Hemingway and Cuba

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Cuba, the very country Ernest Hemingway fell in love with. He started going there in 1932 because he loved fishing. He first lived in the Ambos Mundos Hotel in Habana Vieja from 1932 to 1939. He later bought La Finca Vigia, a house located close to La Habana in San Francisco de Paula where he lived until the Cuban revolution in 1960. In fact, Hemingway wrote his major works in Cuba, and he was at La Finca Vigia when he learnt he had won the Nobel Prize.

Ambos Mundos Hotel
Ambos Mundos Hotel
Ambos Mundos Hotel - Lobby
Ambos Mundos Hotel – Lobby











Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms and most of For Whom the Bells Toll when he was staying at the Ambos Mundos Hotel. His room, 511, is now a museum. When he was staying at the hotel, he was a regular at the La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant. Many illustrious people went there for the food and cocktails: Nat King Cole, Pablo Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez among others. Hemingway loved to drink, and he even contributed in the creation of a new cocktail: the daiquiri.

La Bodeguita del Medio
La Bodeguita del Medio
La Bodeguita del Medio
La Bodeguita del Medio
Ambos Mundos Hotel - Room 511
Ambos Mundos Hotel – Room 511











Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit La Finca Vigia or Cojimar, the village where Hemingway used to fish and that inspired The Old Man and the Sea. However, I saw the Ambos Mundos Hotel and the La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant, and it was quite an experience! It was like a trip back in time, back to the 1930s.

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Written by Cecile

Cécile Sune was born in Lyon, France, and her obsession with books started when she was 14. Her grandparents had lent her Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and she spent part of the summer indoors reading. Needless to say, her tan didn't really improve that year! It was also around that time that Cécile fell in love with the English language. Several years later, in 1999, Cécile moved to Toronto, Canada, with her cat and 5 suitcases. Her love of reading greatly increased when she discovered that English books were much cheaper than French novels. In 2013, she decided to start a blog to share her passion. Cécile now lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and their daughter, and works as a freelance translator (CS Revision).


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