21st of April, 2018
As we approached the marina in Cienfuegos, Andrew called to let them know we were arriving and although they didn’t answer another Australian boat, Crystal Blues who we haven’t seen in over 2 years did. They gave us the instructions to come in and met us on the dock.
After checking in we went with Lay and Neil to a local restaurant Dona Nora which they had been to before for dinner. The food was fantastic and Tristan even tried the rabbit. After dinner we continued down town to one of the community centres to listen to the live band. We were definitely the youngest in the audience but it was really good to see all the couples get up and dance the various dances including the salsa, dressed in their finest, shoes polished and having a great time. Max actually asked me to dance, which I did and Ava danced with Neil and Tristan and Andrew with Lay. We wandered around the main plaza before walking about 40 minutes to the marina.
23rd of April, 2018
Andrew and I took one of the bike cabs into town to go to the markets, it turns out they are not open on a Monday, oh well. We wandered around for a while before returning to the boat to collect the kids and go out for lunch. We caught bicycle taxis into town, hard work for the driver in the Cuban heat.
We went to a burger place recommended by Crystal blues for a cheap lunch. Andrew and Tristan went off for haircuts while Max, Ava and I walked down to the plaza to look at all the beautiful pastel buildings that we had seen on Saturday night.
Buildings around the plaza
The Terri Theatre with beautiful facades and sculptures
We also enjoyed wandering the boulevards and looking at the local arts and crafts.
The pedestrian boulevards near the plaza
We all met up for ice-cream at the Coppelia which is a government run, subsidised ice-cream parlour. At about 60 cents for 5 servings, we all had different flavoured ice-cream sundaes. Not gelati, but we haven’t had ice-cream in a long time.What value!
A few more photos of the surrounding streets in Ceinfuegos. Castro’s presence can be seen in paintings on walls on the street and market place.
Near the marina is a hotel that has a rather beautiful mansion, built in the early 1900s by a rich Cuban and is now a bar and restaurant.
written by Karen
Palacio De Valle
We had heard about this palace from the boat, Crystal Blues and Ava needed to photograph a place for visual arts so we went for a visit. The architectural style of the building is Spanish-Moorish but also has infuences of Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque and it actually very beautiful with lots of intricate details. Don Celestino Caces a merchant began the construction in 1913, but it did not have the architectural stye he expected so it was uncompleted and sold to Alegandro Suero Balbin for his daughter, who completed the construction in 1917. Today it is an upscale hotel and restaurant, where Castro frequented when in Cienfuegos.
Have a look at some of the details of the building, the interior is even more exquisite but we didn’t take any photos inside.
Photos taken by Ava