By Irina Pino
HAVANA TIMES – To reach Regla from downtown Havana you must take the ferry on Avenida del Puerto, the trip takes just ten minutes. We can have the fantasy that we cross the sea to go to a wonderful island. Sometimes I have been afraid that the boat will sink or be stranded in the water. When I touch land, the feeling passes.
One of its emblematic places is the church, where there is an altar for the black virgin. The first time I visited the temple, I went with a friend paying a health pledge. The act was solemn and very moving.
As points of reference, Regla has the Ñico Lopez oil refinery, and the food company Prodal, which provides croquettes and hamburgers to the chain of stores. Products that in my opinion do not have the quality that they represent.
Not far away is the old boat terminal, which still survives.
Regla’s streets are steep, the architecture is a crazy mix, because colonial and ugly modern homes coexist, the latter defying urbanism with their sloppy constructions.
You can also see abandoned buildings and others that do not meet their objective, such as the Cespedes Theater.
Lenin Hill, a work created by the late sculptor and writer Thelvia Marín, is an interesting space. When you go up, it becomes an imposing lookout where you can see the houses of Regla as if they were part of a model.
Up there was once a day care center, which later became a place for sexual encounters. Messages with profanity abound on its walls.
In Regla life can be boring with its single cinema, the museum, the library, the high school, where from time to time a musical group plays, and the stadium.
However, I love the narrow streets, near the pier, and its old houses take me back to previous centuries.
Here are some photographs in case you ever go through Regla. I encourage you to walk through its streets and reflect while sitting on the boardwalk. If the night falls while still there, you can see the lights of Old Havana from a distance.
Ah, another curious fact: its aboriginal name was Güaicanamar.