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A “Quiet Night” in Havana?


Varadero is a wonderful place to visit, even in December, but the famous Cuban weatherman Jose Rubiera tells me, via television, that the next 3 days are going to be sub-optimal for lounging on the beach. This offers me a great excuse to check out Cuba’s spectacular capital, Havana. I go online, rent a car via www.carrentalcuba.com and the next morning at 10 o’clock, I am on my way. more...


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Varadero is a wonderful place to visit, even in December, but the famous Cuban weatherman Jose Rubiera tells me, via television, that the next 3 days are going to be sub-optimal for lounging on the beach. This offers me a great excuse to check out Cuba’s spectacular capital, Havana. I go online, rent a car via www.carrentalcuba.com and the next morning at 10 o’clock, I am on my way.

The road to Havana isn’t exactly the most beautiful you will find in Cuba, but its rather fast and within 2 and a half hour I reach Havana, find the world famous sea boulevard, the Malecon, take a turn on Prado and park my car somewhere near Hotel NH Parque Central.

Amazing how Old Havana (Habana Vieja) is being restored. It had been a while since I visited this place and I must say I am impressed! I have a burger, beer and fries on Plaza Vieja, buy a pair of fancy shoes at Via Uno on Obispo street and visit an old friend who tells me he has a spare ticket for an event called Quiet Nights which is held in auditorium of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana and asks me if I want to go! “Absolutely!” I reply, while recognizing the luck that is bestowed upon me.

Last time I checked out Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes was during a fantastic exposition of the Cuban painter Agustin Bejarano. Tonight I will discover the music of Sue Harrod, an English musician who resides in Cuba. The small auditorium offers excellent acoustics and a very intimate atmosphere. The dim lit stage and the video projection are a perfect fit for an at times rather intense performances. Electronic instruments and the voices of 7 international vocalists create a very special sonic landscape. It does not come as a big surprise to me that Sue refers to the Icelandic artist Bjork as a main source of inspiration.

It’s eleven PM and it is time to check out some other Havana nightlife. Old Havana (Habana Vieja) offers lots of great places with live salsa music and delicious Mojito’s. I run into a really sweet lottery millionaire, a fabulous middle aged lady who won’t leave Cuba before she can take her husband with her and a couple of true Hotel Riviera fanatics who has stayed there 17 times over the last 5 years. I am having a blast and there is no way that I am getting ready to go to sleep! I’ll have another Mojito Carlito!

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