Friday, May 31, 2013

Havana, a seductive city

Claudia Ramos
Reporting from Havana

Havana, a seductive city

Walking through the streets of old Havana, it’s inevitable to be trapped by the sun, the music, the culture, and the still vibrant revolution of Cuba.
Founded in the 16th century by the Spanish conquistadors, today Havana is home to more than 2 million people. Standing on the edge of the famous Malecon, from this distance the city looks like anywhere else, but Havana is like few other cities in the world. This revolutionary city is truly alluring, its mix of colonial architecture, rum and sea, give the city an unexplainable romance the catches your eye from the get go.

In every corner of the city you can feel the spirit of the biggest island in the Caribbean. Trumpets, children running through the streets, and women dressed in colorful dresses moving to the beat of Guantanamera. In Havana you cannot avoid a cup of coffee, a mojito, or a cigar, it’s the essence of this ancient city.
A city where buildings appear to be falling apart, where taxicabs from the 50’s pass by, and where it is common to see a woman hang clothes from a balcony. Meanwhile I listen to the festive melody of “La vida es un carnival” (life is a carnival) being sung to me by an old man sitting on the edge of a cracked sidewalk, I cannot believe I am in this "prohibited island."I continue to stroll down the street and as I look around I cannot avoid smiling back to the people who kindly smile and welcome me to their home; one of the most seductive, elusive places on earth, La Havana, Cuba.

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