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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: 21.8, -79.98
Have you ever had a desire to experience Colonial Spain but your time machine was in the shop? Trinidad, Cuba, a UNESCO World Heritage site might just bring out your inner Spanish Conquistador.
For the non Veradaro/Holguin beach crowd, Trinidad is the second most important stop in Cuba after Havana. And rightly so. Preserving, restoring, and promoting Trinidad actually predates Castro and his band of not-so-merry men. Batiste recognized the historic and tourism value of the city and supported restoration efforts. After a long pause, the Cuban government, realizing the hard currency value of tourism, and with the support of UNESCO dollars, has restarted restoration efforts. The result is a very attractive town centre that eliminates the need for much imagination in order to envision a time in which the Spanish empire had outposts like this all through Latin America.
Like many of these towns, Trinidad grew up around a wealthy patron who owned significant sugar cane plantations and sugar mills in the area. Given the modern worlds current use of disposable architecture it's easy to appreciate the elaborate detail and craftsmanship that went into building towns that have survived and thrived for hundreds of years. You can almost
see Diego Velazques (founder of Trinidad) sitting down at a local cafe with Chris Columbus (Euro discoverer of Cuba) while munching on some tapas, and discussing who they'll be doing the salsa with that night (although the image does get interrupted by the odd bus tour gang from Varadaro).
Outside of a Museum of the Bandits which is dedicated in a very negative way (hence the name) to local CIA sponsored insurrections, there is very little overt evidence of communist Cuba, unlike elsewhere in the country. This is primarily Spain, cobblestone streets, central square cafes, cowboys on horseback, and a strange number of transvestites.
Even searching for a good meal in Cuba took on a heavy Spanish flavour in Trinidad- much like Don Quixote and Sancho wandering the countryside in a delusional attempt to find a damsel in distress, we scoured the streets in an equally delusional attempt to find a tasty meal. They did things to a pizza that would be considered criminal in most civilized countries.
After wandering for a couple of days we rented bikes and cycled out to the Ancon Pennisula- Amanda M has verbally abused us
for not checking out the Cuban beach scene so we thought we'd visit these little pocket beaches near Trinidad. We lasted about two hours and and just as a couple of older French dolls decided to go topless (gravity having claimed more victims), we knew our beach time in Cuba was going to be brief.
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