The streets of Trinidad
Few towns (maybe only Antigua Guatemala) can compete with little Trinidad when it comes to Spanish Colonial charms. Trinidad packs an amazing amount of colonial buildings and residences in a small, compact and easily walk-able town. The town is a delight for photographers. It is easily visited with a good tourist infrastructure of lodging (both casas and regular hotels) and eateries, and there’s a beach (Playa Ancon) close-by. All in all, very attractive for the tourist.
And tourism has come to Trinidad with a vengeance. Of all places we went to in Cuba, this is the place where we felt the pressure of touts and the like the heaviest.
As soon as you’d slow down to take a picture, or to look at some building or something, you’d have someone next to you, offering a Casa, a paladar, a tour, cigars, souvenirs etc etc. A stroll around the Plaza in the evening was basically impossible without attracting all kinds of characters. It became quite tiring after a while and was the main reason we chose to stay only three days in Trinidad instead of the originally planned four. I’d heard about people having this problem in Havana but the only place in Cuba where we had this experience was in Trinidad. In fact, we had a very bad experience when entering the town with people literally stepping in front of our car to stop us and trying to open the door of the car to get in to direct us to ‘their’ Casa. The owner of the Casa we’d pre-booked had warned us about this practice so we just ignored them and kept on driving but it was a very disconcerting (not to mention dangerous to the touts themselves!) experience. Not a good start to our stay in Trinidad. Well, considering the every day situation of the average Cuban I guess by arriving in a relatively new rental car, we might as well have had the words “rich tourists” in flashing neon letters on the roof of the car! Anyway, we were happy to arrive at our Casa and get rid of the car.
View of the Plaza Mayor from the tower