Going back to the 1500's

Written by Sophia Bass

When I first traveled to Cuba, I thought I would stay in the Havana region and explore Cuba's rich music and art scene. I wanted to immerse myself in the history of the Revolution. I knew Havana had a lot to offer, but I also wanted to see other parts of the country as my boyfriend and I only had 10 days on the island. My friend had recently been to Cuba and insisted that we visit Trinidad. She said it was her favorite part of the island and it was well worth the four hour taxi ride from Havana.

It was Tuesday morning and we decided to depart from Plaza de San Francisco in Old Havana and catch a ride to Trinidad. We piled into an old VW with a young German couple who was nearly our age, and began on our journey. Through the windows of the car we passed farms, plantations, fruit trees, and small villages as we approached the Escambray Mountains.

Upon arriving to Trinidad, I felt like I had gone back in time to the 1500's. Cobblestone streets, Spanish style architecture, old wooden doorways, and men riding donkeys as their means of transportation made up the fabric of everyday life in Trinidad. Founded by Spanish conquerer Diego Velazquez in 1514, Trinidad became a major trading center on the Caribbean Island by the 17th century. Becoming one of the largest sugar trading industries in the region, thousands of African Slaves were imported to work in the sugar trade industry. Due to the cities' isolated location, the culture of Trinidad has been preserved for centuries attracting visitors from all regions of the world.

As my boyfriend and I set out to view the city, we were fascinated by the food in the region and how it differed from cuisine in Havana. Fried malanga served with honey was common in Trinidad as it was brought over by Africans during the slave trade era. While you could find malanga in Havana, it was more common in Trinidad and extremely delicious.

If you're more interested in seeing art, there are galleries and artisan shops on nearly every street corner in Trinidad. Here, you can find Afro-Cuban art from pottery to paintings around the Plaza Mayor. In the evening, you can enjoy a cocktail, listen to Spanish guitar, and roam the streets for late night entertainment.

If you're thinking of traveling to Cuba in 2018, I highly recommend choosing one of our trips that features Trinidad.

Fore more information, check out our trip dates at www.solturatravel.com


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