In this post (Holy smoke – March 29. Where does the time go?) we described the first leg of our Cuban bus trip out of Havana to Cienfuegos. Picking up from where we left off, we boarded a mid-morning Viazul bus out of Cienfuegos for the two-hour trip to Trinidad, one of Cuba’s most historic and picturesque towns. Trinidad is a lovely colonial town replete with cobblestone streets, plenty of horse- and oxen-drawn carts, and bright-hued, tile-roofed adobe buildings. The town is a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage site, and the clear late-afternoon light and vivid colors make it a photographer’s dream.
We only had two full days to explore Trinidad. It wasn’t nearly enough, but we made the most of it. Since those days happened to be New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the town was chock-full of tourists, but the townspeople were also out in force preparing their own celebrations. We relished the festive mood, especially at night when Trinidad came alive with music and merriment.
Rather than stay in town, we opted for La Boca – a scenic waterfront area about an eight-minute taxi ride from Trinidad Central. For our three nights there, we stayed in another casa particular – the El Capitan B&B, a “splurge” at $55 a night. This lovely property feels more like an inn than the typical home stay, with four rooms for rent, but it has been in the Casanova family for three generations (four, if you count Yilka and Michael’s young kiddos). And we had a huge bonus when our host Yilka invited us to New Year’s dinner, a wonderful and homey affair in which all of us guests sat down with the extended family and the inn employees to enjoy a marvelous dinner of roast pig with all the trimmings. Truly memorable!
I especially loved photographing the families enjoying the fine weather and festive atmosphere. Wherever we went in Cuba, we found vibrant street life – these folks have better things to do than sit inside watching TV or playing with electronic gadgets. It’s like a throwback to a simpler time, when people preferred hanging out with each other to anything else.