Saturday, February 2, 2013

La Habana (III)

This is the final post describing our trip in Cuba. Our last day and a half in Havana. So expect lots of photos ;)

We came from Santa Clara in a local taxi with lots of people and this time, we were just left in the local bus station, not a door to door service. Since the local bus station is near the Monumento a Jose Marti in Plaza de la Revolucion, we went there again to try to get to the top of the tower. However, we were late again and could not climb up there for the views...

Anyway, we could take a lot of photos with Marti and Plaza de la Revolucion...

Our hotel was next to Habana Vieja, and in our way there by taxi, I asked the taxi driver to stop for a little while at University of Havana, a city landmark and the most important university in the country.

We got to our casa particular one day before that we were expected and it was full. However, they could find us accommodation in the same building and the next day we just had to go upstairs. Yuuhi found a friend there ;)

The first night back in Havana, we could meet Seppo and Cynthia again! We had dinner in Los Nardos/Asturianitos just in front of El Capitolio...

... and afterwards, we went for some daiquiris in El Florida, one of Hemingway's favorite places. There is even a bronze statue of him in the bar! However, Yuuhi did not seem to like it much...

There are many different daiquiris in El Florida. However, we all took the signature drink, Papa Hemingway, which meant no sugar and lots of rum. The result was a pretty rough cocktail, pretty different from normal daiquiris and because of that, pretty interesting. I liked it :)

Some photos of all of us now!

... and again, Hemingway.

Back in our Casa Particular, I really could not ceased to be amazed at how high ceilings are in Havana! They are like 4 or 5 meters high!


he next morning, Seppo and Cynthia were out of the country. We decided to take it easy and walk in Havana at our pace. We started with the sea front Malecon, with great views of the city.

In the end of El Malecon, we found El Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta.

Afterwards, we walked towards Habana Vieja and visited the Museo de la Revolucion. On the way there, we found this building with Che, Cienfuegos and Fidel or Raul Castro's faces.

The Museo de la Revolucion is located in the former Presidential Palace and the Palace itself is well worth the visit.

The palace is really interesting and the museum is the ultimate place to understand how the revolution succeeded and what the next steps were in order to create a Communist country.

There were even some rooms just explaining about Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara.

.. and there was also an interesting corner called Rincon de los Cretinos... (assholes' corner)

Next to Museo de la Revolucion, there is a small memorial with lots of military stuff and the Granma, the yacht revolutionaries used to go from Mexico to Cuba at the beginning of revolution.

After that visit, we were back in beautiful Habana Vieja, with its pastel colored delightful crumbling houses. It is amazing how beautiful decrepit buildings can look like!!!

Lunch was in Obispo Street with lots of Cuban live music.

Then, time for more walking and shop visiting...

... before getting to Hotel Ambos Mundos, a hotel were Hemingway spent a lot of time while in Havana.

From there to Plaza de Armas and Castillo de la Real Fuerza, it takes just a few minutes walking and thus, there went we. By the way, the small figure on top of the tower in the photo sbelow in el Castillo de la Real Fuerza is called La Giraldilla and it is the symbol of Havana Club rum.

A short walk brought us to Plaza de San Francisco, the last of the four main plazas in Havana we visited. I liked it a lot...

... and from there, we ended up back in Plaza Vieja...

From there, we walked along San Ignacio street and buildings got really decrepit... it was the area far away from the touristic center and which does not benefit from UNESCO money... We ended up in some kind of market with paintings and art craft, the Antiguos Almacenes San Jose.

Coming back towards Capitolio, we found the longest section of the original Spanish city walls still standing...

... the train station...

... and the house where Jose Marti was born.

At night, it was time for some more live music...

... before sleeping a little bit just before leaving the country after 10 very intense days!!!

Cuba was definitely an amazing experience and it was totally worth going to the other side of the world from Japan to visit this wonderful country. This country is amazing in terms of culture, music, sightseeing and people meeting. A totally recommended destination!

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