Academic Master


A Visit to the Cuban City of Havana

Coming to Havana for the first time, it is important to know what they give, how much they ask, who went with whom in the central street, and what style of honor in local discos. All the vital information about the Cuban capital is in the Weekend Review.

Vera Matveeva

The most difficult thing behind it is the 13-hour flight and the queue at customs. On the way out, there will be even more there. You have to show this yellow leaflet with information about where you stayed in Cuba and still pay 25 cuc (cookies, or convertible pesos, one roughly equal to 32 rubles) for leaving the country. And I will tempt to say, they say, sorry, but I do not have any money in any currency – do not let me out of the country, please.

But now it’s still a week, and on Monday evening – and it’s better to fly to Havana on Monday – you leave the doors of Jose Marti International Airport, the heat immediately hugs you like a big Cuban mother, and taxi drivers with offers to take to the center for 25 cuc flies like flies. If you do not hurry, stand firmly on 15; if you are tired and want to be in the city quickly, stand at 20. Knowledge of Spanish, at least at the lowest level, such as “ola!”, “Densely thick,” “gracias,” and addresses casa/hotel – a big plus in your wallet. However, by resorting to English, gestures, and body language, you can also achieve a result. Sometimes, among the population “for 50,” there are Russian speakers, and Russian is taught in universities. And yet, in Spanish, even the most broken and slow is better. The language barrier, first of all, divides all “citizens of visitors” into “tourists”, which can be vparivat at wild prices of cigars, rum, girls and lobsters, because they came for girls and lobsters and willingly respond to the first “May Friend” on the street. And there are “extranheros” or “viaheros” – foreigners, travelers – who do not shout from Malone, that “Rush ruululit!”, Do not throw coins of 1 cuc with local musicians with the demand “go ahead, fry” commandante che Guevara “and not walk the streets of the Vedado district in beach clothes, we will be among them.

Monday (el Lunes)

Fishermen on the Malecon waterfront

So, we took a taxi – for the “twenty”, it is quite modern and air-conditioned, and after talking with the driver we are moving to the place of dislocation. To change money, it is possible in any place with an inscription casa de cambio, she – “кадека.” A couple is at the airport; the rate is almost the same everywhere – 1 1 for dollars, for the euro 1: 1.3. In Cuba, two types of currencies are in circulation – the “valuable” convertible peso cuc, which will be needed to pay for housing, restaurants, taxis, entrance to concerts and other “expensive” cases, and “peso,” or cup – it calculates the cost, say, in fruit markets or in local “shuttles.” It makes sense to immediately ask ten cucs to give you in the “non-violence”; it will be approximately 240 cup.

Where to stay in Havana – in a hotel or in a hotel – is your business, but the walls of the hotel – this is another barrier between you and the Cubans, while casa, particular, is the most desired “immersion” in culture and life. Casa Particular is a house that is owned by a local landlord/hostess, but according to its condition and layout, it is brought to the standard for the resettlement of foreigners. To confirm compliance with fairly high requirements, the inspectors regularly inspect, after which the commission issues a certificate to the owners for work with tourists. Above the door hang a sign – a blue “anchor.” The same, only red, denotes the kasa for the local, without a license to work with “extranheros”. The average price of the helmet in the most convenient areas for travelers – Vedado, Miramare, Old and Central Havana (Abana Vieja and Centro Abana) – varies from 20 to 40 cookies per day for a room, that is, if you have a companion, the figure should be divided into two. Breakfast, as a rule, is not included, but it is always possible to agree with the owners that you will be tasty at home with local food.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Balcony in Old Havana

Even in the “high” season – October-November and March-April – to find a free ticket is not difficult. Another question is that not all owners are equally useful, and not every house can vouch for the safe keeping of valuable things and papers, so it’s best to go after the “guide” experienced – the good, the tourist forums have enough reviews, and already with addresses. December-January in Cuba, like ours – winter, and the temperature may well drop, say, to 10-15 degrees Celsius. May-July-summer, when it is possible to move through the streets during the day only by short dashes from one air-conditioned room to another. In July, the hurricane season begins – or, in local terms, “cyclones” – and lasts until about the end of September. On the other hand, Havana, unlike, say, the tourist reservation of Varadero, so it’s wonderful that there you can find yourself an occupation in any weather.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Street of Old Havana

By eight o’clock, at the very least, having arranged things and hastily rinsed in the warm (for a day in the tanks, the water decently warmed up) to the soul, we went out to the promenade. Despite how stunning everything is – stunningly bright, stunningly loud, and stunningly dirty – we feel that the forces to smoke the night away remained somewhere on the plane. On luck, Monday in Havana is a kind of day off from nightlife, and even the youthful evening Malecon is almost empty. Ideal for such a case – walk along Avenida del Prado from the promenade (Malecon) to the Capitol, turn left in Parque Central, and exit on Obispo – the main “artery” of Old Havana, which vaguely resembles the native Arbat. By the way, if you settled not in the Old and not in Central Havana, and to the designated places to go on foot is far away – it’s time to catch a “wheelbarrow”, “makin”, or “almendron.” This “almendron” looks like a very shabby Ford or Chevrolet of the 50-60s with two sofas inside, on which five to six mulattos are already comfortably settled. The journey costs ten national pesos, that is, less than half of the cuc – if you did not take the “violence” at the airport, give a coin in a half-kuk, it will turn out with “tea”. It is better not to give larger coins and even more so to avoid misunderstandings with surrender, which will necessarily happen. (Bienvenidos a Cuba!) The main thing is to ask beforehand where we are actually going. For this, in the window, we ask, “A Labana?” (i.e., in the Old Havana?) – and, only after receiving an affirmative nod, sit down. If the option of such a “taxi collectively” on the first evening seems too extreme, you can take the usual taxi – from distant Miramar, it is worth to bargain for 5-6 cuc, in other cases it is worth to bargain cheaper, with the unflappable kind of “experienced”.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Central Havana and the Malecon embankment

By Obispo, it is easy to reach the main squares of Abana Vieja or Old Havana. Here, not only beautiful but also delicious, this is the place where the restaurants are concentrated with the notorious (but no less appetizing) lobsters. Also on the menu are matrices (seafood) or separately Camarones (royal prawns), congri (rice with black beans), ahiyako (national soup with garlic and everything in the world), salad with aguaca (avocado), flan (egg dessert) and fruit plate with pinea (pineapple), planeanos (bananas), frutobomboy (papaya – neater with this word, in Cuba it is unprintable) and, perhaps, the most Cuban fruit – guayava. The most expensive dish on the menu will cost about 15 cuc – note, the tip is often included in the bill, but leaving the cook on top is considered a good form.

Well, just in case, here are two basic rules of the Cuban food service: always ask for a menu, even if you know exactly what you want to order – otherwise, the cost of the dish will be measured by your external solvency – and do not disdain to recount your order, mistakes are not uncommon and always not in favor of the tourist.

Tables on the square or more pretentious seats “overlooking” the balconies of the second and third floors are spread out across the Plaza Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Plaza San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de Armas. To any of these places for one cuc you will be delivered bisitaxi (bicycle), the main thing to pay at first, otherwise, the standard cookie turns into two or even five.

Tuesday (el Martes)

Tea in Cuba is unpopular: although it is believed that it is drunk “in the best houses of Philadelphia,” it is a strange drink for tourists. But Turkish coffee, cooked with a lot of sugar, is an obligatory part of the morning ritual. If you take the Ellada de Coco in half a coconut for ten national pesos and eat it on your own balcony, looking at the windows of the house opposite, listening to the music of the streets and squinting from the sun, which literally slaps on the vertex – it will be a really good morning of a new day in Havana.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Street of Old Havana

On the occasion of Kopel and other eateries-pizzerias at the entrances of houses – the prices there are denoted by the sign of $, but in fact, they are given to the local people in the “peso nonsense.” So a $ 5 sandwich is not a five-cuc sandwich, but if you give so much and you go, it’s unlikely that you will be called to try to return the change.

It is better to use the day to look around and assimilate – at least take a walk around your neighborhood to understand where they are selling and where they are going. Then you can go to the same Abana Vieja – the most picturesque and protected by UNESCO. At Obispo-Arbat, a little further from the Florida hotel (not to be confused with the Floridita bar at the other end of the street), to the right is a kiosk with maps of Cuba and, in particular, its capital.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Costume show on Obispo Street in Old Havana

It is not superfluous to warn: the first to speak with you on the streets of Havana in English can be either a hetero or a foreign ambassador. The chance to meet the second is very, very small, but “riding” on hinetero tourists (from jineteando – “rider”) – “animal” is very common. On the one hand, it can be of some use because it has connections and can get everything you want, but the question of what quality and for what price is different. Take the most innocuous option – you decided to get “real Cuban cigars at the lowest price.” Almost 100% can guarantee that tobacco will turn out to be cheesy, and after a few days in a completely licensed store, you will find that there is a box of cigars cheaper than on the street. In a word, you should not contact such dark persons without the skills of such communication – after hearing “hello, may,” “verdu yrom frrom” and “it’s fairy-tail lady”, continue unperturbably and silently, “in Moscow,” follow your own cases.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

On the mall Prado

The best option for a walk is to choose one of the long inner streets of Old Havana, like Luz (calle Luz), Cuba (calle Cuba) or Empedrado (calle Empedrado), and just walk along. So you will not only see local life, schools, workshops, snack bars, patios of ordinary houses, etc. but also not get lost. On the Island it is not accepted to rush to tell a friend you met, there is no time for you – it’s almost indecent, and so it’s so fantastically difficult to “do business” and so nice to rest from the Moscow rhythm, slowing down the walking pace three times.

By the way, about the “beautiful lady”: Cuban men have one very remarkable habit – often reminiscent of beautiful girls, what they are beautiful. In the course are compliments – high-pitched or obscene, whistling, “snorting”, air kisses, long meaningful looks following and, in some cases, moods – even pantomime. For example, you will probably be shown that dust from the road is shaken off your hands so that you pass along a cobbled street “like a caravel on the waves.” The correct attitude to such signs of attention is calm, like “yes, thank you, I know”: what adorned your day, that my parents are blessed, that I am an angel of pure beauty, and with a delicious “bumper.”

There is, apparently, some theory of the relativity of compliments and geography, and if in Moscow to hear from a stranger, “God, how beautiful you are!” – this is the potential beginning of the novel, then to hear the same, absolutely sincere, the phrase in Havana – it’s like saying hello, telling aloud “what a heat!” or “the dog ran.”

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

On the street of Old Havana

© “Premium Film”

Havana, with love

Walking through the streets of Old Havana, reinforcing the forces with the miraculous elixir of “guarapo,” he is also a sugar cane juice, which in the morning can be found for pennies in local “entrances” or for 2-3 cookies (without/with rum) in a tourist cafe, you can do the planning of evening leisure. Cuban capital regularly hosts live concerts of legendary national groups for ridiculous, by Moscow standards, money – so, on average, 10-15 cuc will cost the night performance of reggaeton stars (musical style on the mix of reggae, hip-hop, and authentic bass, the first recognizable sounds of which you will hear even at the entrance to Havana – from every second balcony and from the speakers of any oncoming car), salsa stars like Habana D’Primera, Manolito Simonet y su trabuco and the legendary Los Van Van will be slightly more expensive – 20-25 cuc, but, you must agree, for a quality hour and a half in it it is not expensive. There are high chances of arriving at a similar concert in one of the two “Casa de la Musique” – Galiano and Miramar, in the “Cantante Cantina” on Revolution Square, in the “Salon Rojo” in Vedado, in “Marina Hemingway” whether where else. The club’s billboard for the whole week is usually hung out at the entrance on Monday. Enterprising people can find phone numbers on the Internet ahead of time and call out institutions, although it will take Spanish-level upper-intermediate. Concerts are available in two formats – “matinE,” from 17:00 to 21:00 (sometimes – to 22), and “an ance” from 23:00 until about 03:00. Further in search of adventure, you can move to the night Malecon, and at the end of the week – go dancing in Dos gardenias or Tres medals (before 9 am).

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Wednesday (el Miercoles)

Night Malecon

Cuba is rich in regular beaches – with transparent turquoise water, palm trees, white sand, and a minimum of tourists. A plunge into such a “bounty” is possible at Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Romano, Cayo Guahaba, and on Juventud or the island of Youth – it’s enough to come to one of the many tour-centers scattered around large hotels, and book a trip. The one-day flight, with departure by domestic airlines at seven in the morning, will cost 200 cuc. You will be attached to the group and will be carefully transported, fed, skated, taught to snorkel, and given pictures of turtles, iguanas, and starfish.

If you do not have the extra 200 cuc, you can go on your own to the Oriental Beaches, which are 18 kilometers from Havana. The ocean in Cuba is good everywhere. Before Playas del Este (Playas del Este) can be reached from Parque Central – on a quite comfortable bus for three cuc, a stop opposite the monument to Jose Marti. The bus with the inscription Playa departs about every half hour, and the last one comes from the beach at 18:00. If the company is large, it is quite possible to fork out a taxi. A trip on a rare Chevrolet, which for us – a cinematic retro, and for Cubans – requires a permanent repair of reality – from the same Parke Central will cost about 10-15 cookies depending on your talents competently negotiate. With a driver who, upon request, takes you to the lively Tropicoco or more secluded Los Pinos, you can immediately agree on how much you would like to return to the city.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Los Pinos beach near Havana

Everyone knows what to do on the beach, but the information from the category “how much” will not be superfluous. A Pina colada in a local bar will cost 2-3 cuc, as much – as a sandwich with fish or bacon. For one lounger, you will have to give two cookies, but the umbrellas will be a free bonus. Massage – from 10 cuc for half an hour. Tamale – corn mush in a palm leaf – costs 10 pesos nonsense, although, for tourists, prices rise to 3 cuc.

Agree to the first price is almost never, except perhaps in expensive stores and restaurants with a fixed menu. But also, to choke for a half-cook is not necessary. Yes, local prices everywhere are noticeably lower, but the average salary of a graduate in Cuba is about 500 national pesos, that is, about 20 cuc. Perhaps the most reasonable, so as not to spoil your mood on vacation, include moderate Zen Buddhism and, in some places, forgive the surcharge for tourists.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Thursday (el Jueves)

Avenida del Prado street

While we are going through the “physical ball for girls” at school physical education classes, and we are skilfully mastering skis, the Cuban children are obliged to teach dances. Yes, and “extra-curricular” classes are enough – the desire to move yourself to the music is supported in the child from the moment he gets to his feet. Plus, let’s not forget that children copy adults – and if any family holiday with grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles inevitably ends with reggaeton, the dance becomes quite an ordinary part of leisure.

Therefore, for years, say, to 20, every second Cuban considers himself an almost professional dancer, and every third is sure that he can teach dance. For sure, with the “professors” of all stripes, you will meet already at the evening concerts at concerts – you will be noticed in dance attempts of varying degrees of awkwardness and will be offered to teach real salsa, sleep, rumba, and reggaeton. You can succumb to provocation at your own peril and risk, but not every Cuban, even if he really is a dancer from God, is able to convey his skills to a European student and “stir” the Russian body. Separate “chamber” schools with really talented teachers meet at Obispo, Empedrado, and Avenida del Prado. It will be superfluous to connect to the search for the owners of your mantle – first explaining as clearly as possible that you need Esquel de Bayles with diplomaed choreographers, and not, say, a cousin who perfectly dances salsa, taught three of them and everyone was happy.

In the “sequel,” the hours of classes will cost 10-15 cuc, and again, you need to imagine very well what exactly you would like to learn. Let’s assume that we need to master basic steps and gestures in Cuban salsa. This is what we demand from the instructor not to get an hour of dance aerobics “Latin mix” or, more likely, an hour of talking about how truly beautiful Cuban culture.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Local resident in Havana Street

Well, hone acquired skills on Thursday is in the sign club “1830”, he’s also the “Milo ochosentes trenta”, or simply “Milo Ocho” – so it’s worth talking to the taxi driver. The fiesta begins at 20:00 and lasts until midnight on Thursday and until two in the morning on Sunday; on other days, according to eyewitnesses, the club also works, but “the whole people” traditionally go there only on Thursdays and Sundays – dance salsa, chat with tourists, see a few performances of dance groups. There are a lot of people, all crowded and hot, but this is the whole “Zimes.” The main thing – is not to forget about the rules of decency, which here are limited to compliance with the dress code.

The dress code in the “Mil Ocho” is common in all of Havana. It’s just indecent not to smell perfume and deodorant, and it’s embarrassing to walk on the dirty, crumpled beach not in the best way combined clothes. Girls – more bright and tight, regardless of the complexion and the obligatory manicure, which the cubes rank as basic needs like shelter and food. Recently, the “roll” towards European fashion has become noticeable, simplification, but rhinestones, sequins, and “big shoes” – on the heel and platform – still cling to the heart.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Cuban tradition to magnificently celebrate the 15th anniversary of girls – in RIA Novosti’s photo collection

Men – to scent expensive and stronger, put on light/colored pants, how to casually flaunt the logo-another recognizable brand (everything will be noticed). This, of course, is cute and funny, but to take the dress code seriously, a certain style and high standards of personal hygiene in Cuba are some sorts of recognizable “markers” of the person brought up, and “reputation” is almost the main wealth. That’s “take care of the dress again.”

Friday (el Viernes)

By the end of the week, the acclimatization is over, and we have almost merged with the landscape – it is at this point that we should indulge in tourist joys and visit several places from the list of “mast si”. Variants of mass – you can go to one (or several) port fortresses, which protected Havana from the real “pirates of the Caribbean” back in the troubled XVI-XVII century. From the fortress El Morro, you have a spectacular view of Malecon and Havana “on the other side of the mirror,” and on La Cabaña, you can take a closer look at the “Cuban Christ” – the second largest in Latin America after the famous Brazilian. And even daily, at exactly 21:00, in this fortress, they are fired from a cannon. The action takes place with a costume ceremony, a guard – and an entrance on eight cuc from the nose. Once upon a time, the cannon volley signaled that the port was closing – between the fortresses pulled a chain so that the unwanted “Black Pearls” did not slip at night. Now, a shot from the cannon signals that it’s time to put yourself in order for a night party.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

View from the fortress of El Morro, Havana.

Another place for visits is Columbus Cemetery, it is Semeterio de Colon, the most beautiful, full of light sadness, white marble, and luxurious statues of the cemetery in the world. It still functions but has already turned into a huge open-air museum – the entrance costs five cuc. It’s better to go there for two or three hours to wander, take a look at the tombs of the Spanish noblemen drowning in the greenery, and read the “parting words” on the plates. Lorca, so to speak, is poured into the air.

© public domain

Federico Garcia Lorca: a song that has become light. A selection of poems from the Weekend project

If you want to escape from the midday sun, you can choose from several worthy museums nearby: The Revolution Museum is located at the end of the Prado, opposite Malone, where Che’s personal belongings are still kept. Two halls of the National Museum of Fine Arts or Museo Nacional de Bayez Artes are exhibited both in the colonial period and the works of contemporary artists. And a large exposition is devoted specifically to Cuban pop art – another unexpected perspective. The third is the Museum of Roma (or rather, according to local pronunciation, Rona) in the same Old Havana, near San San Francisco de Asis, opposite the port. For a piece-rate fee, you will be shown in miniature the entire process of producing a “yo-ho-ho-drink” – from sugarcane to bottles of Havana Club – and will tell you about the difference between rum “blanco”, “oro” and “aniejo”.

Since we were on the Square of St. Francis, it’s a sin not to look at the Cavalier of Paris – a bronze statue to the right of the cathedral. In fact, the story of this poor fellow is not at all happy – he was separated from his beloved, who, in trouble, was the wife of a rich and vindictive lord. For the rigged case of the theft, he spent about eight years in prison, went insane, and, returning to Havana, told everyone that he was passing from Paris. Despite such a tragic fate, today, holding on to the beard and for the finger of the “cavalier” is considered a good sign – so that they are polished to a golden luster for good luck.

Another “attraction” of Havana is old Ham, who lived here and to this day brings the Cubans daily income. Each of the places where Hemingway stopped turned into a museum, and every snack bar, where he at least glanced or theoretically could look, represents the “favorite dish” and “favorite cocktail” of the writer. The following is well known: he drank the daiquiri in Florida on the Obispo and Mojito in El Bodeguita del Medio near the Plaza de Catedral. Both are sold in these bars to this day and if you close your eyes to crowds of foreigners and focus on the taste of the drinks, then yes, it’s worth it.

© RIA Novosti / Rudolf Kucherov

Go to the Photobank

“Why are lions the best I have left?”: Hemingway’s quotes

To finish such a “tourist” day is on a high note – for example, having dinner at one of the most luxurious restaurants in Havana, La Torre, in the Fox building in Vedado. Public catering is on the 32nd floor, and the view of the city is amazing. The most expensive dish of this place for VIPs is 32 cookies (about 1000 rubles) – however, if by the end of the week in Havana this is too much for you, you can sit in the second hall with a bar, order a cocktail for 4-6 cuc and legally enjoy all that the same breathtaking panorama.

Saturday (el Sabado)

While there was money and free time, it was worth buying souvenirs. In the city, shops do not do this because it is all pretty “typical,” and buying with hands or on small razvalchakah – means buying at a high price. Of course, if you have something concrete to the heart and the money is allowed, you have to take it on the spot – or there is a great chance that then you will not find it anywhere. But when it comes to two or three kilograms of magnets, beads, statuettes, maracas, drums, t-shirts, bags, and baseballs for relatives, friends, and colleagues – you have a direct road to the souvenir port market, it’s the Mercado de Los Subeniros or Almacenes San Jose on Avenida del Puerto – a phrase that is worth talking bisitaksistu.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

A walk on bisitaksi in Old Havana

In addition to all of the above, there you can see the pictures of numerous contemporary artists and even buy yourself a couple for a similar price, as well as plaits, braid half a head and drink coconut juice with rum, contemplating the ocean. As for prices – read the recommendations above and bargain, mercilessly bargain!

After tiring shopping, it would be nice to unwind. For example, if you are a whole company, you can grab a bottle of rum elixir “Legendario,” packaged juice “Pigna colada” and glasses, take a shiny old school cabriolet with a driver near the Capitol, and ride with chic and wind in hair past the most iconic “points” of Havana, like the Plaza de la Revolucion with government buildings, a luxury hotel “Nasional,” a local university campus and, of course, Malone. The hour of the trip will cost 35-50 cuc, depending on the season and your personal talent as a parliamentarian.

If the company you do not have or this option seems too pretentious to you, you can negotiate with an ordinary taxi driver so that he can take you through the districts (Municipio) of Havana. They, among other things, 15 – but a rare tourist “will fly” to the middle. Havana is indeed a very large and very different city. The difference between Vedado and Guanabacoa, between Dies de Octubre and Regla, is so great – it’s almost impossible to believe that they are all pieces of one pie.

For motorists, there is another option for a small trip – “rentakar” for a day. The offices can be found on the same Prado or ask in the hotels on Park Central. However, we warn at once to find the car on the go, and even for the acceptable 60-70 cuc, sometimes it takes much more than a day, plus a remarkable desire to communicate with a dozen seemingly completely unnecessary people.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Sunday (el Domingo)

City taxi Havana

Kayejon de Hamel is an art object the size of a street. This impasse in Central Havana was painted and decorated by the Cuban artist Salvador Gonzalez Escalona. A riot of colors, ambiguous inscriptions, hanging dolls, mocked mannequins, and old iron baths diced in half instead of benches – the uninitiated will not immediately guess that all kayejon is nothing more than a tribute to the Afro-Cuban culture and, in particular, its religious component, as a sanatorium.

From 12:00 to about two on Sundays, here, sing and dance – afro, abakuya, and not at all religious, but all dearly beloved street rumba. And in the dead end, there is a cafe and a democratic bar, where they pour a unique “black mojito” called “Negron” – with honey and dark seven-year rum.

An aborigine, like a barman or a café worker, can ask about the excursion to the house of Santero (the minister of the cult). Here, however, you need to be at least approximately familiar with the “matchmaking” and imagine what it is you can see; otherwise, a naive foreigner will be shown for some good money some “hohlomu” a la Voodoo, which has nothing in common with the religion that is adhered to 80% of Cubans. But if you approach the issue with knowledge and delicacy, you can personally get to know the real babalao, that is, the highest cleric of the cult, and even drink coffee with him on the balcony.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Naumov

Sunday Fiesta in Callejon de Jamel

By the way, many Santerian rituals are held in the Havana forest, which is an extremely beautiful place; however, be prepared for the fact that you will be taken there reluctantly. Photographing rituals and generally coming close to their place of conduct – to put it mildly, not comme il faut, and this is just the case when you have to take yourself into a fist and show restraint and respect (for sure, you would also not like it if, say, christenings your child was shooting on the cellular some kind of “left” onlookers). Nevertheless, just walking around this “namolennomu” place is not forbidden.

But how do you spend the final night of the week in Havana? The choice is yours. By this time, you will certainly have several dozen friends and buddies with whom you can arrange a “dump” right on Malone. Or reduce yourself to an expensive restaurant and puddle seafood a year ahead. Or to arrange a raid on night institutions, which have not yet been visited. Or you can buy chocolate sweets and sweet beer for the whole family and sit down with the masters of the watch to watch the evening show. The main thing is if you did everything right, it was only your first trip to Havana.



Calculate Your Order

Standard price





Pop-up Message