Monday, February 23, 2015

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)

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