Saturday, February 22, 2014

All the way to Trinidad

After a few long drives we were unsure whether we wanted to make the trip to Trinidad but many people/books had told us how beautiful the city is so we had an early start.  We had another adventurous drive through some beautiful countryside but this time we were more prepared and had cushions for the back seats!  

Again we passed through Cardenas which is only around 15km from Varadero.

Streets of Cardenas

Cardenas - some beautif buildings but now faiiling into disreppair
Trinidad is a UNESCO site, the city was established by the Spanish in the 1500's .The exterior of the buildings is much better maintained than many of the places you pass along the way.  The main square is particularly nice and there are lots of little shops and restaurants off the cobbled side streets.

Plaza  in Trinidad

Plaza in Trinidad

Mark, Barry and Moira in Trinidad

As with most places in Cuba as we sat having a coffee some musicians played in the background although these were rather lively and as you could not longer have a conversation we didn’t stay long.

Trinidad is small enough that you can have a leisurely walk around even with the limited time we had available, we even managed a nice and cheap lunch in the Wakey Shakey Paladar, food was good, simple and she even gave us a free cigar

Amanda, Barry & Moira in Trinidad
It was another bumpy ride head back to Varadero in the Geeley –  not a make of car we would recommend but we had great views and interesting sights, the cowboys at the side of the road all gave us a wave and luckily we stopped at the railway crossing with no signals as a huge train was passing through and stopped on the crossing to let off the passengers.

Friendly cowboy

Train stopping across the main road

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Onto Havana

We did manage a rest day before we had our trip to Havana.  The sun was shining and Havana seemed to look cleaning and brighter than during our trip when it was overcast and raining.  We spent the day strolling mainly around the old town with the lovely renovated buildings but we did venture off well trodden tourist trail to see some of the now renovated streets.

We even had time to pop into what we think may be a municipal building to say hello to the Macaws who happily eat peanuts from Amanda’s dads hand.

We had a a nice and super cheap lunch where we were serenaded by some local musicians who were not too intrusive and played a variety of both Cuban and European music, funny to hear The Beatles sung with a Cuban accent.

We strolled along Obispo which is a mass of activity with shops, cafes and bars eating our Churros and headed to the Capitol Building and even had a chance to pass the tobacco factory, the tourist entrance looked quite nice, funny that the rest of the building and surround area was not so well maintained.

Cigar factory

Same street as Cigar factory

Before leaving the city we drove along the Malecon (the seafront) and out to the Place De Revolution and past the National Hotel, Havana’s most famous hotel


Plaza De Revolution