The metal gate was opened with a bang. On the bar counter, the glasses were in a row, prepared with mint leavs. It was 10 am and we were first of all. Dos mojitos, por favor! The bartender unscrewed the cap on the bottle and sprinkled nonchalantly the first splash in the air. He began to fill the glasses. He poured and poured and it felt like he never would stop. We just sipped the drink and the room was full of people. Everyone ordered mojito.
We were at La Bodeguita in the old town of Havana. They says that Hemingway used to drink mojito there. I don’t know how it tasted when Hemingway lived but it’s the strongest mojiton I’ve ever tasted.
In Hemingways footsteps
We continued to walk in Hemingway’s footsteps. We passed the Ambos Mundos hotel in Old Havana. There he stayed when he visited Havana. For a small fee you can have a look at his room
La Floridita is another bar that may be even more famous because of Hemingway. At the bar there is a statue of him. He seems to be happy. At La Floridita you should drink the frosen Daiquiri. So we did like everyone else, ordered a Daiquiri and toasted with Hemingway.
If we had stayed longer in Havana, we would also visited his former home, which is a museum this days. It is located a bit outside Havana and I heard it should be worth a visit. We would also visit Cojimar. It is said that in Cojimar Hemingway was inspired to write The Old and the Sea.
It is nice to just stroll around in the old town. Some quarters are pretty well in order while others are unexpectedly worn. Inside the square in the old town is Camara Oscura. It is an invention by Leonardo Da Vinci. The camera is located high up on a house by the square. With the help of the camera one can see a reflection of what is happening in the town. The camera is rotated manually using ropes. Moving images of the city are displayed on a screen similar to a satellite dish.
When we arrived at Plaza de la Catedral we ended up in the Palacio del Marques de Arcos. We didn’t really understand where we had ended up but were taken care of by a guide who showed us around the house.
Accommodation at Casa
We chose to stay at Casa Vidal Habana Vieja inside the old town. Staying in a casa is like living in someones home. It was a fairly basic accommodation but with everything we needed. They made a fantastic breakfast for us every morning. The stairs up to the apartment were narrow and steep. It seems to be common in the houses in Havana. I saw similar stairs in many houses.
It was walking distance from our accommodation to most of what we were going to visit. We booked the accommodation through Booking.com and it worked well.
Around Central Park there are many fine buildings. There you will find the Great Theater of Havana and the grand hotels. Even if you do not stay at the hotels you can go up to the roof terrace and visit the bar. On the rooftop you get a nice view of the town. Many nice old cars are parked around the park.
We went with Finnair from Copenhagen to Havana. We stayed 3 nights in Havana, 2 nights in Vinales, 1 night in Cienfuegos, 3 nights in Trinidad, 3 nights at Cayo Santa Maria and 2 nights in Varadero. When we were going from one accommodation to another we went by taxi colectivo. We booked the cars through our accommodations the day before we were going. If we were going on the trip today we would have stayed more nights in Vinales and skipped to go to Varadero.