Havana: Jose Martin, Colon Cemetry, Oliver pretends to understand Spanish

Our second day in Havana started quite early, as we started our walk around the town already at 8 am. From our casa particular we walked all the Calle L, and visited the memorial of José Marti. We went up the enormous tower from which you can see all Havana very well. Close to this tower is a huge square, where a week before the pope addressed the people. Facing the tour are buildings (ministeries) with each a huge portrait: one of Che Guevara and one of Fidel Castro.

From the tower, we continued to pay a visit to the Colon Cemetry. With more than 800,000 graves and 1 million interments, it is hard to describe, it was gigantic, enormous. We saw the grave of Doña Amelia, who  passed away during childbirth in 1903 at the age of 23. Her child died as well. She was buried with her dead child placed at her feet. According to legend, when the grave was opened some time afterwards the child was in his mothers arms. Her desperate husband, José Vicente Adot, went to the cemetery every afternoon and tapped the gravestone with the bronze knocker screaming: Wake up Amelia! Wake up Amelia! He made this ritual for 17 years until he died.

Hundreds of people go to La Milagrosa to ask for their children or love affairs. Since ancient times the ceremonial includes tapping with the knockers as Amelia’s husband did.

After the cemetry, we went to hotel Habana Libre where we ate hamburgers and fries, after which we visited the Museo de Artes Decorativas. The most impressive art I noticed there, was to see how Oliver pretented to understand the Spanish speaking guides!

At night we attended a Couchsurfing meeting in Havana, starting with drinks on the terrace of the famous Hotel Inglaterre, and diner in Los Nardos. There were quite a lot of Couchsurfers, from Canada, the USA, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Cuba, Germany and Italy.

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