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Nancy & Gord's Cuban Vacation
Town of Trinidad

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Town of Trinidad
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Trinidad centres around the main square - called the Plaza Mayor - which acts as the central meeting place. The many market stalls lead off from the plaza and the narrow, cobble stoned streets reveal tiny restaurants, art galleries, cafes and stores....

Trinidad, Cuba
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Plaza Mayor in the old colonial section of town.

... because of limited resources due to the embargo with the US, Cuba is not exactly a shoppers paradise. But if you're looking for exotic wood carvings, humadors, musical instruments such as conga drums, and of course cigars and rum, there is no shortage of choice in town.

Trinidad, Cuba
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Shopping in Plaza Mayor.

... while we were vacationing, Trinidadians were preparing a celebration for the four hundredth anniversary of the town... the mood was celebratory, many small animals were slaughtered and the parties spilled into the streets going long into the night....

What, me a tourist?
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Old section of Trinidad - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

... speaking of parties, there are a couple of standout spots in town... Bar Casa de la Música, located at Rosaria No.3 is a live music club in the tradition of Buena Vista Social Club - excellent Cuban players! The second spot to check out is The Cave - a nightclub located literally in a cave!!! Placed at the highest spot in town, on the top of a hill, this surreal spot must be seen to believed - cheesy euro-disco was the flavour of the night on our visit, but the sound system and lights were top notch. $10 bucks US gets you all you can drink - just watch the climb out and down the hill on the way out! Oh yes, watch for bats!

Trinidad, Cuba
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Street Bazaar in the Old Town

.... the first thing you'll notice in Cuba are the vintage American automobiles... since the revolution and subsequent embargo, Cuba has had a rough time importing cars. The newer models, mostly Japanese/Korean, are reserved for government-approved use only and strictly off limits to the average Cuban. The Soviet era built Ladas and Hugos are also in abundance, but nothing beats the vintage Fords - most are retooled and refitted and passed on from generation to generation. Even these relics are out of range for most people - running upwards of $5000 US.

Trinidad, Cuba
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Cobblestone streets make for treacherous walking!

Unlike most Spanish Colonial settlements which are set up on a grid system, Trinidad is a confusing maze of back streets and twisting turns... this layout was used to discourage the sacking of the town by pirates, which could easily hide in the tiny archepelagos offshore and dart in to pillage (this didn't stop them obviously)....

Trinidad, Cuba
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Bell Tower

... located off of Plaza Mayor, the colonial Tower of Iznaga highlights the cityscape.... A couple of quirky things about Cuba: there are many people named Ivan, Igor, Vladislav and other Russian first names - there's also an abundance of Soviet architecture which is by far the worst in the world. Seems out of place in such a paradise... Quirk #2: NOBODY has heard of Desi Arnez!! Remember Ricky Ricardo?! Lucille Ball's husband, surely one of the richest men in Hollywood? Must have been an avatar of US Imperialism...

Trinidad, Cuba
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Trinidad by Coco Taxi... we ran into "car" trouble!?

OK, for 2 bucks, you can ride in style in one of these crazy "Coco Taxis"... basically a lawn mower with a 50 cc motor attached, these things are the coolest & cheapest way to get around... unfortunately, ours had a flat tire but they are easy to tip to the side & change.