Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cuba Diary - A tropical Sunset in Cienfuegos

Hey guys, I'm back with more Cuba pics for you! Hope you all had a great Easter weekend with your families and friends!
Today's post is about our trip to Cienfuegos, a pretty city known for its beauty and architecture. We stayed only one entire day and two nights there, because there's not really much to see and we wanted to see Trinidad next, but since so many people recommended us the city, we had to take a quick stop there.

Traveling to Cienfuegos and a sleepless night

Leaving Havana I already felt "cleaner", almost a little relieved to escape from all the smoke, dirt and hustle and bustle of Cuba's capital, haha! It's incredible, once you're on the road you see nothing but dry fields, palm trees, sugar cane, forests and wide roads.  Once in a while you'll pass a little village of five or more houses but that's it. A beautiful vast nature! The car ride from Havana to Cienfuegos was pretty comfy I'd say. A friend of the lady we lived with in Havana got us a cab for 25 CUC each, that we shared with 6(!) more tourists. If you decide to take a taxi to any place far from Havana you should ask to sit in the front which is more comfortable, plus you can take photos of the beautiful landscape!

You should definitely plan ahead before traveling to Cuba. We wasted an entire day in Havana looking for internet, bus information and houses in Cienfuegos (we didn't even stay in those houses)! The day of the departure we took a cab around 4pm, which was actually perfect for me because I was feeling sick all morning long! In this post you won't find any food photo because I really couldn't eat anything in Cienfuegos! Since we left in the afternoon we arrived at night, around 8pm I think.
We spent the first night in a hostel that our first house owner's friend recommended us. It's the first room you see in this post. It was pretty comfy but not the most beautiful room we had. We fell asleep right away and started looking for a new room the next morning.
We found a little apartment for 20 CUC, comfortable, with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom but without windows! Now imagine me, being sick with a stomachache, 30 degrees outside, no air, in a room without windows! I was ready to go home! The second night was terrible, I was hot, my throat hurt from the air conditioning on the plane, my stomach was aching badly and I hadn't eaten anything all day. Thank God my boyfriend is so patient, he stayed up with me all night taking care of me while I was crying for my bed in Germany, haha! What an adventure!
Tip: Bring any medicine you need, plus some extra pills for stomachache, headache, and flu/cold, the Cuban pharmacies are almost empty! We wanted to buy some medicine in Trinidad and they had literally nothing! I wasn't able to buy anything that would help me with my cold or stomachache. You should travel to Cuba well prepared! Don't expect to be able to buy things you get in Europe or any other place in this world. They don't exist on Cuba!

Cienfuegos during the day

Well, those were our nights in Cienfuegos, but what did we do during the day?
In the morning we took a long walk, exploring Cienfuego's center a little, looking for the buildings you "have to see" when you're there. Since my boyfriend and I aren't big fans of tourist stuff, we tried to keep it as authentic as we could during our entire Cuba trip, means living with Cubans, eating Cuban food, traveling like Cubans. Therefore my boyfriend asked a friendly man on the street where we could eat some yummy Cuban food. That guy took us for a walk for about an hour until we decided not to eat anything, haha! My boyfriend just bought some sweet pastries and I spent the day not eating anything because I just couldn't. After taking a siesta trying to recover a little, we decided to take a walk to get some fresh air. A very good decision, we went for a stroll along the Paseo El Prado, a beautiful promenade, palm trees everywhere and the best thing is... we found a mango tree and also some banana trees on the way! My boyfriend just had to take two mangos, even though it's not the season, but when do you get the chance to pick fresh mangos from a tree? :-D We actually saved those two mangos three weeks and ate them on our last day in Havana and they were soooo sour, haha!

Following the Paseo El Prado we saw loads of pretty houses with little gardens, it was so nice to see some nature for a change. Havana is beautiful but also quite dirty and loud, so I really enjoyed our peaceful walk by the water. The road led to a nice park, La Punta, where we relaxed a few minutes before taking the same promenade home. On our way back to the house we were surprised by an amazing sunset! It was perfect, just the two of us, some fishing Cuban men, the palm trees and this incredible Caribbean sunset! 
Hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them!

This is not a sad tourist attraction, this is how Cubans normally travel!

Loved the giant tropical trees in Cienfuegos

Parque José Martí

Picking mangos was such a fun experience

The blue anchors show you where you can rent a room

Our first hostel in Cienfuegos

And our second home

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