This is a public square facing the United States Interest Section, the closest thing in Cuba to an American embassy. The square is full of black flags that obscure the electronic ticker tape message board on the building that the US uses to spell out news & critiques of life in Cuba. The whole area seemed to have a pretty high police presence, so I didn't hang about there too long.
On the waterfront in front of the Hotel Nacional is a memorial to the 266 sailors who died when the US battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbour on Feb 15th 1898. It had been sent to protect US interests during Cuba's independence war with Spain. The iron eagle that topped the monument was knocked down by crowds after the 1959 Revolution.
a short taxi ride away from Old Habana is the barrio of Vedado, which sprang up as the residence of the bourgeoisie in the centuries past.
Home of the University of Havana, and the hotels Havana Hilton Libre, Hotel Bugsy Siegel Nacional, the famous ice cream parlour ( seen in the movie strawberry and chocolate), movie theatre Yara, malecon and the infamous Interests Section of the Yanquis, and innumerable marble buildings of the guisanos who left the island rather than struggle for a better life for all.
a very pleasant neighbourhood, which I consider to be my neighbourhood in la Habana, has a long tradition of friendliness to the visitors.
university of havana
the jazz cluba zorro
cubana de aviacion, aero caribbean, aeropostal, airfrance, angolan airlines, mexicana, all close to one another on la Rampa
Vedado, located along the Caribbean waterfront, was developed extensively during the decades between 1930 and 1960, when Havana developed as a major destination for U.S. tourists. High-rise hotels, casinos, restaurants, and upscale commercial establishments, many reflecting the then-popular art deco style, mushroomed in the Vedado district.
In the late 1990s Vedado represented the principal commercial area of the city, and its environs were home to a variety of important landmarks including the Hotel Nacional, José Martí Stadium, the University of Havana, the National Theater of Cuba, and the Colón Cemetery.
We walked from Malecon to Calle 23 and la Rampa, then Avenida de los Presidentes, we have seen the statue of Don quixote (1980) and tried famous ice creams Coppelia
Vedado is the residential neighbourhood part of Havana. The avenues are wider and more spacious. It is a safe and rather pleasant area to stay in, actually.
Streets running north-east are numbered from Calle (Street) 1 to Calle 39. Streets running north-west are numbered from Calle 28 to Calle 2, then the shaded Paseo before naming from Calle A to Calle O.
Address is always given by a Calle, followed by which Calles it is in between. There are stone blocks at the corner of every junction, stating the names of the Calle intersection, example 15 and A.
There are several hotels, museums and cinemas in this part of town. The airline building is along Calle 23, near the Malecon. Huge flea and craft markets are located on Calle 1 between Calle D and Calle E and on Calle 23 between Calle M and Calle N. The Necropolis Cristobal Colon Cemetery and Castillo del Principe are in Vedado as well.
The extremely popular Coppelia ice-cream parlour is a sight to behold as you observe the huge (and I mean, HUGE) queues of peso-paying Cubans waiting patiently for the chance to partake of the ice-cream. As tourists, flashing your US dollars, probably get you instant ice-cream, naturally charged the special 'foreigner's price'.
Heladerio Coppelia - near La Rampa and palace of ice-cream lovers - also scenary of a famous film called "Fresa y chocolata" a relationship between a young cuban socialist and a "outcasted" homosexual
You will find two ice-bars - one for the tourists - one for the Habaneros - we paid tripple the price for two balls of ice ! i do not know the price the habaneros paid - but sometimes they have to wait making a queu for hours.
I quote Andria Pérez visiting Habana and inviting her son for an ice-cream :
"Unless you have dollars, you can buy almost nothing in this country,"
This is Habana !!!!!!!!!!!!!
A very special small street in the area of Vedado - walls fully decorated mainly by the artist Salvador Gonzales.It is an expression of Cuba Afro art - a landmark in this City - and easy to visit by the mountain-bike you can rent
(look at my travelogues)
View of Havana from restaurante La Torre on the 36th floor of a building in Vedado that used to house Soviet technicians. Expensive restaurant but you can just stay in the lounge/coffee shop side and admire the vista.
Best view in Havana! If you want to eat there, the food is good but a little pricey.
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