The whole months of July and August at Havana, armed with the loyal and dependable L-CA+. What more can I ask for?
For work-related reasons, I was sent to Havana in July ’til August, and this opportunity was my first chance to visit Hispanic America, the marvelous island of Cuba.
I lived at Havana Vieja, or Old Havana, which is practically the colonial city. To stroll through it feels like a mix of Andalucia and Castille, filtered through a Caribbean sieve, familiar and faraway at the same time. Next to the buildings greatly battered by time, there are remodeled structures, especially the Plaza Vieja (Old Square), the Plaza de Armas (the parade ground where the old General Captaincy is located) and the San Francisco Square. The latter hosts the Lonja del Comercio (the Trade Association), old merchant circle of the criollo burgeoisie at the beginning of the 20th century, presently the headquarters for several foreign enterprises and consulate offices. Undoubtedly, Havana Vieja is my favorite part of the city.
Nearby there is the Vedado Zone, with the Central Park, the Capitol, the Museum of the Revolution (formerly the Presidential Palace) and the Spanish Embassy, the only one located at this zone. It’s an old mansion facing the sea that dominates the entrance to the port, just like in Cadiz. It’s a unique building with incredibly attractive sights to see and take photos of.
Alongside the Malecon, we visited Nuevo Vedado, and then Miramar. The latter used to be the place for the rich and wealthy with American taste, in the mid-20th century, with huge avenues, decorated lawns, and huge chalets.
But beyond a simple description of the city, what has left an impression on me the most is how they live their life. The mix of heat and humidity, of happiness and resignation, of vivid colors facing blue skies that, nevertheless, discharge torrential storms. And, of course, the obligatory retreat to Varadero, an authentic postcard place: fine sand beach with clear, turquoise sea, palm trees, and many tourists whose only memory of Cuba will be this. I have tried to capture a sample of all these through the Minitar lens of the LC-A+, which in many cases saw more than I.
Therefore, benevolent readers, if you can, don’t hesitate to go to Cuba. Havana awaits you. In the meantime, I will start lighting my Cohiba and pour myself some rum. I invite you to do the same (and don’t dare mix it with anything other than two or three ice cubes).