Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hemingway's House

We have a friend who is a major Hemingway fan and scholar, so we are excited to visit Hemingway's Havana home, Finca La Vigia, or lookout house.  Purchased in 1940 for $12,500, sitting on about 12 acres, and nationalized after Hemingway's death in 1961, the house is (like so many things in Cuba) run down but under restoration.

The bus turns up a rutted road, thru an overgrown weedy garden, and stops next to some men crushing cane, two souvenir shops and a bar.  Wouldn't be Hemingway without a bar.  And a handsome smiling bartender.
The house is peaceful, inviting, on top of a hill. 
I could see living here.  Or being a houseguest here.  Bright, open to the breeze.  Frozen in time, the living room (and bar) is just as Hemingway left it...

Down the hill, the pool is inviting, even empty.
His boat, Pilar, is in a shed.  I think it's to preserve it, Wally says it's so it doesn't end up in Miami.
You can feel him here - in the bedroom (I don't think I'd sleep with those horned monsters in my bedroom, but apparently it didn't bother him),
in the dining room,
in the tower where he wrote.  It's said he wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Old Man And The Sea, and A Moveable Feast here.  But every place he's spent time in Cuba lays claim to some of those titles.   A Cuban version of our "George Washington Slept Here".

In the tower his typewriter still stands on his desk:
his chair is ready for daydreaming, or for a nap.
Back in Havana proper, the Floradita bar.  Hemingway said they made the best daiquiris.  We take them for a test drive. 
Abelardo says he makes the best daiquiris.  I believe him.  We're going to his house for a taste-off someday.  But we've had enough daiquiris for one day.

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