When I was searching for accommodation in Havana, I learned about rooms to rent in Cuban houses called ‘casa particular’. It was also recommended to stay in Habana Centro ‘if you want to know Cuba better and to be intertwined with people’. It was very appealing to me so I searched for ‘casa particular’ straight away. So I met Alvio and Irina.
My first observation in Havana at 1am is that the concept of music heals the soul is widespread in Cuba 😀🎶🎵🎶 Day and night 🌗 I don’t remember a moment when I didn’t hear music.
My first plan for the morning is to go to Ataturk bust by walking. Bust is in Habana Vieja, in Parque Cespedes on Avenida del Puerto.
Peace at Home, Peace in the World
Habana Vieja is the heart of tourism, it is live, it is vibrant. The colorful American cars roam within the wide streets here. Landmarks of the city are here. This region has already been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
On the way to Bust, I could not take my eyes off anything. Everything was so original and unique…people and houses, streets and cars, music and the colours. Here are some shots…
High ceilings and wooden blinds…Some of houses’ doors are wide open. It is easy to see inside. Generally in the entrance there is sitting room with few chairs and television and it is generally on with a high volume. There are people watching tv or chatting in front of the doors and you can see them all as passing by.
The houses are mostly 2 floors. They are called Colonial houses. They are adjacent building blocks. Most of them are blue or green painted ve look beautiful. That is very good because this area lack of green space.
And the houses are so old. Alvio’s house is 100 years old. There is usually tile flooring in houses and also in restaurants. On those years tiles were brought from Italy.
The other party of the city is Vedado, starts to grow in 1950s. Vedado contains landmarks such as University of Havana, National Hotel, Revolution Square, Colón Cemetery.
Vedado, with 3-lane streets and large walkways, green areas and beautiful tropical Flamboyant (also known as flame trees) is a modern part of Havana.
Life seems a bit more difficult for Centro Havana people. Poverty shows itself here much more. When you look from outside, people try to make out their patchy life somehow with what they have on hand. What they have is precious. I do not think if they have ever said; it is broken, let’s renew it or throw it away, because it seems a new one is not accesible.
Alvio is an engineer. He has a daughter, in her 40s, and lives upstairs with her son. And he also had a son, elderly, living in America. He wrote a book called “Mecanica Teorica”. As he showed me the book, he said a word of Jose Marti as far as he could remember. ”When you raise a child, or plant a tree, or write a book in this life, you become a real man“.
He finds Marti’s words and ideas are very important and like all Cubans, he adores Martí. I have red articles that Martí is considered to be the brain behind the Cuban independence war. A poet, journalist, philosopher and a renaissance man Jose Martí, born in 1851 (30 years earlier than Ataturk) he created the identity of modern Cuba.
During 3 days, I mostly walked to see the most about Havana. On the last day I had a hop-on-hop-off city tour which took 1,5 hours without getting off. It was perfect to see the city from the top of the bus, just sitting and shooting. That was a good ending. You can click for more Havana photos.
I have noticed and experienced a lot about life here. After visiting Cienfuegos, La Boca, Trinidad ve Santa Clara, I will have about half a day before leaving the country.
October 21, 2018 ✌️