Ernest Hemingway is one of my favourite writers. I have a deep passion for literature and a fascination with Hemingway’s era and work. Those close to me know of this love for Hemingway and what Paris in the roaring twenties must have encapsulated. I’m among those who think his writing is incredible. His work is genius. The work he put into his writing is so evident with every sentence crafted to perfection. I admire his style and the fact that he treats his readers as intelligent human beings. He doesn’t have to tell us everything.
I have knowingly and unknowingly found myself in Hemingway’s old stomping grounds around the world. I have spent hours perusing the shelves of Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. I have sat in the cafes in Montparnasse. The streets of Pamplona quickly brought me to Cafe Iruna in the main square. And finally I have drank daiquiris in Havana next to his statue.
I recently returned from my second trip to Havana. There’s something magical about that city as with many of Hemingway’s favourite locations. I could wander through the streets of Havana forever admiring the coloured buildings. On this recent trip, my wandering brought me to Hemingway’s house just outside the city of Havana. It was breathtaking and is now open to the public as a museum.
I was able to peek into the house through the open windows and doors. I was able to sneak a glimpse into the life and mind of Hemingway. His house was open and breezy. It was filled from floor to ceiling with books. His bedroom, apparently one of his writing spots, was tucked away in the corner of the home. The backyard has a stunning view of the city of Havana. It’s a large property complete with a tower and in his time a tennis court.
His boat is also stored on the property. I got a close view of the vessel that took Hemingway himself out to sea. I can only imagine the fishing adventures, stories and drinks that were shared on that boat. I would highly recommend a stop at his home if you’re in the Havana area. It was so special.
A trip to Havana wouldn’t be complete without visiting Hemingway’s bars. El Floridita was one of his favorite bars and he could often be found sitting at the bar with a daiquiri (they’re delicious). La Bodeguita Del Medio was his other go-to place and they’re known for the best mojito in Havana. So what are you waiting for? Hop on a plane and raise a glass to the man himself. To Hemingway.
My fascination with Hemingway’s life will never end. I’m so curious about what made him tick. Every time I’m in Cuba I read one of his books on the beach. I take something new from his writing each time I flip through the pages and I think his work has a lot to teach any aspiring writers. This trip I read The Sun Also Rises. I do not agree with some of the language he used in this novel. However, I think there’s always something to be learned from every book and it really was written brilliantly. It touched me in a way I wasn’t expecting and the ending has stuck with me ever since I put the book down. It really resonated. The last paragraph hit me hard. I couldn’t think of a better ending – it was perfect.
Thank you for your work, Hemingway. It truly is a blessing. But we lost you far too soon. I wish you could have received the help that you deserved and needed. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health please reach out. There are resources and people around to help you. You don’t have to go through this alone.
**I do not condone big game hunting. Unfortunately, that was something that Hemingway enjoyed.