One of the most interesting walks in Old Havana is Obispo Street, which links Plaza de Armas with Central Park, across the street from our hotel. This ¾ mile long, narrow street, a pedestrian walkway, has been one of Havana’s busiest since its creation. At the eastern end is the pink Hotel Ambos Bundos, where Hemingway stayed (off-and-on) throughout the 1930’s. On numerous occasions, perhaps every night during some periods, he walked west on Obispo Street to get to his favorite restaurant and bar, El Floridita. Today, visitors and locals stroll along this street into the wee hours of the morning, even during the week. It is difficult to walk more than a short block without hearing the sounds of yet another excellent musical group, playing in clubs, bars or on the street. The groups provide visitors with a variety of wonderful Cuban music. Sometimes it is soft and melodic, and other times energizing Salsa.
One thing that really stands out to me since my last visit a year ago is the great increase in rehabilitative construction. There are many new and ongoing projects to spruce up old Havana. I assume that these many projects are an indication that tourism is expected to continually increase. Another assumption is that much of the funding for this rehabilitation is coming from China and other countries. So as more Americans visit Cuba in the future, the money they bring with them will be used to help pay off a significant portion of Cuba’s debt to China.