100 Fires in Cienfuegos

Published: November 16th 2016
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We left Havana early in the morning and took a bus towards the city of Cienfuegos. En route, we went past some beautiful scenery, including the Bahia de los Cochinos, or Bay of Pigs in English, which was the site of a failed invasion by the United States in 1961.

Cienfuegos, with its core of gorgeous French colonial buildings, was instantly enjoyable and much more relaxed than Havana had been. Peter and Luke left the bus station and headed towards the Parque Jose Marti, which is a beautiful square surrounded by very pretty buildings. After an average lunch, not surprisingly, we wandered around the square and went into one of the buildings on the square. It only cost 1 CUC for entry, and they could have charged many more CUCs! The building was incredible! it was being refurbished, but there were many amazing sites from the marble staircase with wrought-iron balcony, to the original herring-bone wood floors, to the intricately carved ceilings, to the exquisitely detailed tile-work. Did we mention the views? Oh, there were views! We had a panorama of the rest of the square, as well as the entire city, the surrounding hills, and the bay the city is located on.

After enjoying the view, we visited the rest of the square and then headed out towards Punta Gorda. The houses along the route made the area feel very much like Florida in the 1960s. At the end of the point, there were two or three interesting buildings, but it was not worth the walk. As a result, we hopped in a pedicab for the ride back and met Andris, who told us all about the city, as well as the surrounding area. I was impressed he picked us up, considering combined we probably weighed about 200 kg,but he never complained once!

Once we were back in the square, we had dinner and headed to the bus station as Viazul tells all people to be there an hour before the bus is scheduled to depart. Realistically though, we weren't expecting the bus to be there until an hour after we arrived. As it turned out, not only did the bus arrive 45 minutes early, but since it was not waiting for anyone else, it ended up leaving 40 minutes early!!!

The sunset along the Central Coast of Cuba was stunning as the bus took us towards our next destination: Trinidad.

Three things we learned in Cienfuegos:

- Pedicab drivers are incredibly friendly and helpful.

- Luke has the will power not to buy a ridiculously overpriced Snickers bar.

- It is not worth walking 3 km in the humid Caribbean sun to look at some buildings that are described as being "worth a look".


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