Saturday, March 11, 2017

From Trinidad to Cienfuegos and Santa Clara

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Another travel day as we moved from Trinidad, the tourist town, to stop for most of the day in Cienfuegos and then on to Santa Clara.

The drive, 85 kilometers mostly along the south-central coast of the island was gorgeous and Cienfuegos was our mid-day destination. We arrived in time to wander the city before lunch.

One of the surprises was the ubiquity of images and monuments to Martí. I was aware of his central  importance in Cuban independence but even more than Che no one seems as important to Cubans

As many have noted, off the main streets, many of Cuba's buildings are uninhabited and crumbling

A highlight for Sharon was the Teatro Tomas Terry, an intact 19th century theater, named for a Venezuelan benefactor of the city

A detail from the ceiling

After one of our better meals at Villa Lagarto in LaPunta we were treated to a virtuoso performance by a guitar ensemble, replete with more dancing.

Finally, a pelican but not a Pelikan

This group, which did everything from classical music to Cuban dance, was amazing. 

Jose, Cindy, John and Ursula feel the beat

This looked like a better image than I was able to capture

From there we visited the Che Guevara mausoleum and memorial museum. Unfortunately there was no photography inside the museum, but I was most interested to note that among the artifacts on exhibit was the pen Che carried, a Parker 61. For all his commitment to revolution, Guevara came from a professional background in Argentina, though his parents were dedicated to social change and supported their son. That gave me a bit more insight into the man telling me that even as a revolutionary he had a discriminating taste in the material objects he surrounded himself with. Trivial perhaps but a small peek into the man’s character.

Then we were back on the bus for another hour and a half before arriving Santa Clara, our home for a day and two nights before Habana, our ultimate destination.

I wrote in my journal that evening," Cienfuegos was a real treat. A 19th century, French-tinged colonial town. Very picturesque."

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