Robaina's plantation

Saturday 29 December 2018

Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar (Havana) 2018

                Dominating the landscape at Quinta Ave. & Calle 82 in Miramar, Havana, is the second largest church in Cuba, the Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar. I practically live across the street from this place of worship when I'm in Cuba and walk or drive by this church practically every day.
                 It opened it's doors in May 1953 after taking 5 years to build. When you first walk in the murals on the walls jump out at you, they were painted by the Spanish artist Cesareo Cosculluela y Barreras. The images, portraying Jesus' walk to his crucifixion, are very strong & take up huge chunks of wall using vivid colours. The church is home to the largest pipe organ in Cuba, it contains 5000 tubes. Unfortunately it's in dire need of a major tune-up due to the fact of it's disuse after the 1959 revolution. Having been shut down for so many years, you would think the church would be brand new. It does look relatively new at first glance but upon closer inspection you see spots that need a little restoration. I also noticed that some of windows should be replaced or at least fixed where you could see water damage spreading out from them. Otherwise, the church is in pretty good shape. Outside, behind the church, in the garden, is a representation of the Grotto of The Virgin of Our Lady of Lourdes.
                  Overall, it was a pleasant experience, I love the peacefulness of a church. It costs nothing to go in, there was lots of light and nobody seemed to mind me taking pictures. There always seems to be a few people there when the place is open but I've never seen it packed. It wasn't your typical dark and dingy church that I'm used to seeing in other parts of the city. Easy to find on 5th Avenue, you can't miss it. If you're staying in one of the several hotels in the area you may even be able to walk there like I did.

Location; 5 Ave. & Calle 82

Masses: Tues.-Fri. 9am   Saturday-5pm  Sunday-10am & 5pm

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Hotel Comodoro Cigar Shop (Casa del Tabaco 'La Escogida') Havana

                    I have been coming to this cigar shop for about 12 years but it wasn't always at this location. Even before it was in the Hotel Lobby it used to be tucked away hidden where all the shops are, facing the hotel, to the right. It had a different roller at that time, Crisantos Miranda, he was quite famous within the cigar world. The move to the hotel lobby gave it the exposure it needed and this recent move gave it the proper space that was built specifically to house this even has it's own bathroom and a private smoking room. It used to be that you had to know that there was a cigar shop here or you would never have found it, many came to see Crisantos and to buy some of his custom rolls. Today most hard core smokers that come to Havana know of this shop and it's new popular roller Alejandro Gonzalez Arias or as everyone calls him, Alex....I can't believe that he's been there 5 years. I was checking previous pictures of this shop and the first ones I have with Alex were from January 2014, WOW, how time flies. He's done a terrific job of promoting himself and the shop. There hasn't been one person that I know of that has said anything negative about him or the shop. That goes for the rest of the staff as well, Andres the manager, who I've known the longest, and the girls Fara and Katy. Everyone put up with me for the two months I was there, I visited the shop frequently and usually brought my own cigars....Thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome and at home. They were attentive to all customers that entered the shop and I never saw anyone in a bad mood or mistreating anyone they came in contact with. I'm happy to have this shop so close to where I stay in Havana and it's made a huge difference in my getting comfortable in this area. Looking forward to seeing you all again next time I'm there....and if any of you haven't already paid them a visit, you have to go.

PS.......prices on the custom rolls have gone up slightly. Torpedo from 4.55 to 5.80, Churchill from 5.20 to 6.45 and the Robusto from 3.65 to 4.80. The Petit Corona went from 2.60 to a Corona (slightly longer) at 4.40.

Hotel Comodoro
3ra y Calle 84
Miramar, Playa, Havana
tel. 204-5551 ext.1272

Private Smoking Room

Andre the manager at the previous location

Katy and Alex at the previous location

Fara with Alex recently