Havana Journals

Havana Ball

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A November 2001 trip to Havana by Mutt

Hotel Sevilla Photo, Havana, Cuba More Photos
Quote: Ever since I can remember I have wanted to go to Cuba and I feared that my expectations would lead to disappointment, but Havana easily lived up to the city of my dreams.

Havana Ball

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Overview

The Capital Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
There is something about Cuba, the romance of the Revolution and it's charismatic leaders Fidel and Che, the faded colonial architecture and the peoples staunch stance in the face of US aggression, that make it an appealing destination. Steeping onto the streets of old Havana is like stepping through a time-warp, the faded colonial architecture and beat-up 50's Chevrolets weave an unusual spell, creating a truly charming atmosphere that sucks you in and refuses to let you go. The people of Cuba are it's greatest treasure, they have come through a lot surviving oppression (under Batista), revolution and grinding poverty (thanks to an illegal blockade) but have come through with a smile ...Read More

Hotel Sevilla

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Hotel

Hotel Sevilla Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
On the edge of Havana's old town, just off of the Paseo de Marti, and within spitting distance of the Presidential Palace and the Capitol, stands a spectacular 1908 building that houses the famous Hotel Sevilla, now run by the Accor group and one of the most expensive places to stay in Havana. This was the place to stay in Havana during Batista's regime, and photos line the wall in the ground floor gallery show a number of the celebrities and gangsters who stayed here during the hotels heyday in the '30s and '40s. The hotel even features in Graham Greene's novel "Our Man in Havana" as the place where Wormwood meets Hawthorne. The hotel was left to rot following the revolution as a symbol of th...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Hotel Sevilla
Calle Trocadero 55, Habana Veja
Havana, Cuba
608560

Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor

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Restaurant | "Coppelia"

Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
Helado ("Ice Cream") is hugely popular with the Cuban people and every town has a Coppelia ("Ice Cream Palor") the most famous of which is in the center of the Vedado district of Havana. Huge queues snake up the street as the locals wait patiently to get in. The eccentric steel building was constructed in the 1960 and looks like a reject from a bad sci-fi B-movie and is showing signs of it's age and neglect as rust threatens to consume the structure. It is a place that is very special to the people of Havana, but it's uncertain how long this place has left in it, business is booming with locals and tourists alike, the problem is a simple matter of supply. The U.S. blockade not only means tha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor
2111 Calle L
Vedado District, Havana
(0)7 832 6184

Bodeguita del Medio

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Attraction | "La Bodeguita del Medio & El Floridita"

Bodeguita del Medio Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
"My daiquiri in the Floridita, my mojito in the Bodeguita" The quote falsely attributed to Hemingway by a cunning bartender at the Bodeguita has put both of these bars firmly on the tourist map. The quote may be false, but it does accurately represents Papa's drinking habits and these are essential stops on the Hemmingway trail. Nobel Prize winning American writer Ernest Hemingway was a regular visitor to Havana in the 20's and 30's and lived here from 1939 to 1960 he was a regular visitor to Havana's old town where he spent his days bar crawling, the Bodeguita was where he would spend the days drinking with the elite of Havana's cultural life who would gather here. As the sun...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Bodeguita del Medio
C. Empedrado entre Cuba y San Ignacio
Havana, Cuba
62-4498

Memorial Jose Marti & Memorial Che Guevara

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Attraction | "Memorial Jose Marti & Memorial Che Guevara"

Memorial Jose Marti & Memorial Che Guevara Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
The Vedado district may be the center of Havana's nightlife but on it's southern edge however is the far more somber Plaza de la Revolucion replete with the towering Plaza de la Revolucion which dominates the district and the famous Memorial Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The Plaza de la Revolucion is rather dull wide expanse of concrete surrounded by some rather drab 1950's modernist blocks which now host much of the country's current communist governmental infrastructure including President Castro's office in the large building behind the tower. The whole area however come alive on May 1st, June 27th and other occasions when Fidel steps out to give one of his legendarily long speeches and this whole ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Memorial Jose Marti & Memorial Che Guevara
Plaza De La Revolucion Nuevo Vedado
Havana, Cuba
7/59-2347

Necropolis Cristobal Colon

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Attraction

Necropolis Cristobal Colon Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
On the southern limits of Vedado not far from the Plaza de la Revolucion is this enormous city of the dead, named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus who discovered the island and first claimed it for the Spanish king (a fitting tribute to the man whose action lead to the annihilation of the native people?). Work started on this enormous cemetery in 1868 and the Spanish architect, Calixto de Loira, who laid out it's strict block pattern of numbered streets and avenues lined with tombs and mausoleums became one of it's first permanent residents after his premature death shortly after completion in 1871. The five square kilometers of former farm land now contain the remains of nearly on...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Necropolis Cristobal Colon
Calle Zapata y Calle 12
Havana, Cuba
7-832-1050

Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion)

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Attraction | "Museum of the Revolution & The Granma Memorial"

Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion) Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
At the north end of the Habana Vieja is the Plaza 13 de Marzo, a simple public park dominated on it's southern end by the spectacular building which houses the Museum of the Revolution, by far Havana's most popular attraction. The ornate presidential palace was completed in 1920 and was home of the President of the republic from then until the revolution, and it is by far the most impressive building in the whole of Cuba. The interiors are truly sumptuous and a couple have been preserved in their original state, including Batista's office from which he fled at the approach of Castro's troops and a hall decorated by Tiffany's of New York. Out front you can also see one of the last remaining chu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion)
Calle Refugio 1
La Habana, Cuba 10600
+53 7 624091

Parque Morro-Cabana

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Attraction

Parque Morro-Cabana Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
This vast park just across the bay from the Habana Vieja is home to two of Havana's most dominating sights the Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Margos del Morro and the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, trying saying that after one to many mojitos. The Morro Castle was built between 1589 and 1630 to provide cross fire with the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta making the harbor impenetrable to foreign fleets, so in 1762 the Brits invaded over land, tunneled under the castle's defenses and occupied Havana for 6 months. The castle now houses a simple maritime museum (admission $2) with some diverting exhibits and Cuba's first light house (admission $2) added in 1844 offers spectacular vie...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Parque Morro-Cabana
Habana del Este
Havana, Cuba

Habana Vieja

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Attraction

Habana Vieja Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
The UNESCO World Heritage listed Havana old town is of course the highlight of any visit to Cuba's capital city and it is these streets lined with faded colonial architecture, bustling markets and animated inhabitants that you will find yourself spending most of your time. On the edge of the old town not far from the waterfront is Havana's oldest square the Plaza de Armas, where in the mid-16th century the city was born. Fine colonial era buildings surround this pleasant tree shaded square which now plays host to a second-hand book market. These include the Placio de los Capitanes Generales once the seat of the Spanish colonial government and now houses a museum, El Templete a scale reconstruct...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2002

Habana Vieja
Habana Vieja
Havana, Cuba