My dear travelers and lovers of unusual trips, welcome to the new series of travelogues on the Mr.M blog. The months of June and July will be dedicated to an unusual island country in the Caribbean, a country known for tobacco and rum – Cuba. At the very beginning of this fourth travelogue about Cuba, I would like to thank the travel agency Disko Travel, better known as Disko Travel Buddies, which is more than a travel agency, it is a real traveling family that provides an incredible experience. This is my first time cooperating with a travel agency from our area and I must admit that it was an unusual experience. With their help, travelogues from Cuba and fashion stories were created that you will have the opportunity to read this June and July, and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the new adventure.
If by any chance you missed reading all the travelogues from Cuba or you want to remind yourself of some interesting things, take the opportunity to visit the following links:
- Letters from Cuba: Havana, the most Colorful Pearl of the Caribbean…
- Letters from Cuba: Havana in the Footsteps of Ernest Hemingway…
- Letters from Cuba: Varadero, an Unique Gem of the Caribbean…
Do you want a trip that you will remember for a lifetime? Check out Disko Travel arrangements for far-exotic destinations and choose your dream adventure, just don’t forget your camera and phone to capture unforgettable moments from Zanzibar, Bali, Thailand, Cuba and other destinations that Disco Friend Travel can take you to.
Trinidad is a city in the province of Sancti Spiritus, central Cuba. Along with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988, due to its historical importance as a center of the sugar trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Trinidad is one of the best-preserved cities in the Caribbean from a time when the sugar trade was a major industry in the region.
What is the story and history of this extraordinary town? Trinidad was founded on December 23, 1514 by Diego Velázquez de Cuellar under the name Villa de la Santisima Trinidad. Hernán Cortés recruited men for his expedition from the house of Juan de Grijalva in Trinidad and Sancti Spiritus, at the beginning of his expedition in 1518. This included Pedro de Alvarado and his five brothers. After ten days, Cortés sailed away, and alcaide Francisco Verdugo was unable to prevent Cortés from leaving, despite orders from Diego Velázquez.
The Narvaez expedition came to Trinidad in 1527 on their way to Florida. Caught in a hurricane, the expedition lost two ships, twenty horses and sixty men due to the strong storm. Francisco Iznaga, a Basque landowner in the southern part of Cuba during the first 30 years of the colonization of Cuba, was elected mayor of Bayam in 1540. Iznaga was the originator of a powerful lineage that finally settled in Trinidad where the Tore Iznaga tower is today. His descendants fought for the independence of Cuba and its annexation to the USA from 1820 to 1900.
The city itself is divided into barrios (quarters) Primero, Segundo and Tercero. The entire municipality counts consejos populares (wards) Centro, Zona Monumento, Armando Mestre, La Purisima, Casilda, Federacion Nacional de Trabajadores Azucareros (FNTA), Condado, Topes de Collante, San Pedro, Manacas – Iznaga, Algarrobo, Pitanes and Caracuzí.
Today, Trinidad’s main industry is tobacco processing. The older parts of the city are well preserved, because the Cuban tourism industry has benefited from the many tourists who visit this charming town every day. In contrast, some parts of the city outside the tourist areas are very dilapidated and neglected, especially in the center. Tourism from Western countries is the main source of income in the city. The city is located on the Caribbean coast near the Escambray Mountains.
The Plaza Mayor of Trinidad is an open-air plaza and museum of Spanish colonial architecture. Just a few square blocks in size, the historic plaza area features cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses with wrought-iron latticework, and colonial-era buildings such as the Santisima Trinidad Cathedral and the Convento de San Francisco. There is also a Municipal History Museum in the city. There are several casas de musica, including one next to the cathedral in the Plaza Mayor. There are also discos, including one in the ruins of a church; the other is in a large cave formerly used as a war hospital.
Romantic Museum or Palace Brunet, get to know one of the most beautiful palaces in Cuba and admire its Andalusian style of courtyard decoration. The Museum of Romance, or Palace Brunet, is the first museum opened in Trinidad in 1973. It is located in the heart of the historic center of Trinidad, on one side of the Plaza Mayor. The building is one of the most beautiful palaces in Cuba, which previously belonged to Count Brunet, a rich Creole who completed the construction of the building in 1808. It is distinguished by its Andalusian courtyard, which at the time was considered the most beautiful in the Caribbean country. and it is characterized by a mixture of Mudejar and neoclassical styles. Inside there is a valuable collection of objects from the 19th century. It consists of fourteen rooms displaying works of decorative art, such as crockery, antique furniture, porcelain, silverware, underwear and other luxury items of the time.
Municipal Museum of Trinidad or Cantero Palace, don’t miss one of the best views of the city of Trinidad from the tower of the Municipal Museum. The Trinidad Municipal Museum is popularly known as the Cantero Palace. It is a building completely alien to tradition, which reflects the most cosmopolitan tastes of the 19th century. The palace’s interesting history recalls that it first belonged to the Borrell family from 1827 to 1830, until the building passed into the hands of the German Kanter or Doctor Justus Kanter, who acquired large sugar plantations after poisoning a slave trader and marrying his widow, who also died prematurely. Kanter’s wealth is on display in every room decorated in a neoclassical style.
The Cantero Palace was opened as a museum in 1980. There you can learn about the history of Trinidad from its founding, through the slave trade, the glory of the sugar industry, the struggle for independence or the crisis of the sugar sector, through documents, works of art and other objects. The museum is divided into four rooms, the first of which is set up in a similar way as the palace was in the last century. The following rooms show the development of the city’s history, the armory hall showing the harbor fortifications and artillery with cannons to protect against pirates and corsairs and another room dedicated to the sugar industry showing the basic economic basis of the site One of the greatest attractions of the Trinidad City Museum is the magnificent view of the city that extends from his tower.
Cienfuegos and Santa Clara (optional tour)
With Disko Travel Buddies, you can go on a full-day optional excursion that includes a tour of Cienfuegos and Santa Clara. The first stop is Cienfuegos, a small town that Cubans call the Pearl of the South, and literally translated into Serbian, it means “One Hundred Fires”. You will visit the city center, which is under the protection of UNESCO, and enjoy viewing the perfectly preserved Spanish neoclassical buildings.
Cienfuegos, the capital of the province Cienfuegos is a city on the southern coast of Cuba. It is located about 250 km from Havana and has about 165,000 inhabitants. Since the late 1960s, Cienfuegos has become one of Cuba’s main industrial centers, especially in the energy and sugar sectors. The city was called La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South). Although it is known as an industrial city of factories and various nuclear-power plants, and the name Cienfuegos literally translates to “hundred fires”, the city actually takes its name from the surname of Jose Cienfuegos, the Captain General of Cuba.
In 2005, UNESCO inscribed the urban historic center of Cienfuegos on the World Heritage List, citing Cienfuegos as the best existing example of the application of the Spanish Enlightenment in the early 19th century in urban planning. In the city center there are six buildings from the period 1819–50, 327 buildings from 1851–1900. year and 1188 buildings from the 20th century. No other place in the Caribbean contains such a remarkable collection of neoclassical structures.
After visiting Cienfuegos, you continue your journey to Santa Clara, the city where one of the decisive battles for victory in the revolution took place. In Santa Clara, you go on a tour of the Che Guevara memorial complex (Memorial Che Guevara), where there is a museum on one side and the remains of the famous revolutionary and his comrades from the war in Bolivia in 1967 on the other. After that, you will visit the Armored Train museum, where Che and the local population disabled the train’s sons and intercepted and then subdued Batista’s army that went to Santiago de Cuba to help the army led by Fidel Castro and his comrades attacked.
Santa Clara was founded by 175 people on July 15, 1689. 138 of them represented two large families who already lived in the area, who owned land next to the new town. The other 37 came from seven other families, including a priest and a governor, all originally from the coastal town of San Juan de los Remedios. The population of Remedios had to choose between leaving their city, being constantly besieged by pirates, or staying. While the majority decided to stay, 37 people traveled south to the interior. According to tradition, mass was celebrated under a tamarind tree and Santa Clara was founded. Since then, the place under the tree has been known as Loma del Carmen (translation Carmen’s Hill). The church of the second generation was built in the park along the square. A monument commemorating the event is surrounded by a fourth-generation tamarind tree. The settlement was originally called Cayo Nuevo, which was changed to Dos Cayos, Vila Nueva de Santa Clara, Pueblo Nuevo de Anton Diaz, Villa Clara and finally Santa Clara.
Santa Clara was the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution at the end of 1958. Two guerrilla columns attacked the city, one led by Ernesto Che Guevara and the other by Camilo Cienfuegos. Guevara’s column first captured the garrison at Fomento. Using a bulldozer, Guevara’s soldiers destroyed the railroad tracks and derailed a train full of troops and supplies sent by Batista. At the same time, Cienfuegos’ column defeated a military garrison at the Battle of Yaguay just outside the city. On December 31, 1958, the combined forces of Guevara and Cienfuegos, along with other revolutionaries under William Alexander Morgan, attacked Santa Clara. The battle was chaotic, and the defenders were demoralized. Some fought, others surrendered without a bullet. By afternoon the city is occupied. This victory for Castro’s troops is considered a defining moment in the Cuban Revolution, as Batista fled Cuba less than 12 hours later.
Che Guevara Mausoleum is a memorial in Santa Clara, located in “Plaza Che Guevara” (Che Guevara Square). It houses the remains of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara and 29 fellow fighters killed in 1967 during Guevara’s attempt to foment an armed rebellion in Bolivia. The entire area, which contains a nearly 7-meter bronze statue of Guevara, is called the Ernesto Guevara Sculpture Complex.
Guevara was buried with full military honors on October 17, 1997, after his remains were discovered in Bolivia, exhumed and returned to Cuba. In that place there is a museum dedicated to Guevara’s life and the eternal flame lit by Fidel Castro in his memory. Santa Clara was chosen as the location to commemorate Guevara’s troops who captured the city on December 31, 1958, during the Battle of Santa Clara. The result of this last battle of the Cuban Revolution was the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista who fled into exile. Nearby, in another part of town, Fulgencio Batista’s military supply train that Guevara derailed during the battle also remains in its original location.
Work on the complex began in 1982, and it was officially opened upon completion on December 28, 1988 in the presence of Raul Castro. The project was conceived by the architects Jorge Cao Campos, Blanca Hernandez and Jose Ramon Linares together with the sculptors Jose de Lázaro Bencoma and Jose Delara (its main creator). In addition, Santa Clara’s 500,000 residents contributed more than 400,000 hours of volunteer labor to the construction of the sculptural complex, working alongside the skilled artisans of the Eliseo Diaz Machado Foundry in Guanabacoa.
Many different aspects of Guevara’s life are presented throughout the complex. For example, his time in Guatemala and the United Nations is sculpted, while his farewell letter to Fidel is written in full. An adjacent decorative wall depicts him in the Sierra Maestra conferring with Fidel, next to Camillo Cienfuegos, and in the mountains on horseback. The second part shows Guevara as Minister of Industry doing his usual volunteer work. Finally, literacy teachers, school children and young pioneers are shown daily greeting all Cuban children reciting “We will be like Che.” every morning.
The complex of structures rests on a rolling hilltop overlooking the city of Santa Clara and features a large tiled plaza. At the end of the square there are two large billboards with quotes from Fidel Castro announcing “Che – it was the star that put you here and made this nation”, and “We want everyone to be like Che” carved into the stone below the statue is good Guevara’s famous statement that “One thing I learned in Guatemala from Arbenz is that if I want to be a revolutionary doctor, or just a revolutionary, first there must be a revolution.
At the end of this incredible Cuban adventure, treat yourself to a visit to the island of Cayo Iguana by catamaran, it is an unforgettable experience during which you will be able to enjoy the blue of the Caribbean Sea. Kayo Iguana (Iguana Island) which is known for having hundreds of iguanas living there who are already used to humans and are eagerly waiting for them to steal part of their lunch. In addition to iguanas, there are also beautiful beaches with fine white sand where we will lie down while the waves of the turquoise sea wash over us. On the way back from the island, you will go snorkeling in one of the hidden lagoons, where you will explore the underwater world rich in different species of fish and coral.
People say that yellow is color of optimism and happiness and attracts positive energy, so I decided to take my FPM Milano Bank Zip Spinner 55 glacier grey cabin suitcase with grey leather details on my trip to Cuba which brought me good luck this year. Not only is it practical, lightweight, but it’s also a photogenic suitcase that many people asked me about at the airport where I bought it.
FPM Milano luggage offers travelers practicality and style, all in one trolley and backpack. Designed by Mark Sadler, these lightweight aluminum-clad and reinforced suitcases are inspired by vintage trunks, purpose-built to give you the durability you need on your travels. The combination of Avante-Garde materials and Italian design motifs give these FPM suitcases a robust and secure look.
This incredible FPM Milano Bank Zip Spinner 55 is made of 100% Makrolon© polycarbonate. The 4 wheels guarantee great stability and smoothness. The suitcase has a TSA lock incorporated (ideal for travelers to the USA) combined with a zipper closure with water resistant treatment. The elastic belt comes with the suitcase and closes with the iconic butterfly lock. The two handles are in Italian fine leather and are embellished with the FPM logo. The internal organization comes with a soft elastic belt with a buckle with FPM logo engraved on one side, and a zip pocket in the other side.ideal for 1-2 day trip.
This cheerful yellow butterfly elastic belt has changed the look of this trolley and it is an interesting accessories. You can choose your favorite color red of yellow and I believe you will be satisfied like me.
If you want to stay up to date and find out which models of suitcases and travel accessories the FPM Milano brand has in its offer, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.
My dear adventurers, we have come to the end of this fourth special travelogue in the series of travelogues about Cuba where we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this unusual country in the Caribbean. Today’s travelogue would not have been possible without the selfless help of the tourist agency Disko Travel in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Cuban culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Cuba.
A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way.
I am honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with many companies and businessmen in the tourism sector and I would like to thank the Disko Travel travel agency once again for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual Cuban culture in a completely different way.
How did you like my story about Cuba and the presentation of the Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara which adorns the heart of Caribbean? Have you had a chance to visit Cuba so far?
If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!
In the following stories from Cuba, we will discover some other interesting sights that you should visit if your journey leads you to this far away Caribbean country!
With Love From Trinidad,