Leaving Trinidad we crossed the Valle de los Ingenios in the direction of Camagüey.
Valle de lon Ingenios was one of the biggest areas for sugar cane cultivation. The tower Manaca Iznaga is said to be the product of two sons competing for an enslaved woman. To outclass each other, one of them built the tower, the other a well. Later the tower was used to prevent the slaves from escaping from the land. The view from the top allows to see everything in a distance of up to 50km. However, we didn´t climb it, therefore I can just show pictures made from the bottom.
Torre Manaca Iznaga:
The whole city of Camagüey was under construction, therefore we just had a short look around the city on the first day. For dinner we went to the pizzeria “La Isabella” named after the cuban actress Isabel Santos. Inside the restaurant was decorated with different film posters and all the chairs were dedicated to famous actors and directors.
Unfortunately the pizza (in spite of the fact that it should be one of Cubas best) didn´t work well with everyone’s stomach. I will not report any details. Lucky us, we stayed in a Casa led by three wonderful caring ladies. 5 minutes after moving in we were already the “Niños” and tea and chicken soup was prepared to settle the stomach.
Camagüey under construction:
Pizzeria La Isabella:
Las Mamas (and me):
Because of our little stomach problem we visited only a few places the next day. One of them was the church “Iglesia de la Merced” where a coffin completely made out of silver is kept. In the courtyard of the affiliated monastery we found a calm place to rest in the shadow.
Iglesia de la Merced, backyard:
Silver coffin Santo Sepulcro:
Later we had a walk through the city and discovered some nice places as for example the Catedral Metropolitana close to the Parque Agramonte that was completely restored for the last visit of the pope in the 90th and a streetart painting by Ileana Sánchez who has an atelier in Camagüey.
Ignacio Agramonte was a revolutionary during the war against the Spanish and you can find statues in memory of him all over the country.
Iglesia Sagrado Corazón de Jesús:
Iglesia del Carmen:
Plaza del Carmen:
Streetart of Ileana Sánchez:
In total we didn´t stay in Camagüey for a long time, nevertheless I remember this stop very well. Definitely, the warm and friendly welcome contributed a lot to that. On our second evening we sat with our hosts for a long time and they told us about their children (moved to the US) and their lifes. This is one thing connected to the socialism that I find really hard, not being able to visit your own children abroad and just to hear from them on the telephone must be quite unsatisfying. Strangely enough, my own family was in a similar situation not too long ago. But at least one side of the family was able to cross the border and visit the others. I wonder, which path the development in Cuba will take.
Next: Santiago de Cuba and Santa Clara. My final Cuba post.