Arriving in Havana is like entering a portal to a different time. The soaring summer heat and humid air make it hard to breathe at first. There’s noise everywhere and the colours of the city are so intense they almost hurt your eyes.
Havana is a place like no other: a city caught between colonial architecture and decay, Spanish rhythms and the ever-present communism. The classic American cars that drive up and down the streets make you feel like you took a trip in Doc Brown’s DeLorean and got transported to the 1950s! All you need now is for Michael J. Fox to appear…
Cuba is famous for its rum. Therefore it is apt that American writer Ernest Hemingway, nicknamed “Papa”, found a home in Cuba for about 20 years. The island inspired him to write one of his most popular works: The Old Man and the Sea.
Hemingway’s passion for alcohol was no secret and today there are numerous bars in Havana claiming to be his regular watering hole.
But it’s not only Ernest Hemingway’s ghost that lingers with you on a trip to Cuba. Memorabilia of Che Guevara and the Cuban revolution are on display at almost every corner in the old town. And with Fidel Castro‘s birthday approaching on August 13th, news channels in Cuba are constantly reporting about their most famous politician and revolutionary.
The thriving music and art scene in Havana is an inspiration to painters and photographers alike. Bridgeman Studio artists Jenny Wheatley and David Studwell capture the essence of Havana in their works.
Cuba is the world’s biggest cigar producer. Hand-rolled cigars are the sign of luxury for tourists – most like to buy some for their loved ones at home – but many of the local population also like to indulge, albeit with cheaper varieties.
Havana is all about the simple things being special. Even going out for a cup of coffee is an experience that greatly differs to picking up a quick coffee before work. People take their time. Even though most of them seem to live a life absent of luxury, they enjoy themselves to the fullest. Music is a constant companion – impromptu dances included. Olé!
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