Hemingway in Havana

Hemingway's trail in Havana -  follow the smell of rum, taste of daiquiri and the memory of Hemingway still vibrating in the air....

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Hemingway's Trail in Havana

     Being in Havana we couldn’t miss Hemingway’s and this is for a good reason.

Although Hemingway's Trail in Havana includes mainly two places where he stayed for longer: the Ambos Mundo Hotel and the Finca Vigia, I would say that his trail is quite "scattered" all over the city.

His traces as well as memories and true or "not so true" stories are omnipresent in the city till these days.

Simply speaking Cubans adopted him as one of their national icons making the list of The Big Three where he shares the honors with Che and Fidel. For many this "connection" may be unthinkable, but I’m simply reflecting here the Cuban reality….

We start from the Ambos Mundo Hotel on the Plaza de Armas where Hemingway started his Cuban’s saga in early 30s. That was here in the room # 511 where standing in front of the window Hemingway was typewriting the famous novel "For whom the bell tolls".

Free Havana city -Hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city -Hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city - Hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city Pictures

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Ambos Mundo Hotel- room 511 - Pictures of Hemingway's memorabilia including typewriter, phone and model of his fishing boat. On the right - That is what Hemingway was seeing standing in front of the window and typewriting: La vista of Havana city. Today standing in this place you can feel like literally "being in His shoes"....

     Till these days the room 511 is kept almost exactly as it was when Hemingway left for his new villa. You will find here his original typewriter, the phone and the model of his everlasting love: a fishing boat "El Pilar".

The next step on the Hemingway’s Trail leads to the Finca Vigia – the villa he bought in the suburbs of Havana in 1949. After his death in 1961, Hemingway’s forth wife Mary, donated the villa to the country he loved and since then it become the place of admiration for Cubans and Mecca for tourists.

Free Havana city pictures: Hemingway's museum

     The villa contains Hemingway’s innumerable personal possessions including not only furniture and library containing the author's vast collection of books, but also all these small things that make our life real - quite numerous empty bottles of the Gordon's gin with which he was making his cocktails, his favorite magazines, hunting trophies, rifles and ammunition.....

You will find there also his Nobel Prize medallion.

Photo revealing Hemingway's weight control fight. To be able to "decipher" the numbers please left-click on the picture.

The villa can be seen only from the outside, however the widely open windows allow for the "visual tour" of the interiors. Interesting enough – on the bathroom wall I found the long strings of numbers - turned out to be the records presenting "evolution" of Hemingway’s weight. To me, these kinds of "discoveries" portray Hemingway as a man similar to us – not only with his joy of life but also with worries and fights so typical to each of us.

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city -hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

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Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city -hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city -hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

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Finca Vigia - Hemingway's Museum in Havana. On the right: pictures of the guesthouse.

Free Havana city photos: Hemingway's museum
Free Havana city pictures: Hemingway's museum

Finca Vigia - Hemingway's Museum in Havana - Guesthouse office and the dining room.

    Time to go outside of the house - in the garden you can find the "graves" of Hemingway’s loved cats, the tower-like structure with a beautiful view of Havana (build as a writing den that was never used).

Then the narrow path leads to .... the very precious El Pilar – the fishing boat, one of his best amigos throughout his Cuban years. Countless hours on the boat certainly inspired Hemingway to write his famed novel "The old man and The Sea".

Free Havana city pictures: Hemingway Museum
Free Havana city pictures: Hemingway Museum
Free Havana city photos: Hemingway Museum

Finca Vigia - Hemingway's Museum in Havana - Tower build by Hemingway's forth wife Mary with a fine view on Havana City. On the right - the path leading to El Pilar.

     Below - the photos of the world-famous fishing boat El Pilar unfold in front of you in all its splendor and details. By today's standards for fishing boats El Pilar certainly is not impressive.

On the other hand its simplicity greatly helps to revive emotions and understand the struggling of The Old Man from The Sea as wonderfully depicted in this almost legendary tale.

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city -hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

Free Havana city - hemingway-museum Pictures

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Legendary fishing boat - El Pilar

Still Hemingway but this time less formal...:-)

Free Havana city pictures: Hemingway Museum

     The another famous spot – La Cuna del Daiquiri known as La Floridita, apparently Hemingway’s favorite place memorized by his statue sitting at the bar ready to share a drink with a visitor.

Reading his novels “For whom the bell tolls” or “The old man and the sea” during my high school times I never thought that one day I would get so close to Him physically and emotionally as I had a chance in La Floridita.

Inside of the bar "La Floridita" proudly advertised as a "Birthplace of the Daiquiri cocktail (rumor has it that this cocktail is Hemingway's invention). Maestro at the bar.....and two glasses (one is mine)

As you can imagine I did not pass such an opportunity – indulging in daiquiri with my left hand around the back of the Great Novelist……

Actually it is difficult to wonder along the streets without feeling Hemingway’s presence. Certainly he has been friendly with many cocktail bars as most of them show some memories from his time and presence. 

To go back to on the streets of Havana by selecting: previous (page 2)


To continue the tour of Havana, feel the atmosphere on the streets, visit restaurants, rum factory and churches click:
Havana City Restaurants 
Havana City Churches 
Old Cars on Havana's streets

Visit the Museum by clicking: Day of museums

If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)

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