians deactivated their Cuban site.
Friday, October 29, 2010
There are many people on the street dressed in "traditional" Cuban costume. They have a permit and demand payment for photos but I ignore them because I will not pay to take photos. I tried to "sneak" a shot of this woman but she caught me and wanted one CUC which I paid her. When you are caught, you are caught and she has a family to support as well.
There is very little crime in Cuba. People can wander the streets at night without fear of muggings. The only crime is the odd snatch and run but I always keep my wallet in my front pocket and a firm grip on my camera. There is a noticable police presence on the streets at all times to make sure things stay this way.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
One of the things I wanted to see in Habana was a good jazz club. I had heard that was one of the things Habana was known for and it is also one of my favorite forms of music. Roly came through again and just happened to have a friend who was a director of one of the best clubs in town. His friend arranged for us to have the best available seats in the La Zorra y el Cuervo (The fox and the Crow) Jazz Club. The music started at 10 pm and went on until 2 am. It was just what I was looking for. The cover charge was 10 CUC and included two drinks. The mojitos were excellent and the music stirring!