The last few times, I spent quite a bit of time walking around downtown Havana or Old Havana as it is called there. You need to take your best cigar cutter if you go to cuba, of course, as the area is known for its cigar production. Walking around without tasting the local products is indeed not recommended. One thing to note is that it is a truly fascinating place with classic culture.
The Cigar Factory
A few times before, my friend from the region, Pedro, and I investigated the Capitol. A massive statue in the entrance hall welcomes you at the entrance, actually an amazing building. The playground away from the Capitol is one of my favorite areas, despite the lack of seats and backrests. I had the opportunity to find the Tabacalera Partagas, a cigar factory that has existed since 1845. Then we went up to the place where the real cigars are made. The workers have quotas of 80 and 200 cigars a day (some of them go to the black market), and workers sit in the wooden working channels and roll the tobacco. I was desperately looking for a smoker since smoking is still an integral industry in Cuba today.
In this regard, I had the opportunity to see the residential areas of Old Havana, where people live in relatively restricted conditions in underdeveloped houses and the occasional stay, which has decreased with others’ involvement. Everyone’s life takes place on the street. I had the opportunity to see the Havana train station, full of people, the port area, and some rather dilapidated industrial areas with ruined buildings. Nowhere you can see that you have no money. Next to the Capitol is the National Theatre, very close to the famous Hotel Inglaterra, and in front of it the Central Park, where men of all ages meet to discuss information about their national game.
The Cuban Music
I had the opportunity to explore a set up every Wednesday and Saturday before the Malecón, near Plaza de Armas, where all kinds of jewelry and products are sold to vacationers. I had the opportunity to make small lunches for my husband and my colleagues, and then I sat in a little outdoor cafe where a young Cuban group appreciated the classic Cuban songs. Interestingly, masculinity they appreciated had to go back to the twenties, accompanied by all kinds of Cuban percussions. I sincerely love Cuban music, but I didn’t have many opportunities to understand it. Yesterday my friend and I were going to visit the “Casa de la Música,” where they play live audio at a reasonable price, but for some reason, it was closed, which is not unusual in this area.
The revolution is certainly present everywhere you go. I think I have seen the vast majority of these vital areas of the city, except for the Plaza de la Revolución, where the Central Committee is located in addition to the Cuban government apparatus. I have to make a short trip to this region and take a photo or two at the Che Guevara Convention, which seems to be a very revered person around here, although often through Fidel Castro. A fortnight is a relatively long time to put money into a city and, since I am entirely immersed in the culture, I think I have a good feeling with Havana and am slowly but surely planning to return home.