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Trip to Santiago de Cuba

Posted by luciaturok on 4th August 2023

The trip cost 69 CUC = USD

We had to wake up really early because we were leaving the resort at 6:00 morning. Even the main breakfast did not start to serve so we eat in 24 hour open snack bar. As with every trip in Cuba, we started the trip by collecting other people from all resorts and then we travelled 4 hours to Santiago de Cuba.

We had a very friendly tour guide who told us all the basic information about Cuba. The traveling was long but at least we saw common life in Cuba. The transport in Cuba is much different than here they do not have so many cars and if there is some car it is old, no modern cars at all and no modern buses at all, – only for tourists. In Cuba people travel in tracks.

After 4 hours on the bus, we finally arrived in Santiago de Cuba. first, we stopped at the Main Revolution Square of Santiago de Cuba, there was just some training for upcoming celebrations the wholesquare was full of young people, it was amazing to see them there and hear their music.

The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca 

Our second stop was Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro. The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca (also known by the less formal title of Castillo del Morro or as San Pedro de la Roca Castle) is a fortress on the coast of the Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba. About 6 miles (10 km) southwest of the city center, it overlooks the bay. We made there a lot of beautiful photos. There was a fabulous view.

Everyone was hungry and we went to have lunch in one of the biggest hotels in Santiago Hotel Melia. Lunch was included in the price of the trip with one drink. We could choose fish, chicken or pasta. Most of us choose fish which was a huge mistake because the fish was just a small portion so after lunch we were still hungry. The chicken and pasta were much bigger portions, maybe 5times bigger. After lunch, we got an extra one cocktail for free.

Santa Ifigenia Cemetery

Our next stop was Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. The cemetery of Santa Ifigenia is the place where lies the rest of the NationalHero from Cuba, Apostle José Martí, besides illustrious children of Santiago de Cuba and also the Bacardi family -famous Bacardi Rum. We went there to see the changing of the guards but when we arrived the guards were already changing and we just came in the middle of it. Until we came there and got around to the memorial, the guards were almost changed. This was a little annoying because they are changing every half hour and we mostly missed it.

The Moncada Barracks

Next stop: The Moncada Barracks was a military barracks in Santiago de Cuba, named after General GuillermónMoncada, a hero of the War of Independence. On July 26, 1953, the barracks were the site of an armed attack by a small group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro. This armed attack is widely accepted as the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. The date on which the attack took place, July 26, was adopted by Castro as the name for his revolutionary movement (Movimiento 26 Julio or M 26-7) which eventually toppled the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. It is a yellow house where are still holes in the walls after the shooting.

Casa de Diego Velázquez

In the end, we stopped in the center of Santiago in front of Casa de Diego Velázquez – the oldest house in Cuba. We went to the museum of Casa de Diego Velázquez and we paid it extra 3 CUC per person. It is the mansion that belonged to Diego Velazquez (Spanish conqueror, first Governor from Cuba, and founder of the first seven villages in the country), built between 1516 and 1530, even maintained despite the time and the recent fires which it has been threatened. At the moment this old house works as the Cuban Historical Colonial Environment’s Museum and the oldest construction in Cuba is considered, which was also the House of the Indies and Foundry of the Spanish Crown.

We went to have a mojito at the roof garden bar from where we could see the whole of Santiago de Cuba. Entry to this bar also cost 3 CUC but this also included one drink. It was almost time to go back to the bus. We took a short walk through typical streets. I think this was the best part of this trip to see the common typical Cuban life how they live, their famous music and lifestyle.

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