Perhaps Havana’s most beloved streets is Paseo de Martí or simply known as the Prado, a beautiful, long promenade that divides Old Havana from Central Havana and is the place to see and be seen. Back in the days of Cuba’s glory before the revolution, the Prado was the place for Havana’s wealthy elite to take a stroll, have a cup of coffee or relax along this long tree-lined promenade.
Today, the Prado still continues to have her charm and is the place where the young enjoy skating, biking, hanging out or playing music. There are also lots of beautiful buildings and hotels around the Prado where you can sit out on a verandah and watch the world go by.
On a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon I took a walk down the Prado to take some photos. Here is what I found.
There is glorious architecture lining the Prado as well but sadly a lot of it is in various states of deterioration. Restoration has not fully hit this part of town like it has in Old Havana. But beautiful buildings still remain and are quite grand.
I enjoyed watching the street life and of course capturing the old cars streaming down the street. Saturday also meant wedding day and I saw lots of old convertibles cruising down the Prado with ecstatic newlyweds.
It was fun to see all the families outside enjoying the afternoon together. There was music playing everywhere and I enjoyed the playful rhythm of the salsa and son.
As the afternoon passed by, the Prado became more alive with people, music and energy. Despite the challenges of living in a Communist state, Cubans have a way of enjoying life with passion and grace.
I couldn’t help myself from taking lots of photos of the Prado. I found it a magical place.
As I continued along further away from the Sea, the Prado was lined with fancy tourist hotels with outdoor cafes and bars. Oh how I wish I would have had time to stop and have a mojito on the verandah. But unfortunately my schedule was booked.
After an hour, it was time to hail a cab and head back to the hotel. We had more meetings scheduled for the afternoon on our “people to people” tour. Next stop would be a visit to a children’s dance theater. Then we would enjoy one last meal in Havana before heading south the next morning to the lovely UNESCO World Heritage town of Trinidad.