Monday, February 23, 2015

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Part 5 of 5: Leave a bag in Havana... How to get around.

In Vedado, the streets running NW to SE are odd numbers.

The streets running NE to SW are even numbers.

This following description is by RussiannVaz on   Havana has neighborhoods each with a distinct identity, 

QUESTION:  About traffic. Is traffic in Havana and other big cities very heavy all day or maybe in the morning only? 

The traffic is not so heavy. At least if U compare it with other countries. The street with heavier traffic in Vedado, Havana, for example, is 23rd. But don't worry, U can drive without problems, many tourist do it. I used to go usually in bicycle everywhere in Havana without problems. The worst time is [in morning, of course] and in the afternoon between 3 and 6pm. In the pic U'll see the streets U asked for.

Also the naming of the streets in various neighborhoods of Havana like Vedado, Miramar and Playa is easy. Starting from 23, the parallel streets going in the sea directions decrease the number and are only odd numbers. In the other direction they increase. The perpendicular streets are named by the letters of the alphabet so starting from G going to the sea the next letter is H and the next one is I where the casa U choose is located. In the other direction the previous street of G is F. The letters start from Paseo street, where I used to live. Away from Paseo the naming of the streets change to even really easy ;)

by RussiannVaz on  

For example, the National Hotel is located near O Street and 21 Avenue.  Below, you can see Parque Lennon is between 6 and 8 (NE to SW) 15 and 17 (NW to SE).  You can give directions of Calle 8 y 15 and people will know that there is an intersection of an odd and an even number.  

Thank you for carrying an extra bag with you to Havana.  If you gather more tips about “what to do” and “what to leave behind,” send the tips to or send a text message to +1 (954) 646 8246.

See Part 2 of this series -- Before you go (what to watch on YouTube)

See Part 3 of this series  -- What to do in Havana (leave something behind)

Part 4 of 5 : Places to See in Havana (Old Havana, University of Havana)

See Part 2 of this series -- Before you go (what to watch on YouTube)

See Part 3 of this series  -- What to do in Havana (leave something behind)

That’s the dome of El Capitulo in to distance.  Look at the ratio of the height of the buildings to the distance across the street.  It’s enough to make a math teacher go dizzy with delight.  “Is that really a 3-to-1 ratio?  Height of the buildings to width of the street?”

Let’s look at a street in Paris.
Latin Quarter – Discovering Paris Attractions at

Leave Something in Havana
Hemingway’s Statue

Well, this is not precisely an act of service to humanity…. But taking a moment to stand with the Old Man is a special moment.  “So, this is how tall he was.  This is what he looked like after working in the morning as a writer.”  This moment is unforgettable.

You can preview a walk on Obispo Street in Old Havana by searching “old Havana Obispo walk  roadlovers”  on the Roadlovers channel 

A Place to See (4)
The University of Havana
Founded in 1728, this is one of the oldest universities in the Western Hemisphere. 

Leave Something in Havana
While you are on the main campus of the university, go to the library.  Find some students and offer them a USB or the CD rom that you brought with you.

Take a course in Spanish
For more information: Classroom of Language Services -School of foreign languages -Edificio Varona, at the University of Havana/San Lazaro and L, Vedado, Habana 4, C.P. 10400, Cuba Telephone of contact: (+537) 873 4250/Email:

 A Place to See (5)
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Built in 1930, the hotel has two pools and a view of the Malecón, the north-facing seawall and major seaside autoroute.  The underground museum is worth a visit to get a sense about the tensions around the 1962 missile crisis.   The tombstone of Capablanca, the famous chess grandmaster, is in the Necropolis (main cemetery) in the southwest corner of Vedado.

Take Something from Havana
When you are at the Hotel Nacional, you will be near the Malecón.   Walk there on a Sunday afternoon.  Carry your camera openly and take some general shots.  The following might happen:

Steve was walking on a Sunday afternoon and he took some photos of people leaning on the seawall.  A father was playing with his child and noticed Steve and the camera.  “Disculpe, tome un foto de mi niño!”  (Excuse me, take a photo of my child!)

It’s a lovely moment when a parent can proudly show a stranger his child.  Steve offered to send the photo by email to one of the father’s relatives in Miami. 

This photo was taken in the market that is on Calle 17, six blocks southwest from the hotel.  Look for the coconut meat vendors and try some coconut milk.

See Part 2 of this series -- Before you go (what to watch on YouTube)

See Part 3 of this series  -- What to do in Havana (leave something behind)