Tag Archive: cienfuegos

Cuba; Cars

Before our Cuban trip, I’ve heard and read that there’s a bunch of old 1950s American cars still being driven all around Cuba. I took it for granted and expected to see a few of those old cars, probably parked by some exotic buildings and their owners bragging about them. And boy, how wrong I was. Actually about a third of the cars driven in Cuba are those old Oldsmobile, Chevys,… The other third would be Soviet Ladas and just around ten percent are newer modern cars.

First introduction to the old cars was the area in front of Capitol… Lots of cab drivers to choose from.

Looked like a mafia car… well it still does…

Well, this was the one and only old carbriolet that I’ve seen there… must have been lucky I guess

Another taxi… check the dude on the right 😀

Not all of the cars are in a good state though… In fact most of them are powered by Lada engines…

Speaking of Ladas – can you count how many of them are on this photo? 😉

A beauty from Cienfuegos

And another one from Vinales.

Cuba – Day 5-9; Playa Giron

After a short stop at Cienfuegos we stumbled upon something unexpected (but normal in Cuba). We were told that there is a daily bus connection running on the Trinidad-Cienfuegos-Havana route that stops at Playa Giron. This was confirmed by a co-worker of mine and was also cross checked with the Viazul timetables published on the Internet. But nothing’s what it seems in Cuba. Despite the opening hours, noone was in the Vizaul office at Cienfuegos bus station up until 5 mins to arrival of the bus. Then the guy showed up and told us that there is no stop at Playa Giron. WTF??? So we went outside and checked with the bus driver, who confirmed that. We were puzzled how that’s possible with the confirmations we had. OK time for plan B, we told ourselves. And went to the other part of the station where more local Astro bus line operates. We saw Giron time tables but they were not willing to sell us tickets. Grrr…Time for plan C – ask for a cab. So we did and finally negotiated a price of 40CUC to drive us to Playa Giron. Which at the time sounded a lot, but given the fact it was a more than 120km long ride and horrible state of roads, wasn’t a lot really. We even left 5CUC tip just for the sake of it. Of course he tried to take us to some CasaParticular at Giron, despite that we wanted to stay at the beach hotel. Upon arriving to Giron, he took us to that Casa and negotiated a price of 50CUC for a room with breakfast and dinner for two. We said that we’ll consider it if the hotel is closed or full. Fortunately, the hotel wasn’t full or closed and was offering 52CUC rate for All-Inclusive service! ALL RIGHT!

Giron lies by the infamous Bay of Pigs, where in 1961 CIA tried an invasion to overthrow Castro. By coincidence we arrived just on the 49th anniversary of the event. There is a small museum located just by the hotel with some artefacts, maps of each day of battles, photos and some other military hardware stuff.

One of the defeated US tanks standing behind the museum

In front of the museum proudly stands Cuban T-34 tank…

… and the fearsome Sea Fury attack aircraft

But Giron is not just he battle and the museum but also a nice beach on the Cuba’s Carribean coast. And on the first day we had some bad luck with the weather, which during the day got much better and remained sunny for the remainder of our rest there at Playa Giron.

Sea was furiously foaming on the rocks west of the resort

But weather calmed down in the afternoon

A view of the resort from the sea side

Cuba – Day 4; Cienfuegos

After leaving Santa Clara we decided to visit the infamous Bay of Pigs and its main settlement Playa Giron. But in order to get there we had to play with Viazul bus connections and stayed in Cienfuegos for several hours.

First impression was very positive; people seemed nicer, there was almost no jineteros bugging us on streets, buildings seemed much more maintained compared to Santa Clara or Havana and its collonial buildings really made that tranquil feeling. The following photos were made in and around the main park Jose Marti (again)

One of the more impressing buildings in Cienfuegos Teatro Tomas Terry

I wonder if todays Cuba is what Marti had in mind more than 100 years ago

Lady Liberty accompanying Jose Marti in a hundred year struggle for independence.

Triumphal Arc – a reminder of Cuba’s declaration of Independence in 1902.

Cienfuegos Cathedral occupies most of the Eastern part of the Parque Jose Marti