By Irina Pino
HAVANA TIMES – With its eclectic architecture, the oldest part of the city invites visitors and locals to walk through it, fall in love with it. No eyes are distracted, no feet rest. Not addressing its legacy would be futile.
Tourists and Cuban citizens enjoy walking down its streets, stunned by Havana’s Cathedral, a church of great wealth and history where its God and saints are worshipped with real faith by the devout, while visitors take photos of its sacred representations to capture this beauty as a souvenir.
Street artists set themselves up on street corners to sell their paintings of ‘50s cars that tourists love so much. Popular fairs crowd every corner with items that follow a certain aesthetic.
There is a group of places that have their own magic: La Casa de Asia, with its park in the middle, which is green all year round; the Mercado de Oriente, which is full of incense, oils, soaps and essential oils, objects, tea bags…, which transport us to a distant India; the Marco Polo spice store; La Plaza Vieja and its enclosed fountain, where pigeons drink and cool down; the Fototeca de Cuba, a place with interesting photographic exhibitions; The Planetarium, which is very busy now with children and their parents in July and August because of the summer holidays.
You can’t miss out a visit to the Hotel Ambos Mundos. Ernest Hemingway had a room booked there. In the lobby, there is an entire wall with photos of the US writer posing with celebrities such as actor Errol Flynn and his last wife.
Obispo Street is witness to the comings and goings of people. It’s a street that sleeps very little. It isn’t a quiet street.
Everywhere in Old Havana holds a promise to surely return.