Havana in Summer

Just got back from 3 wonderful weeks in Havana. I have never been there in early September and was curious to see how the heat, humidity and continuing explosion of tourists would affect my trip. I did a lot more walking this trip and really tried to explore as many of the new options that have been opening up every day.

First up is an old option that has remained untouched. This is the original Bacardi factory. It has been vacant since the Bacardi family vacated it almost 6 decades ago. The Cuban government seems to keep the outside kept up though.

bacardi-buiilding
Original Bacardi Building 

We caught a little more rain than in the past but some days it just made the city a lot prettier with the shine of all that beautiful marble and stone. Below you can see the famous Prado walking street. If you zoom in to the distance, you can still see the kids playing soccer in the rain.

wet-prado
The Prado

Continuing our walk into the Chinatown are we were greeted with some great new street art. You won’t see too much graffiti in Havana but you will see a lot of cool street art.  Cuba might have the worlds only Chinatown without any Chinese people.

strret-art-chinatown
Chinatown Street Art

We had some friends join us mid-trip and we went to a lot of very nice restaurants with them and even a night out at the club!

club-night
Dave and I getting Jiggy with it…kinda. 

We got to see a lot of beautiful sunsets while drinking all of those lovely mojitos.

Tony Sunset.jpg
Tony enjoying a fabulous sunset over the Malecon

There were also plenty of late nights consuming our two favorite Cuban products.

beer-and-behike
My two favorite “B’s”, beer and Behike. 

We even found the first ever Cuban happy hour at a nearby bar. A sure sign of the impending American influence. Just to balance it out though, we had daiquiris and mojitos.

Happy Hour Menu.jpg

Half off these already silly prices!

 

Happy Hour Drinks.jpg
All the delicious rum drinks!

It got us to thinking, what other new foods are making their way into the Cuban scene? We tried to explore some new places that were serving non traditional foods. We finally found some great tacos and a burger called the American. They even had bacon and a fried egg on it and topped with a little American flag.

Tacos.jpg
Carnitas tacos in Havana! 
American Burger.jpg
The flag makes it official. 

Then of course there are always the delicious and insanely cheap street foods you find just walking about. We found these fantastic corn fritters that were fried right before our eyes for a mere .4 cents!

Corn Fritters.jpg
Seriously…4 cents! 

The other great part about eating in Cuba is all of the great fresh seafood. This garlic octopus and I had a 4 day love affair. I literally ate it for lunch every day for 4 days! It was only $4 for that whole plate served in one of our favorite bar and restaurant, El Chanchullero.

Garlic Octopus.jpg
Oh to be tangled up in your sweet, garlicky arms again! 

With our 3 weeks winding down and our bellies getting smaller from all of the walking, it was finally time to catch our flight home. As one final fun goodbye, our plane we took from Havana had a great MLB theme!

Baseball Plane.jpg
Cuba lives and dies with their baseball! 

Cuba remains a wonderful paradise. The people are warm and friendly and greatly curious when speaking to Americans. It is still surprisingly still affordable even though prices are climbing. There seems to be a crazy amount of construction going on, so I suppose the old Cuba I love will soon start to fade.

I am off to Thailand for a month but if you would like to join me on my next trip to Havana, I will be there from Nov 20- Dec 5th. Check out my website at http://www.TheCigarLover.com for details on how to book and join me.

Till then…cheers!

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