French daredevil Alain Robert begins scaling Cuba's Habana Libre hotel

A French daredevil is scaling Cuba's famous Habana Libre hotel — without ropes or a safety net.

Hundreds of curious tourists and locals are looking on from streets and balconies as Alain Robert begins his ascent Monday.

The Habana Libre is in a 27-story building that once was the city's Hilton. Robert has said he hopes to reach the top in under an hour.

Robert has scaled much taller buildings in his career. He says his main concern is that the hotel is in disrepair like other Havana landmarks.

Before Monday's climb, Robert told The Associated Press he had put his usual jitters behind him. He says climbing buildings makes him feel "reborn" and "free."