5 Hemingway-ando in Havana
1) Finca Vigía
This is the house where Hemingway lived the longest, from 1939 till 1960. He wrote several books here including The Old Man and the Sea. Drink a cocktail Vigía (guarapo, pineapple and lemon) before leaving. Gabriel García Marquez once said that when a writer has several residences his real home is where his books are. Hemingway had a library of more than 9000 books so it’s safe to say that if we believe in Marquez’s adage Hemingway was happy in this place.
2) Ambos Mundos
Hemingway stayed in this hotel from 1932 till 1939. He always stayed in room 511. You can still visit it, the room hasn’t changed since he lived there. You can see his glasses, typewriter, writing table and other memorabilia. Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s third wife, refused to live here with him and that’s how they ended up at Finca Vigía. The first chapters of For Whom the Bell Tolls were written here.
Cojímar is the fishing village where Hemingway kept his boat, Pilar. The figure of Santiago, the old fisherman, the main character of The Old man and the Sea, was inspired by Hemingway’s real life fishing partner in Cojímar, Gregorio Fuentes. When Hemingway died, everyone in the village collected metal pieces from propellers, chain links and anchors to use as material for a bronze bust of Hemingway.
4) La Bodeguita Del Medio
This is the place where Hemingway drank his mojito. Here he wrote the following sentence on butcher’s paper: 'My mojito in La Bodeguita del Medio, my daiquiri in La Floridita'. Past visitors such as Salvador Allende, Fidel Castro, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte have all left their autographs on the wall.
5) Café Bohemia
Time has come to taste an 'Old man and the sea'-sandwich at Café Bohemia. Read a chapter of the book Adios Hemingway by the Cuban writer Leonardo Padura. The protagonist of the story is Mario Conde, who would prefer to be a writer instead of doing detective work. The story unfolds in the fifties, the period in which Hemingway faced two of his greatest fears: his inability to work and his death. Padura tries to understand Hemingway throughout this murder mystery.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Havana reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Havana's best-kept secrets.
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