Havana cars

Riding the non-tourist road in Havana

The taxi pulled toward the curb and shuddered to a stop. It was already filled with people, but we squeezed our way in to join the crowd—four of us in the backseat, three up front. Then we took off, hiccupping down the road at a tortoise pace inside a vehicle with the temperature of a…

Havana churros

Churros and daydreams

It was the scent that first caught my attention. The sweet smell of frying batter floated through the air, catching my nose and transporting me on a cloud of memories to funnel cakes and BeaverTails at amusement parks and carnivals back home. My interest—and nostrils—completely captured, I then noticed the line of people that snaked…

Plaza in Old Havana

Dos hermanas at Dos Hermanos

I met her after a long day in Havana. I was alone in a bar called Dos Hermanos, in a quiet part of La Habana Vieja. It’s the other Hemingway bar. Everyone goes to La Bodeguita del Medio, where the mojito is rumoured to have originated, but I wanted something more authentic, more removed from…

View of Havana from above

The Malecón: Havana’s sofa

I recently spent some time in Havana, and immediately fell in love with the city’s energy and rhythm, the way the city pulses at night with music and life, and the way it attacks your senses by day. It is loud and lively and wonderful, and broken and sad and exhausting. It is everything rolled…

Old Havana street

One of these things is not like the others

“Psst! Amiga! Amiga! Pretty lady, where you from?” It’s something any female traveller – especially one who travels solo – has experienced and, for the most part, gotten used to. It just comes with the territory of being a woman abroad (you could say it comes with the territory of being a woman, period – just…

Two glasses of mojitos

Searching for mint in Cuba

“Dos mojitos, por favor.” The bartender shook his head sadly. “No mint,” he said. I turned to my friend Erika in horror. Here we were in Cuba, home of the famed cocktail of rum, sugar, lime, soda and mint, and I was being denied. We had just arrived at our hotel in Veradero, and I…