Monday, January 23, 2017

Cuba Trip Day 5 - Cienfuegos

OAT Itinerary:
Day 5: Havana - Cienfuegos - Today we drive west from Havana to the southern coastal city of Cienfuegos. Home to one of the most captivating natural bays in the Caribbean Sea, Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 by settlers from the former French colonies of Haiti and Louisiana—and has maintained many of its French cultural and architectural influences. Upon arrival, we enjoy a light lunch at our hotel, followed by an introductory stroll through the lively port town, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, we enjoy a performance of classic Cuban songs by the Cantores de Cienfuegos. Afterwards, we'll get to chat with the talented young singers of this renowned choral group and perhaps share a song of our own with them. Then, we'll have dinner at Villa Lagarto, one of Cuba's privately owned restaurants called paladares. Villa Lagarto is situated at the tip of Punta Gorda with views of the sea.

Meals included: B L D - Accomodations: Hotel La Union

Saturday January 14
Yes, early rise. Suitcases outside the room. Breakfast. Off in the bus. Btw we all took the unused soaps, lotions, shampoo from our rooms "since we paid for them" and gave them to Migdalia to distribute. Weavers get lotions etc. The bus is large and there are always plenty of seats to choose from. It's the same bus and the same driver Raul the whole time.
Potty and coffee stop. They don't have "leche" here today. Should I really use the piece of sugarcane to stir?

We arrive in Cienfuegos. Our hotel is in the middle of the town. We don't check in yet but are guided on a little city tour.

A pharmacy (might be interesting for daughter Sarah).

Back at the hotel we check into our rooms. The maid definitely has a thing for "towel art" as you will see in the next days.

Migdalia told us that the tour would be more relaxed after Havana. We have free time for a little walk about. Did I mention yet that we love the weather? Tshirts and barefoot sandals. Aahh.
Of course we are drawn to the sea. It's the Caribbean here. Havana of course is on the Gulf.

It's not smelling so nice walking along here. What a shame. You also have to watch where you step. Streets and sidewalks can be very uneven. And stray dogs might have left something. But nevertheless we enjoy walking around.

Not that much motorized transportation.

Back at the hotel time to sit next to the pool for a moment enjoying a mojito. Don't worry. They are usually not that generous with the rum. Minds me a little of Kentucky mint julep though.

Another hotel area for relaxing.

At the appointed time we meet and Migdalia leads us again. We are going around the corner for a choir concert which was lovely.

It wasn't long but dark when we came out. Pretty.

The bus took us to dinner. It was along the ocean.

We had a choice what we wanted and it was very nice.

We sat with Holly and Carline on a table for 4 and had a very lively conversation. We laughed so loud about James' story about the plane losing a wheel that the other people at the restaurant kept looking at us.

Interestingly decorated everywhere.

Back at the hotel it was too early to go to bed. The view from the rooftop bar needs to be admired too.

Ok. Night, night.

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