After visiting Trinidad and around, it was time to go to nearby Cienfuegos, whose historical center is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This city, in contrast to Trinidad, was founded in 1819 (that's more than 300 years after Trinidad!) and the founders were French immigrants. This is a key difference which is easily noticeable in the city center: architecture and city planning is influenced by French taste. Therefore, there are large buildings with domes and arches in long wide boulevards. And the city is planned as a perfect grid, very different from the old Spanish towns. The main street is called El Prado and in two photos you can quickly feel the difference with respect to Trinidad!
The main attractions in the city center are around Parque Jose Marti. This is the area protected by UNESCO and which really presents French influence.
(Jose Marti's statue in the middle of the Park)
(Templete de la Musica)
(A nice social club)
(The only Arch of Triumph in Cuba)
(Yuuhi playing in the park)
(Teatro Tomas Terry)
Tomas Terry Theater is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and the interior can be visited. The interior looks really vintage and has nice decoration and paintings in the stage and ceilings.
Cienfuegos turned out to be a very cheap city. Basically, there were many local shops everywhere where we could use local money (not the one for tourists). That makes things extremely cheap! For example, a nice dark espresso coffee costs less than 1 yen or euro cent! Or a small sandwich is less than 40 yen! There were also many revolutionary panels like this one with Che Guevara:
Connecting the Parque Jose Marti with El Prado, there is a nice pedestrian street with local shops. It was interesting to check what Cuban shops for Cuban look like. The main feeling was that the supply of items was really limited and that prices for electronics/furniture/etc was extremely expensive for the typical Cuban salary from 10 to 20 USD per month.
There is another area in the city, around 3 km from the city center, called Punta Gorda where there are nice mansions and beautiful buildings. However, we were pretty tired and decided to take it easy. We exchange the visit to that area for a nice big lunch ;) Probably it was better that way!!!