Havana really is a feast for the eyes – every street a visual treat. In my last post I tried to explain the colour, charm and challenges of travel in Cuba but don’t take my word for it. In pictures, these are my Havana highlights.
Starting with a quintessential Havana shot – a classic car and a colonial building in a biscuit-coloured street.
In this shop in the Old Town (you can see Cuba’s El Capitolio in the background) I believe the women were waiting for pizzas. It’s quite hard to see what shops in Havana sell as they often operate in small, dark premises with no signs outside.
We did spot some commercial signs in the street but they were advertising a restaurant and bar long since closed down.
The Catedral de San Cristobal, completed in 1777, sits on a colonial plaza in the heart of the Old Town.
Another alley in the Old Town equals another shot of a city lost in time.
El Capitolio, or the National Capitol Building, was the seat of government in Cuba until after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and is now home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Its design and name recall the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., but it was actually modelled after the Panthéon in Paris. Completed in 1929, it was the tallest building in Havana until the 1950s, and houses the world’s third largest indoor statue.
This bakery looks much the same as it did decades ago – you can just imagine a horse and cart pulling up outside those massive shutters.
La Bodeguita claims to be the birthplace of the mojito and tourists flock here to drink it. Visited by famous patrons such as Ernest Hemingway who wrote “My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita” on the wall, guests today leave their messages wherever they can find a space. Unless you are Hemingway, though, your note won’t last for long, the walls are repainted every few months to make space for more guests!
I spied this man watching the world go by from his beautiful but dilapidated home on the Paseo del Prado.
On the Malecon – is that a car from a more recent decade I see?
It’s not hard to imagine a time when this building would have been more desirable.
We took a tour of the city in a classic car and pulled up by this tribute to Che Guevara at Revolution Square.
A Government building on Revolution Square displays Che Guevara’s face, the Cuban flag and his well known slogan of “Hasta la Victoria Siempre”. (Until the everlasting victory, always).
Me posing in the Pontiac and pretending I am in a 50’s movie.
Even the petrol stations look retro.
The Museum of the Revolution of Havana is housed in what used to be the Presidential Palace. Covering the build up to the Revolution, along with details of life since, there is a lot to be learnt amongst the sometimes heavy propaganda.
On the way out of the Revolution Museum my eye was caught by this poster, ‘The corner of the cretins’. Fulgencio Batista, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior and George Bush Junior are all thanked for strengthening the Revolution.
This was my first glimpse of Havana, the corner of Parque Central.
This was the view from our rooftop pool and bar at the Iberostar Parque Central Hotel.
I couldn’t end the post without including another shot of this perfect sunset we watched from the roof of our hotel the Iberostar Parque Central. This was taken on our first night in the city and as I watched the sky dramatically transform over the homes of the Havana, I couldn’t wait to get into the city and learn more about it.
What about you? Do these pictures inspire you to visit Havana anytime soon?
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