Recently my husband and I were fortunate enough to join a group of fellow pilgrims on a journey to Cuba. We were tracking down Ernest Hemingway’s old haunts.
We stayed at the Ambos Mundos, the hotel where Hemingway lived for seven years.
Here’s a view of the lobby:
On the fifth floor, the corner room where Hemingway lived has been preserved as a museum. To me, his desk and typewriter seem almost like sacred objects.
We spent one morning at his beautiful house, Finca Vigia, which means “Outlook Farm.” It’s situated on a hill that looks into Havana, just on the edge of the village of San Francisco de Paula. On the side of the house, he built this wonderful tree house studio.
And here’s the interior. I think I could write just fine in this room, don’t you?
Meanwhile, in the main house, even the bathroom is set up for a reader/writer. Notice the cats’ trophies on the shelves above the toilet. Rumor has it that at one time, he lived with 64 cats. And, of course, Hemingway had his own trophies too.
As part of my preparation for this trip, I read Hemingway’s Boat, by Paul Hendrickson, so I was especially happy to see Pilar, even if she was in dry dock.
From there, we went to Cojimar, a small port, with a square that is dedicated to Papa.
If you stood right beside him, this is what you’d see . . .
What a wonder it is to think that a literary figure has become a national hero! An American at that! It makes me think that great art can transcend differences and give us all something to hang onto.
Yep, it does.