La Habana, capital of Cuba, the Caribbean metropolis that for many decades has been so little loved and so badly neglected, with breathtakingly restored beauty alongside unbelievable ruins - the queen of the Antilles in a country that lies between sun and socialism, between Rumba and Revolution!
As early as 1553, the Spanish Conquistadors chose Havana’s harbour as a rendezvous for ships that traded gold and silver in its colonies and, to protect this ‘Gateway To The New World’ from attack by looters, several forts were built, the oldest of which being the Castello El Morro whose construction took more than two decades.
As standards of living progressed, pirates and buccaneers came here and repeatedly destroyed parts of the growing town but each time they did so it was rebuilt and improved.
La Bodeguita Del Medio was once Hemmingway’s local drinking place and nowhere else is the ‚Mojito‘ mixed better: three year old white rum, lime juice, soda, sugar, ice and mint.
Whether it be the Teatro Marti, the Old Tobacco Factory, the famous Bacardi House, or the Floridita Bar, everywhere there is a feeling of nostalgia and when the Daiquiri is served one almost expects Fidel Castro to be seated at the next table!
The Nacional Hotel, which was built in 1930 with Mafia money and once accommodated prominent people from the film and business world, exudes nostalgic dreams of unmitigated pleasures.
A city whose riches once seemed boundless, La Habana now rests in sleepy magic waiting to be discovered once again.
2014, NR, 26 mins.