The tourism based beach towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad gave a glimpse into yet another Cuban way of living. Even though we only spent a night in Cienfuegos, the town left a lasting impression. The colonial style architecture was beautiful, as was the scenery (pictured below).
Trinidad was by far my favorite town we stayed in. It had all the activities of a big city, yet still felt quaint. I also loved the close proximity to the mountains. Driving through the mountains in the soviet style war truck was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life. It was such a stark contrast between the mountains and city, eve though they were so close in distance. I was amazed that people traveled through those windy roads just to get into town.
I also enjoyed having wifi in Trinidad. At first, I didn’t mind not really having access to the internet. I even found myself liking the feeling of being disconnected at some points. I did almost feel guilty expressing this because the lack of internet is a harsh reality for most Cubans.
One of my favorite parts of Trinidad was its diversity. There was a large population of tourists from other countries. I particularly enjoyed speaking with them about was it’s like to visit Cuba. It was such a contrast to our trip. Most of the other tourists I spoke with used their trip to relax and spend time on the beach, which as Americans we were not allowed to do. Even though there are strict rules regarding how Americans can travel, I think the guidelines are a good thing because they make for a more culture-enriched experience.