Posted by: thebluemusicblog | February 25, 2015



Like a picture of the new Jerusalem? Morning mood in Havana, just before reality hits the big city, dreams are still prevailing, unclear contours, golden light of hope.

Yesterday I promised to show you what is behind the walls, to show you the ocean, maybe to get a glimpse of the Old Man and the Sea? A glimpse of Ernest Hemingway strolling along the streets of Havana on his search for another Mojito?

Ernest Hemingway stayed more or less regularly in Havana from 1928-1939 and wrote three novels here, amongst them that one about the old Man and the Sea. He occupied one hotel room for all these years, and he chose that because it had the best view in Havana.


So this day will have a focus on Hemingway and his stay in Havana, among other focuses. One focus that I  also promised yesterday, was more delightful cars from the 40s and 50s. Veteran car paradise!


Let us get started with this beauty from the late 40s – unfortunately already taken, so we had to look out for another.


Romulo is discussing price and other practicalities related to our logistical needs an early morning in Havana. Success!


Not the best of photos, but the ambiance is so brilliant in the back seat of the Chevy 1956 that I could not delete it. On we sail through the big city on our way to an early meeting with Tai Chi participants in the YMCA.


On our way to the YMCA I feel like inside a very old movie, maybe a black and white one turned colorful!


This is my absolute favorite, look at that back and the colors – absolutely unbeatable as the car of the day!


Then Tai Chi in the outside. 15 elderly people in full practice of this old and noble art of Chinese – not self defense, but maybe self preservation. The participants told us about significant health improvements on almost all levels.


This beautiful Cuban teacher, retired with back pains and problems has recovered completely and demonstrated for us how she was able to move and bow and stretch and have a wonderful and healthy life.


On the road again – this time on our way to the Norwegian Embassy, because the ambassador is a friend of Hector.


We arrive at this beautiful building, restored from old grandeur and style and with the Norwegian lion on the wall. Interesting that Norway choose a lion, many would say that an ice bear or a whale would be more appropriate? But this was the style and fashion for new countries in the 19th  century….


The ambassador is receiving us most friendly and hospitable and we have more than an hour solid conversation about the latest developments in Cuban politics, the ambassador’s view on the latest developments related to USA and a possible cancellation of the blockade, now that there are diplomatic bonds restored between the two countries. He is also the Norwegian representative to the rest of Caribbean and asks us questions about our visits to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I know that the embassy here is involved in the Colombian peace talks, and when I inform the ambassador that we visited Medellin in Colombia just that week end in November when a police general had been abducted by the guerrilla, the ambassador told us that one of his staff had been in the jungle managing to get the general set free so the peace talks could continue. Interesting perspectives. A very enjoyable meeting with Norwegians in Havana.


Busy people as we are, we are not hanging around embassies longer than we need to, and again we are back in the saddle again, now choosing this blue miracle of a car!


Sailing through the city we pass old grandeur, palaces from a bygone time. It seems somehow that cars have been more looked after than buildings, because many of them, if not most, seem to have deteriorated all the way from 1959 up till now.


Below you can see quite typical views from a walk through the city.


No time to dwell with architecture or needs for maintenance as we go searching for more beautiful cars and these two below are racing one another up the main street of Havana.


Just to give you a contrast, I made a snap shot of this beautifully restored building, and our guide tells us with a smile that this is the hotel where Ernest Hemingway stayed from 1928 till 1939 and wrote famous books. His room is at the corner of the top floor.


For 2 Pesetas each we are allowed to enter the room, not changed since Hemingway left if. We enter the room with awe! This is special. A fascinating writer and personality, and so attached to Havana and Mojitos and cigars and fishing!


Watch and enjoy, thou literary “fine-schmeckers” and see the fishing rods at the side there.


This is a plaque at the outside, in the corridor, and below you see a model of Hemingway’s boat, which he kept in his room.


Again ambiance in the back seat, this time a Chevy 1954, and we are now on our way to an afternoon appointment with Hector and 100 friends in the YMCA.


We are about to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of the “Telefono Amigo” – the friendly telephone line. This was started by Hector and his YMCA 20 years ago, and it was heart warming to hear about all the lives that this phone line had saved through the years.

IMG_7949I shall come back to the band and the music as soon as I get better internet, I have a few videos with brilliant sound, this was Cuban rhythms at its very best! I hope that I can give you this music before I leave the Caribbean, really worth listening to, and we had a fantastic evening there!


Gifts and awards are exchanged to people who really deserved it.

IMG_7955And we say good night just before mid night with the last photo of a car for this day. Is it not beautiful?




  1. Telefono-amigo = a brilliant concept! I have some experience in this area as my 1st job w/ San Francisco YMCA was “Telephone Receptionist”. A very interesting job. Fantastic to read these stories about Cuba!

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