Trinidad – a lovely town where time stopped in the 1950s.
Colorful buildings, cobblestone roads, horse-drawn carriages (carriages everywhere!) and horseback riders – that’s how to describe this village in a few words. But why limit yourself to a few words when there is so much to show and see!
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The road (from Havana) to Trinidad
We went to Trinidaddirectly from Havana. Without GPS (Sygic and Google do not support this area), with a map as in the old days :) The first problems began after about 5 kilometers from our particular casa. Surrounding Havana is the so-called. “ring road” that leads to the highway. This highway can be used to reach the east of the island. In turn, to reach Trinidad, you need to turn off the highway before Santa Lucia. Banality. Not in Cuba.
Finding a highway entrance borders on the miraculous. We recommend simply heading for the tunnel that leads to the highway, rather than trying to combine like a horse uphill and looking for the shortest route.
We were the horses… When we were completely out of our way and going in circles at one of the many traffic circles without any signposts, some “helpful” Cuban stopped, got in his car and led us out to the highway (did we mention that we were warned at every turn not to stop in such situations, God forbid??). We were desperate, so we didn’t protest much.
As it turned out later, this Cuban trained in judo, taekwondo or something like that, and was of quite large stature. Every now and then he would say that he was helping, that he was unimportant, that he wanted to get us to the best place, etc. Of course, at the end, he demanded for himself the appropriate “cab” stipend…. The most important thing was that we finally got out of Havana and we didn’t care about anything else. So, we warn against such people :)
Highway… here the word takes on a new meaning ;) In vain look for signage, flyovers, gas stations or even MOPs. For this we can count on: horse-drawn carriages, bicycles going against traffic, U-turns “where you can,” hitchhikers in wholesale quantities or a free slalom driving school (if you think there are potholes in Poland, you’ll gain a new perspective).
Along the way we passed several smaller and larger towns. We also stopped at the station to refuel and eat something…. the choice was not too big :)
Just before Trinidad itself, we met our new little friends, with whom we will have the opportunity to meet more than once….
After a tiring journey, we managed to reach Trinidad.
We barely entered the first street of Trinidad and already our car was circled by half a dozen locals offering their help. We politely thanked him and with a squeal of tires fled the place. After a short time, we managed to find our lodging – by far the best accommodation during our entire stay.
A smiling family, very helpful, they told us a lot about life in Cuba, the challenges and changes here. There we met a young Cuban man who is due to start college this year and leave the family nest. Unfortunately, without him, it would have been hard to get along and get anything done, because the whole family spoke only Spanish. Nevertheless, we recalled the accommodation superbly, primarily in terms of food, which was simply excellent! :)
Sightseeing in Trinidad
Trinidad is a small yet lovely city. The focal point of the city is the Plaza Mayor, at which the Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad is located. As already befits the central points of cities in Cuba and here it is overly beautiful, as if it were not Cuba ;)
In general, we recommend not to limit yourself only to the attractions indicated in the guidebooks, but first of all to feel the city: go further into the small streets, observe the locals, feel like a local….
You must also try the local drink Canchanchara (rum-based, of course). You can try it (and other Cuban drinks like the Mojito) anywhere, including right on the street, from a window :)
However, we recommend visiting the local restaurants, which have their own unique charm: you enter through the normal houses to exit onto a beautiful patio, a terrace where local specialties are served. We were delighted by just one such restaurant: small, unassuming. However, once you stepped onto the terrace the super view of the immediate area took your breath away, and having a drink was a real pleasure.
We spent two nights in Trinidad. We devoted one day to beachcombing – we went to the recommended Playa Ancon. Driving along the coast, there are several beaches: the more wild ones, where we have the opportunity to be the only people on the beach, as well as the more commercialized ones, where you can rent deck chairs and umbrellas. Of course, the latter are more well-kept, the sand is clean, but we recommend seeing both :)
After the beach, we still had some day left, so we decided to drive towards the former sugar cane plantations, with which the history of the development and decline of Cuba’s economy is linked. In Valle de los Ingenios, we can see the remains of 19th-century sugar mills, warehouses and the owners’ villas. We were on a 44-meter tower, from which workers and even slaves were watched over. The view from the tower, amazing!
We were also a few kilometers away at Casa Guachinango, which is an old hacienda from the late 18th century. It is worth a look there only if you have a free moment.
On the way back to Trinidad, we still hooked up with a small viewpoint. The surrounding area is simply beautiful:
Dancing Cuba to the rhythms of Salsa?
In the evening we still had strength, so we finally went to a Cuban evening with salsa! Our smug Cuban showed us the most popular place among tourists – Casa de la Musica, on the steps right next to the cathedral. Here in the evenings, live bands play hot Cuban rhythms, and Cuban men teach tourists the basic steps. The place is very commercial, although it is also worth a look there in the evening.
What surprised us most, however, was where our colleague went…. He went to a heavy metal concert! From the “attractions” we also saw a ball, where very elegantly dressed young people celebrated something, unfortunately, so far we do not know what the occasion was…. :(
Trinidad – Cuba as it was years ago?
This city changes beyond recognition in the evenings. Residents dress up after sunset, dress in their best clothes and do not dance salsa in the evenings, but party to the heavy sound of a Brazilian band ;)
We got to know this city from many sides and in our opinion it is the prettiest city in Cuba! We definitely recommend coming here. There’s no sightseeing for the day, but it’s worth it to get a feel for the place, have lunch on one of the terraces, drink canchanchara and enjoy a coconut on nearby Playa Ancon.
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