LENS

May 6, 2015

Trinidad & Santa Clara, Cuba – 26_29 April, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — wally426 @ 9:04 pm

 

If Havana is the Chatty Cathy younger sister who has to make up for her ragged looks with lots of talking, Trinidad is the quiet, good looking unassuming older sister who shows her class through easy going charm and wisdom. It’s not a quiet town by any means, but people there are reluctant to accept hand-outs and have an air of pride about them. Just last year, Trinidad celebrated it’s 500-year anniversary of European settlement, something very few places in the Americas can boast. It seems like not much had changed over that period. The ancient cobblestoned streets echo the clapping of horses hooves and calm conversations of people in cool tiled courtyards. You get the feeling this is a sacred, still place when walking the streets. It’s everything Havana is not, and people there don’t seem to have any problem with that. It’s one of the few places I’ve been that feels like a living museum.

 

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Open archeology

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The tallest building in Trinidad – Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco – Built in 1813 by Franciscan Monks

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Combing

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Bar Noon

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Rockyroad

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Stray dogs were part of the landscape. Most seem to be well fed and freely helped themselves to the neatly kept garbage bins around town. These pups managed to survive the heat thanks to their clever momma who hid them under the cool stone steps in the main plaza. I returned later that evening to find them nursing contently.

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Inside the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

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Views from the convent’s bell tower

Looking south to the Caribbean Sea

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Caballero

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Some churches didn’t fare so well during the battles to control the city in the 1950s

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Taking Flight

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Layers

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South

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Plaza Mayor

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Wares Waldo

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Plaza Minor

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For Whom

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Sand Monster

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The Best

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The Mayor

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Eyes Wide Shut

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Waiting for darkness

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Jambed

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Topes De Collantes – This national park sits 2,600 feet above sea level

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Needless to say the road up is mildly treacherous

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View looking SE to Trinidad

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Cluck off

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The trails going through the preserve were impressive. Limestone overhangs were present leading down to the waterfalls.

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Yes, waterfalls..

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Caburni Falls (Seen above) was home to nesting cave swallows

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Jobu

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Some of the many hanging orchids in the park

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Source

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Giant Anole

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Calm down, it’ll grow back

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One of the two UNESCO heritage sites in the park – Valle de los Ingenios – Valley of the Sugar Mills

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Santa Clara

Santa Clara is known as the birthplace of the revolution. It was the site of the last battle in 1958 between the rebels and then president Fulgencio Bautista’s government. The whole city seems like a monument to Che Guevara, who’s mausoleum is located there (no Americans are allowed near the site, not kidding). Like Havana, there was a buzz about the city. Into the early morning, people stayed out in the plaza talking and playing music.

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Sala

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Hogging the streets

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Mercado

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Moley

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Eye in the Sky

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Old Blood

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This guy came out of nowhere in one of the restaurants, scary and beautiful all at once

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¡Fiesta!

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Afternoon Snack

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Cuban Steve Buscemi

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Casa Gobernador – best meal in town

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Late night chit chatting

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Colón

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Hot Moon

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