Havana - it's time for tasting of cocktails, rum and "goodies" served for lunch in San Cristobal de la Habana.
Havana - tour of the rum factory
The Cuban rum is not unknown to those familiar with “that matter”, so I think being in Havana almost obliges to visit one of the factories.
The tour includes the visit to the underground storage filled up to the ceiling with an unnumbered amount of oak barrels containing this godly drink.
At the upper level, in a nicely decorated visitor’s room takes place the tasting of samples and as usually – there are “souvenirs” to buy!
Understandingly in a good mood after visiting the rum factory (especially the gift shop) we decided to continue our tour of the city.
And now the question: What is the best way to look for good restaurants and bars in a bustling city?
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Full of barrels underground and a nicely decorated visitors' & souvenir shop room.
I suggest the tour in a horse carriage. It gives you time to see each corner of the city, to capture most of the details otherwise you will pass by without even noticing their existence.
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Not far from the magnificent convent of Saint Francis of Assisi and the crowded Old Square we discovered the "suspicious" copper sculpture of a monk at the entrance of an old magnificent building. Getting closer we realized that the monk invites visitors to a fantastic trip to the medieval abbey – today the Los Frailes Inn hotel.
Copper Monk. (this one was inside of the mansion).
In the past this mansion was a property of the Marquis and Captain of the French Navy, Don Pedro Claudio Duquesne. During the centuries its walls witnessed finest nobility, religious dignitaries, military authorities, prominent artists - in other words the best of Cuban and foreign society.
This mural painting although captured somewhere else in the city, may well represent the past scenes near today’s Los Frailes Inn.
Today it became the wonderful place for a gourmand food and some relaxation, may be even meditation after spending hours of walking along the Havana’s streets. Amazingly – entering the doors you find yourself like in an “Out-of-this-world” place – so close to the busy Old Square and in the same time so silent…… The pictures from the inside of the mansion are telling most of the story…..
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Doesn't it look like a paradise for relaxation, meditation or just simple time-out in a great ambiance?
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Hotel Florida is a remarkable building located in a busy corner of Obispo and Cuba streets – close to the Plaza de Armas and in the middle of the old quarters with art galleries, museums….
After some “research” we selected its well-recognized restaurant to invite our Cuban host family for a dinner.
It was a spectacular evening and not even because of the food (it was delicious as the matter of fact).
For me however the main turning point was the piano music filling the room with so memorable sounds….
Imagine this scene; you are in an old restaurant well remembering the time from 19th century and then you hear an unforgettable melody….
You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss
A sigh is still (just) a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.....
Closing my eyes I “traveled” back in time to Casablanca…..and suddenly nothing was important.
My wife was just similarly delighted as Casablanca (may be also thanks to H. Bogart) is her favorite movie.
Well, we were just dancing and dancing, our meals got “colder” but that fact was of little importance…. We simply “got lost” in space of touching memories and imagination fueled by the pianist….
And the words were just flowing...... Needless to say that our Cuban friends followed…..
And when two lovers woo
They still say: "I love you"
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by
Moonlight and love songs - never out of date
Hearts full of passion - jealousy and hate
Woman needs man - and man must have his mate
That no one can deny
It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by....
Well, the time went by..... quickly and for sure too fast....
What a memorable evening!
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On the left the bear-drinking bar. The glass-pipe on the bar full of "golden liquid" is just the way the bear is served for customers. The valve opening the "heavens" is on the opposite side so not visible on this photo.
Walking further through the city the charming gardens opened the gates of heaven (pictures above on the right). But I guess you share my opinion that after some quantity of the bear it is happening quite easily.
So we concluded that the best we can do is to take a "little siesta".
Siesta on the street was convincing!. And the "detail" on the right side of the picture prove that it was not that "unusual" decision.
To continue free Havana city pictures, and see this time churches - click : Havana Churches
If you want to follow Hemingway's footsteps in Havana then click:
Hemingway in Havana
To go back on the tour of Havana, feel the atmosphere on the streets click: Havana Tour or
Old Cars on Havana's streets
If you enjoyed this tour, then please share your experience with others :-)
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