San Francisco de Paula Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
On our arrival back into Havana a group of us decide to hire a car and go to see Ernest Hemmingways house.Ten miles east of Havana is Hemingway's Cuba house - Finca Vigia, meaning "lookout house".
Finca Vigia is located in the small, working-class town of San Francisco de Paula. The Cuban people have always respected famous writer's choice to live in a modest town, amongst the people he fished with.Built in 1886 by a Spanish Architect Miguel Pascual y Baguer, Finca Vigia was purchased by Hemingway in 1940 for a cost of $12,500.
There, Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. A Movable Feast was written there as well.After Hemingway's death in 1961, the Cuban government took ownership of the property - either with or without the approval of Mary Hemingway.
After years of neglect, restoration and preservation work has begun. Despite having shot many larger animals in his lifetime,Hemmingway was well known a s a lover of cats and dogs and even now the area is awash with some of the cutest puppies you will see.
After seeing the house we head down to the harbour where Hemingways fishing boat now in the museum used to sail from. We stop in at his favourite watering hole and raise a glass to the great man.