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Gazing at Trinidad from above I’m reminded of a tropical Tuscany. It’s as impossibly picturesque as so many Italian towns and there are the cobbled streets, and the terracotta tiled roofs against a backdrop of rolling green hills. But we’re in Cuba so there are Caribbean flavours: the blue sea in the distance, the palm trees lining the streets, and the one storey houses in bright and pastel shades—saffron yellow, sky blue, pale green, apricot orange and soft pink.
Trinidad is often described as an outdoor museum. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with carefully restored Spanish colonial architecture. At first glance the pristine historic centre seems touristy, perhaps inauthentic, but it only takes a few minutes walk to discover the vibrant street scenes of Cuban life: peso pizza stands, old guys in cowboy hats playing dominoes with serious expressions, the “jitomate” cries of a roving tomato seller, the squeals of a pig kept in a courtyard. As elsewhere in Cuba shops here look like something from the Wild West—in the dim interior sparse wares are lined up in single rows behind a wooden counter, so unlike the overstocked, sanitised, fluorescent-lit supermarkets we’re used to.
Although not quite as soporific as Viñales, the pace is slow and street noise comes from vociferous conversations and enthusiastic vendors rather than traffic. Bicycles, cycle rickshaws and horse carts are more common in the centre than the occasional 1950s car.
Trinidad comes to life early in the morning. We woke to the clip-clopping of horses, and the sales pitches of roaming food vendors hawking baskets of bread, vegetables in wheelbarrows or boxes on the back of bicycles, buckets of biscuits, or simply strings of onion and garlic draped around a neck. By the evening our neighbourhood went quiet except one night when we heard the frenzied drumming and singing of a santería ceremony next door.
In multisensory Trinidad it’s the sounds and the colours that I remember the most.
Hehe, that husky dog was there when I went to Trinidad last week! I loved it. The city is beautiful, stayed 6 nights and felt sorry to leave. Your blog has been an inspiration and help before I went to Cuba, thank you so much for all your work, you are doing a great job.
Great photos Erin. You have made us really miss Cuba. We went there a few years back, only for 2 weeks. Wasn’t enough time of course. We loved Trinidad and the colourful colonial architecture. Thank you for sharing.
I’ve visited a number of other Cuban cities. Having seen these terrific photos I can’t wait to visit Trinidad. Thanks!
Gorgeous write ups. Where did you stay in Trinidad? I could see a photo in a different post, but no name. Thanks!
We stayed in a casa particular that our casa in Havana (http://www.cuba-junky.com/havana/casa_roly_irma.html) arranged for us. The host’s name was Mariela but unfortunately I lost the card so don’t have her contact details.
What a lovely description and beautiful, colorful images of this fascinating city. I would love to visit Cuba one day and Trinidad is definitely on my list of cities to visit. Thanks for sharing your stunning images!
What a beautiful city! Cuba seems like such a colourful country.
colours well captures
Love the photos – they are stunning! Never would have thought you would see a husky dog there. Love all the bright colors!
I have been to Trinidad twice in the last 5 years and can’t wait to return a third time. Thanks for the nostalgia trip.
What a coloful place. I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba to see vintage cars. lol
As always, gorgeous photography. Love the colors! It makes me warm just looking at it!
Oh my goodness. I’m drooling over that description and those photos. Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff.
Thanks so much Kate :)
Great and colorful pictures. Love the doors!
Love these bright, colourful photos. So very Cuba.
So many cool doors, and a dog stuck in a window. How interesting.
Love the doorway shots – and that’s gotta be the last place I’d expect to see a Siberian husky. Wow!
I know, so bizarre!
Looks lovely. How strange, this Italian feel in the Caribbean!
Only from above really, but we loved the combination. Italy plus the tropics would be my perfect place. It’s just a shame Cuba doesn’t have Italian quality food…