The previous couple of days I’ve spent fairly a little bit of time strolling round downtown Havana – or Habana Vieja, as they are saying round right here. It’s a particularly fascinating place and one of the crucial architecturally constant colonial metropolis centres on this planet.

Just a few days in the past, my native good friend Pedro and I went to discover the Capitolio, which is an exquisite constructing, mockingly very harking back to the Capitol in Washington. Constructed between 1926 and 1929 as the previous seat of the Cuban authorities, its neoclassical exterior is complemented by a fully astounding Roman inside with all kinds of conferences rooms, a library, a memento store and an Web cafe. Within the entrance entrance corridor there’s a large statue that greets you upon coming into, really an astounding constructing.

The park outdoors the Capitolio is one among my favorite locations, regardless of the lacking seats and backrests of the benches. Yesterday I additionally had an opportunity to go to the Partagas Tobacco Firm, a cigar manufacturing unit in existence since 1845. I took the $10 tour and we noticed the tobacco rolling faculty the place college students study cigar manufacturing for 90 days. Later we moved upstairs to the realm the place the actual cigars are made. Employees have quotas of between 80 and 200 cigars a day (a few of which miraculously discover their method into the black market…) and the employees sit at previous picket work stations and manually roll the tobacco, whereas at different work stations the outside leaf and later the label and the packing containers are added. I actually needed to see a tobacco manufacturing unit since tobacco nonetheless stays a key trade in Cuba to today.

Alongside these strains, I had an opportunity to see residential areas in Habana Vieja, the place individuals reside in extraordinarily cramped situations in crumbling homes, with the occasional home that has already collapsed in between others. Everyone’s life unfolds on the street, you see kids, {couples}, previous individuals, canines and cats in any respect hours of the day, individuals typically simply sit round and chat, and the kids play avenue variations of “la pelota”, which is baseball, the nationwide sport. This avenue life is one thing really totally different from a nordic metropolis like Toronto the place there are only some areas the place there’s important pedestrian site visitors. And other people typically do not sit round in entrance of their homes or residences to speak within the m iddle of the night time.

I additionally had an opportunity to see Havana’s practice station, after all completely filled with individuals, the port space and a few moderately derelict industrial areas with crumbling buildings. The dearth of cash is obvious in all places.

Beside the Capitolio is the Teatro Nacional, which is simply subsequent to the well-known Resort Inglaterra and in entrance is the Parque Central, the place males of all ages get collectively to debate information associated to their nationwide sport. 2 days in the past was the ultimate of the playoffs between Havana Campo (if I’m appropriate) and Santiago de Cuba, the second most vital metropolis within the nation. Clearly an enormous deal on this nation, and Havana ended up dropping 2 to 1, however regardless of the loss an awesome alternative for the locals to occasion.

Strolling down the well-known pedestrian avenue Calle Obispo, which has quite a few costly shops for vacationers, you strategy the actually previous historic a part of Habana Vieja, locations such because the Plaza de la Catedral (the place there was a mass for Pope John Paul II a few week in the past), Plaza Vieja and, my favorite place: Plaza de Armas. This sq. dates again to the early 1500s, and homes the centuries previous former metropolis administration workplace in addition to a number of different Spanish colonial buildings that encompass an exquisite park with a statue of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the founding father of the Cuban homeland.

Yesterday I additionally had an opportunity to discover a market that’s put up each Wednesday to Saturday simply off the Malecon, close to the Plaza de Armas, the place they promote all kinds of trinkets and merchandise for vacationers. I had an opportunity to select up a number of little souvenirs for my husband and my colleagues after which sat down at a bit of out of doors cafe the place there was a younger Cuban band enjoying conventional old school Cuban music. The actually attention-grabbing factor was an organ that they had been enjoying that should date again to the 1920s, accompanied by all kinds of Cuban percussion. I actually love Cuban music, however I have never but had an opportunity to take heed to it lots. My good friend and I needed to go and go to the “Casa de la Musica” yesterday the place they play reside music at an inexpensive value, however for some motive it was closed, one thing commonplace round right here.

I additionally had an opportunity to stroll right down to “Prado”, a protracted avenue with a pedestrian walkway with timber on either side, and two strains of site visitors on either side of the pedestrian space, considerably harking back to the Ramblas in Barcelona. Very near the Prado is the Museo de la Revolucion which was once the palace of the final Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, previous to the Revolution. Fidel Castro’s yacht, the “Granma”which he used to cross over from Mexico together with his rebellious companions, is displayed in a glass-encased constructing simply behind the palace-like Museo de la Revolucion, and surrounded by varied tanks and navy autos courting again to revolutionary fight. The Revolution is certainly current wherever you go.

I believe I’ve seen many of the vital sights of town, excluding the Plaza de la Revolucion, which homes the Comite Central and the political equipment of the Cuban authorities. I nonetheless should make a bit of tour to that space and in addition take a photograph or two of the memorial of Che Guevara, who nonetheless seems to be a really revered particular person round right here, usually admittedly extra so than Fidel Castro.

2 weeks is a reasonably very long time to spend in a metropolis and resulting from the truth that I’ve fully immersed myself within the tradition, I believe I’ve a reasonably good really feel for La Habana and I’m slowly however absolutely mentally on the point of go house. It has been nice, however I’m additionally comfortable to get again house to see my husband, my mates, to have my regular life again. There are solely 2 and a half days left now for my Cuban experiment and there are a number of extra locations to see, however I’m additionally wanting ahead to coming again house to Toronto.

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