Southern Cuba and the Bay of Pigs
That evening, we stayed at the Brisas Trinidad del Mar Hotel, which is located a short distance outside of Trinidad on the Ancon Beach. Our guide actively managed our expectations for the hotel, which included the description "simple rooms with basic facilities." While our guide didn't oversell the hotel, it was another example of Cuba not understanding the tourism industry: for instance, although water pressure is a problem all over Cuba, it was especially problematic at our hotel, as water barely trickled out of the shower head!! While I suppose this this isn't a problem for some, we Americans generally like to bathe daily!! The pictures are of the Caribbean from the hotel. I should note that Cuba attracts significant tourism from Europe, especially Spain; but if it had a market-based economy, the country and its people would be so much the better.
On Sunday, we spent the day exploring Trinidad, the fourth of the seven cities founded by Diego de Velasquez in 1514 as a base for expeditions into the "New World." Today, it's maintained as a living museum, just as the Spaniards left it in its period of greatest opulence. It's the crown jewel of Cuba's colonial cities - the whole city with its fine palaces, cobbled streets and tiled roofs, is a national monument, and since 1988, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We explored the Plaza Mayor, which is in the center of town and elegantly adorned with glazed earthenware urns. Around the plaza are the Museo Romantico, the Museo Arqueologia and the cathedral, Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad which was built between 1817 and 1892, and is the largest church in Cuba.
We then returned to Havana, arriving in time to have lunch at La Divina Pastora, which has a wonderful setting, just behind a battery of big cannons below the Fortaleza de la Cabaña, near the water and overlooking La Habana Vieja. At La Divina Pastora, I also made friends with a not-so-well fed kitten who was particularly fond of the leftover snapper. Like ordinary Cubans, pets aren't well nourished either.