Music and Art in Trinidad, Cuba

On the streets, the first group we encountered was “Los Pimos”, playing traditional Cuban music, Trinidad, Cuba; like music groups around the world, they were selling their CDs, in a

On the streets, the first group we encountered was “Los Pimos”, playing traditional Cuban music, Trinidad, Cuba; like music groups around the world, they were selling their CDs, in addition to seeking tips

 

We had the opportunity to hear quite a bit of Cuban (think “Buena Vista Social Club”) and Afro-Cuban music in Trinidad as we walked around town, as well as a performance featuring Afro-Cuban music and dance at Casa de la Música.  On the street we were greeted by musicians all around town, and many groups were playing in paladares and bars.  We stopped in several art galleries featuring local artists in varied media, all reflecting the local culture and traditions.

 

The most interesting art we saw was in this gallery by a local woman who told her stories through teapots (metal sculptures), Trinidad, Cuba

The most interesting art we saw was in this gallery by a local woman who told her stories through teapots (metal sculptures), Trinidad, Cuba

 

The teapot theme continued in watercolors, Trinidad, Cuba

The teapot theme continued in watercolors, Trinidad, Cuba

 

Seeking shelter from the rain under a tree in the square, this guitarist drew a large crowd (mostly tourists who were out walking the streets in the rain), Trinidad, Cuba

Seeking shelter from the rain under a tree in the square, this guitarist drew a large crowd (mostly tourists who were out walking the streets in the rain), Trinidad, Cuba

 

A quartet played through our luncheon at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor, Trinidad, Cuba

A quartet played through our luncheon at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor, Trinidad, Cuba

 

Once it stopped raining, more musicians came out and played around town, Trinidad, Cuba

Once it stopped raining, more musicians came out and played around town, Trinidad, Cuba

 

A trio at the paladar Casa de la Trova, Trinidad, Cuba, where afternoon coffee was popular

A trio at the paladar Casa de la Trova, Trinidad, Cuba, where afternoon coffee was popular

 

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Trinidad, Cuba

A bird_s eye view of Trinidad, Cuba, from the top of the tower in the Historical Museum (a former convent), looking south to the Caribbean Sea, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away

A bird’s eye view of Trinidad, Cuba, from the top of the tower in the Historical Museum (a former convent), looking south to the Caribbean Sea, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away

 

On our second day in Cienfuegos, we traveled by van for a little more than an hour hour to the province of Sancti Spíritus to see the well-preserved Spanish colonial outpost town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988.  Located about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of the southern Cuba coast, Trinidad is known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets.  Aside from the occasional car, it looks as it did in the late 18th and 19th centuries when wealthy sugar merchants built their mansions.  Trinidad’s neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings.  The town was founded early in Cuba’s Spanish settlement era, on December 23, 1514. The well known Spanish explorer who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire in Mexico, Hermán Cortés, recruited heavily in Trinidad for his 1518 expedition.  Regarding the contemporary economy, Wikipedia notes: “Nowadays, Trinidad’s main industry is tobacco processing.  The older parts of town are well preserved, as the Cuban tourism industry sees benefit from tour groups.  In contrast, some parts of town outside the tourist areas are very run down and in disrepair, especially in the centre.  Tourism from Western nations is major source of income in the city.”

 

Plaza Mayor, the central square in Trinidad, Cuba, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings and cobblestone streets

Plaza Mayor, the central square in Trinidad, Cuba, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings and cobblestone streets

 

We spent the morning exploring the casco histórico (historic district), walking along the cobblestone streets surrounding Plaza Mayor.  Our lunch was at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor.  Afterward, we enjoyed a private performance featuring Afro-Cuban music and dance at Casa de la Música.

 

Down the street from Plaza Mayor is Convento de San Francisco de Asis, Trinidad, Cuba

Down the street from Plaza Mayor is Convento de San Francisco de Asis, Trinidad, Cuba

 

A local paladar, a family-owned restaurant, Trinidad, Cuba

A local paladar, a family-owned restaurant, Trinidad, Cuba

 

Water delivery to the paladar (restaurant), Trinidad, Cuba; for western visitors, bottled water is the best bet

Water delivery to the paladar (restaurant), Trinidad, Cuba; for western visitors, bottled water is the best bet

 

A typical cobblestone street in Trinidad, Cuba

A typical cobblestone street in Trinidad, Cuba

 

A rare sighting of an American 1950s “classic car” in Trinidad, Cuba; note that the majority of the restored cars in Cuba are to be found in Havana

A rare sighting of an American 1950s “classic car” in Trinidad, Cuba; note that the majority of the restored cars in Cuba are to be found in Havana

 

A view of the street from inside the Historical Museum, Trinidad, Cuba

A view of the street from inside the Historical Museum, Trinidad, Cuba

 

A cobblestone residential street in Trinidad, Cuba

A cobblestone residential street in Trinidad, Cuba

 

A nicely restored colonial era building in Trinidad, Cuba

A nicely restored colonial era building in Trinidad, Cuba

 

A local resident walking home with his fresh loaf of bread, Trinidad, Cuba

A local resident walking home with his fresh loaf of bread, Trinidad, Cuba

 

One of the well-restored colonial era buildings adjacent to Plaza Mayor in central Trinidad, Cuba

One of the well-restored colonial era buildings adjacent to Plaza Mayor in central Trinidad, Cuba

 

Typical tourist ware in a street stall in Trinidad, Cuba

Typical tourist ware in a street stall in Trinidad, Cuba

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: El Lagarto (a paladar), Cienfuegos, Cuba

The entrance to El Lagarto, a paladar (privately owned restaurant) in ground level rooms of a private home overlooking the bay in the Punta Gorda district of Cienfuegos, Cuba

The entrance to El Lagarto, a paladar (privately owned restaurant) in ground level rooms of a private home overlooking the bay in the Punta Gorda district of Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Until a few years ago, restaurants in Cuba were government owned.  That changed with the opening up of some (licensed) private enterprises, including restaurants, repair shops, taxi services (using restored Classic Cars), etc.  The privately run restaurants – often in a room or several rooms of a private house –called paladares, are generally regarded as far superior to the government run restaurants and are eagerly sought out by tourist visitors.  The main staples of the Cuban diet, which comprise the main fare in many of the paladares, are rice and beans (“Christians and Moors”), rice, pork, chicken, plantains (especially fried plantain chips), and beer.  Upscale paladares are now exploring fusion Cuban cuisine with much creativity coming forth in the past few years

 

The main dining room at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba, was built on a covered patio, overlooking the bay

The main dining room at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba, was built on a covered patio, overlooking the bay

 

In Cienfuegos we enjoyed a very good luncheon overlooking the bay from our table at El Lagarto, a family run establishment that was several years old and very popular in the Punta Gorda district.  (A note from Wikipedia: “Paladar is a term that in Spanish translates literally to “Palatal” and used with that meaning in the Spanish speaking world, however in Cuba is used exclusively to refer to restaurants run by self-employers.”)

 

Our “starters” began with fried slices of local plantains, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Our “starters” began with fried slices of local plantains, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Our “starters” continued with a nice selection of fresh fruit, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Our “starters” continued with a nice selection of fresh fruit, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

With a thunderstorm approaching, the brightly painted “Adirondack-style” chairs on the dock adjacent to the restaurant were empty, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

With a thunderstorm approaching, the brightly painted “Adirondack-style” chairs on the dock adjacent to the restaurant were empty, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

For a starter we enjoyed fried eggplant topped with melted cheese and salad, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

For a starter we enjoyed fried eggplant topped with melted cheese and salad, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

One main dish was a mixed grill (chicken, pork and lamb) with the traditional side dishes of rice and beans and yucca and squash, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

One main dish was a mixed grill (chicken, pork and lamb) with the traditional side dishes of rice and beans and yucca and squash, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

A second (and outstanding) main dish was sliced pork from a whole barbequed pork leg with the traditional side dishes, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba; for dessert we enjoyed a

A second (and outstanding) main dish was sliced pork from a whole barbequed pork leg with the traditional side dishes, luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba; for dessert we enjoyed a traditional flan (not pictured)

 

Walking back through the city after our enjoyable and filling luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Walking back through the city after our enjoyable and filling luncheon at El Lagarto, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Portraits in Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #1

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #1

 

After our tours in Cienfuegos, Cuba, I spent a couple of hours walking around on my own — this was a surprise, as we had assumed that U.S. tourists might be restricted in the areas they could visit — through the neighborhoods surrounding the Central Zone until twilight, meeting people on the street and observing daily life.  Portraits of some of the locals are presented below.

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #2

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #2

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #3

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #3

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #4

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #4

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #5

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #5

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #6

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #5

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #7

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #7

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #8

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #8

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #9

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #9

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #10

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #10

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #11

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #11

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #12

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #12

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #13

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #13

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #14

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #14

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #15

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #15

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #16

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Portrait #16

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Art and Music in Cienfuegos, Cuba

Local musicians, members of the local chapter of UNEAC (Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba), performing their Afro-Cuban musical compositions for us in the Jardines (gardens) de la

Local musicians, members of the local chapter of UNEAC (Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba), performing their Afro-Cuban musical compositions for us in the Jardines (gardens) de la UNEAC near the Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Our local tour operator, Cuba Educational Travel (CET), arranged a very good architectural and cultural walking tour of Cienfuegos which included a visit to the local chapter of UNEAC (Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba), where we had the opportunity to listen to a lively Afro-Cuban musical performance, written and performed by local musicians.  Around Parque José Martí in the Central Zone we visited a number of art studios and galleries where frequently we met the artists and had a chance to talk with them.

 

We had the opportunity to see a lot of local art at the Galería de Arte, operated by UNEAC in Cienfuegos, Cuba, next door to the Jardines de la UNEAC

We had the opportunity to see a lot of local art at the Galería de Arte, operated by UNEAC in Cienfuegos, Cuba, next door to the Jardines de la UNEAC

 

“The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, UNEAC) is a social, cultural and professional organization of writers, musicians, actors, painters, sculptors, and artist of different genres.  It was founded on August 22, 1961, by the Cuban poet, Nicolas Guillen.  Initially their objective was uniting the intellectuals within the young Cuban Revolution to maintain a genuine Cuban culture.” – Wikipedia

 

Local artist Adrian Rumbaut holding his original Time magazine cover featuring historic Cubans, in front of his wall collage at the Galería de Arte, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Local artist Adrian Rumbaut holding his original Time magazine cover featuring historic revolutionary Cubans, in front of his wall collage at the Galería de Arte, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Art can carry a message (two pieces by local artist Adrian Rumbaut), Cienfuegos, Cuba

Art can carry a message (two pieces by local artist Adrian Rumbaut), Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Looking through the street window at local children performing in a dance recital in an art gallery adjacent to the Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

Looking through the street window at local children performing in a dance recital in an art gallery adjacent to the Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

A view of local children performing in a dance recital in an art gallery, as seen by the parents in the audience, Cienfuegos, Cuba

A view of local children performing in a dance recital in an art gallery, as seen by the parents in the audience, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Cienfuegos (part II), Cuba

Palacio de Valle at Punta Gorda, built by a wealthy sugar merchant and completed in 1917, was a casino during the Batista days; Cienfuegos, Cuba

Palacio de Valle at Punta Gorda, built by a wealthy sugar merchant and completed in 1917, was a casino during the Batista days; highlighted by turquoise, Moorish-style tiles and three dissimilar towers, it wouldn’t seem out of place in a Disney fairytale; Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Our first blog on Cienfuegos, Cuba, focused on the Central Zone and the historic government and religious buildings around Parque José Martí.  In addition to walking around the colonnaded central zone we had the opportunity to explore the area around Punta Gorda to the south, with its beautiful villas and palaces built by the moneyed classes in the 1920s.  After our tours I spent a couple of hours walking around on my own through the neighborhoods surrounding the Central Zone until twilight (see below).  Portraits of some of the locals will follow in a subsequent blog post.

 

The view towards Parque de Diversiones and the east side of Cienfuegos, Cuba, from one of the towers of Palacio de Valle at Punta Gorda where we had local rum drinks on the rooftop

The view towards Parque de Diversiones and the east side of Cienfuegos, Cuba, from one of the towers of Palacio de Valle at Punta Gorda where we had local rum drinks on the rooftop

 

The dilapidated remains of a former villa as we walked south from Palacio de Valle at Punta Gorda, Cienfuegos, Cuba, toward the point and lunch at El Lagarto (see our upcoming “Eat Loc

The dilapidated remains of a former villa as we walked south from Palacio de Valle at Punta Gorda, Cienfuegos, Cuba, toward the point and lunch at El Lagarto (see our upcoming “Eat Local” blog post)

 

A strikingly colorful restored section of a home in Punta Gorda, Cienfuegos, Cuba, with our ship at anchor in the bay

A strikingly colorful restored section of a home in Punta Gorda, Cienfuegos, Cuba, with our ship at anchor in the bay

 

One of many classic (American) cars from the 1950s that we saw in Cienfuegos, Cuba – a Crown Victoria Pan Am from around 1957; note that due to the high price of gasoline, most people

One of many classic (American) cars from the 1950s that we saw in Cienfuegos, Cuba (and other Cuban cities) – a Crown Victoria Pan Am from around 1957; note that due to the high price of gasoline, most people use public transportation or walk or bicycle

 

Daily constitutionals late in the afternoon after a pretty heavy rainstorm in a residential neighborhood near Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

Daily constitutionals late in the afternoon after a pretty heavy rainstorm in a residential neighborhood near Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Our local tour operator for our entire Cuba trip was an exceptional company, Cuba Educational Travel (CET) – a leader in cultural travel to Cuba.  Founded by Collin Laverty, a leading expert on Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations, CET unlocked the best of Cuba by providing access to the country’s top artists, academics, tastemakers, and cultural figures.  CET’s tailor-made programs enabled us to experience Cuba’s vibrant culture and gain a deeper understanding of the island, while ensuring full compliance with all U.S. regulations.  CET has been awarded two OFAC licenses for People-to-People travel and Mr. Laverty regularly appears on CNN, CNBC, NBC, and MSNBC to discuss the dynamics of U.S.-Cuba relations.

 

A beautifully restored early 1950s Plymouth in a residential neighborhood near Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

A beautifully restored early 1950s Plymouth in a residential neighborhood near Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Stray dogs are to be found all around the cities, fed by the local residents – this one was keeping watch over a neighborhood street at dusk, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Stray dogs are to be found all around the cities, fed by the local residents – this one was keeping watch over a neighborhood street at dusk, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

A quiet moment late in the afternoon in a bar near Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

A quiet moment late in the afternoon in a bar near Parque José Martí in the Central Zone of Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

While not unseen, there aren_t a lot of cars of recent vintage on the street – most are restored American classic cars from 1950 to 1959 (the year of the Cuban Revolution under Che G

While not unseen, there aren’t a lot of cars of recent vintage on the street – most are restored American classic cars from 1950 to 1959 (the year of the Cuban Revolution under Che Guevara and Fidel Castro), Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

An old “classic” car, awaiting parts and labor for restoration, sitting on “blocks” on a neighborhood street in Cienfuegos, Cuba

An old “classic” car, awaiting parts and labor for restoration, sitting on “blocks” on a neighborhood street in Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

A neighborhood soccer game before dinner in Cienfuegos, Cuba

A neighborhood soccer game before dinner in Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Cienfuegos, Cuba

One of many composite images evoking memories of a visit to Cuba – on the street in Cienfuegos, Cuba

One of many composite images evoking memories of a visit to Cuba – on the street in Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Cuba. The name evokes numerous mental images and memories – rum, cigars, music, Hemingway, fishing (“The Old Man and the Sea”), Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders (the Spanish-American War of 1898), Revolution (1959) — Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, American cars of the 1950s, the US – Cuban missile crisis of 1962, Guantanamo, and many more.  Given the past strict restrictions on American tourists visiting Cuba, we were very excited when we learned that our ship was planning a visit to Cuba toward the end of 2017, especially after President Obama relaxed some of the restrictions.  However, a week before our visit, President Trump’s new tightening of the rules went into effect.  Fortunately, our trip (through the excellent Cuban organization, Cuba Educational Travel) was planned to meet the U.S. travel restrictions (commonly referred to as the Cuban Embargo) on U.S. citizens.  While we were not able to dock in Havana, our trip along the southern coast of Cuba took us to Cienfuegos, Cayo Largo, and Santiago, with an optional three-day overland visit that we took to Havana, between Cienfuegos and Santiago.

Located on Bahía de Cienfuegos, a bay on Cuba’s south coast, Cienfuegos was lovingly nicknamed in colonial times the “Pearl of the South.”  A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the capital of the province, Cienfuegos city, is one of the most beautiful villages in Cuba and the only town in Cuba with strong French historical roots and architectural influences.  Although the city’s name means “100 Fires,” it was actually named for Don Jose Cienfuegos, the Spanish Captain General who, in 1817, approved a plan to settle French émigrés from Bordeaux and Louisiana in the area.  Located 151 miles (244 km) from Havana, the city prospered as a port for sugar and cattle.  Today, the city forms two contrasting zones: the colonnaded central zone with its stately Paseo del Prado and graceful park; and Punta Gorda, with its beautiful villas and palaces built by the moneyed classes in the 1920s.  The city today has a population of 149,000.

 

The Arco de Triunfo (Arch of Triumph) at the entrance to Parque José Martí, Cienfuegos, Cuba

The Arco de Triunfo (Arch of Triumph) at the entrance to Parque José Martí, (also known as the Plaza de Armas) in the Central Zone, a National Monument surrounded by key government and religious structures, is dedicated to the workers of the town and Cuban Independence Day (20 May 1902), Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

The significance of 20 May 1902 (before the Cuban Revolution of 1959): “Before 1959, Cuba celebrated May 20th as Independence Day.  We were told in school that an independent republic had been born, that Spanish domination had ended and we had full freedom.  All this of course, thanks to the “generous help” of the government of the United States, whom we should eternally be grateful to.  Our history had been tampered with, to please the individual interest of the then governments and their imperial masters.  The cruel truth was that on May 20th, 1902 Cuba had stopped being a Spanish colony only to turn into a neo colony of the United States of America.” – http://www.Voltairenet.org, Source: Cuban Agency News

 

On the north side of Parque José Martí is Teatro Tomas Terry and several historic buildings, Cienfuegos, Cuba

On the north side of Parque José Martí is Teatro Tomas Terry and several historic buildings, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Local citizens flock to the pavilion in the center of Parque José Martí in order to access the internet via the local phone company_s WiFi network – the Internet came to Cuba onl

Local citizens flock to the pavilion in the center of Parque José Martí in order to access the internet via the local phone company’s WiFi network – the Internet came to Cuba only two years ago; Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion (Holy Church Pure Concepción Cathedral) dates from 1869 and is distinguished by its French stained-glass windows, Cienfuegos, Cuba

Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion (Holy Church Pure Concepción Cathedral) dates from 1869 and is distinguished by its French stained-glass windows, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

The arcade next to Teatro Tomas Terry, across from Parque José Martí, is now filled with artist studios and galleries, Cienfuegos, Cuba

The arcade next to Teatro Tomas Terry, across from Parque José Martí, is now filled with artist studios and galleries, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Teatro Tomas Terry, with its gold-leaf mosaics and ceiling frescoes, was built in 1889 and designed for 1,200 people -- one of the largest capacity theaters in the-Caribbean, Cienfuegos,

Teatro Tomas Terry, with its gold-leaf mosaics and ceiling frescoes, was built in 1889 and designed for 1,200 people — one of the largest capacity theaters in the Caribbean, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Our visit coincided with the end of the rainy season (Hurricane Maria had brushed the island only weeks before our visit), yielding this nice reflection at the edge of Parque José Mart

Our visit coincided with the end of the rainy season (Hurricane Maria had brushed the island only weeks before our visit), yielding this nice reflection at the edge of Parque José Martí; Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

This colonial era building with a cupola is the structure pictured in the reflection, above; Cienfuegos, Cuba

This colonial era building with a cupola is the structure pictured in the reflection, above; Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

A government-run cigar store across from the Parque José Martí had a great collection of local cigars, Cienfuegos, Cuba

A government-run cigar store across from the Parque José Martí had a great collection of local cigars, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

A close-up of some of the finest Cuban cigars at the store, Cienfuegos, Cuba

A close-up of some of the finest Cuban cigars at the store, Cienfuegos, Cuba

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.