FROM THE LOG # 11
January 14 to 30, 2003
(Click on a photo for a larger version)
is an important industrial center some 250 kilometers to the south east
of Havana. "Apart from all the industry, this 'pearl of the south' has
some fine neoclassical architecture, well laid out streets, lively
musical traditions, and a number of interesting places nearby to visit
on day trips", (Lonely Planet).
The city has some very beautiful buildings, most of them again very much neglected and some permanently beyond repair. There was, however, visible evidence of several projects to restore prominent houses. The most astonishing was the renovation of the old Yacht Club. The decision of restoration of the almost collapsed building had been taken only 4 months earlier and the work was almost finished. No money had apparently been spared. It would not function as a marina, but some kind of "club", called Club Cienfuegos. Probably it is also going to contain a casino. Otherwise we do not understand how the investment would ever pay off. But maybe that is not the idea?
There are fewer cars in Cienfuegos than in Santiago de Cuba. Most of the traffic is on bikes, mopeds and motorcycles and an abundance of horse carriages. There are also many bicitaxis (tricycles with a double seat behind the driver).
One day we rented a taxi for a tour to the old city of Trinidad, some 100 kilometers along the coast to the south east. Built in 1514, it is now a "museum town", declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.