Cienfuegos, an inspirational city
“Beautiful is the land of the mixes”, you write in your notebook of metaphors, that you use to collect the inspirational lines for your prose from time to time. Cienfuegos is one of those holiday destinations in Cuba with the power to captivate anyone from a first sight.
You have been here many times already and keep coming year after year. Now you remember how you got here for the first time, as a regular tourist in a collective transfer with a bunch of French friends.
It was your maiden trip to Cuba, to Havana, to be more precise and all you wanted was having a ball. That night you were in pub crawl, hitting every possible bar in and out Havana hotels when you ran into these French lads who spent the evening talking about tracing their roots to this small village to the south of the island, They told you this amazing story about their ancestors coming from the Louisiana in the 1900s running away from the new US establishment.
“They stayed for good”, they said; now “we just want a picture in the first house they owned.
It seemed a wonderful story that instantly captivated you so much that you decided to join their quest to discover Cienfuegos, one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Cuba.
The bus collected you at 9 sharp and you spent two hours on the road before reaching a beautiful square surrounded by French style colonial houses and low buildings. It was then when you heard the foundational story and how French dwellers settled here to “create racial balance with the Afro Cubans in the island” as prompt by the Spanish rulers.
All explanations were given to you on a walking tour, were you managed to see and have photos taken at your acquaintances’ ancestors’ house, right beside the Terry theatre were Enrico Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt performed once many years ago.
The excursion continued along Cienfuegos Prado, the so called 37th street up to Punta Gorda and till Valle Palace, one of the architectural jewels that fascinate every tourist passing by or spending holidays in Cienfuegos.
But what you loved the most about the village was the stunning bay, a star nautical port in the country bearing one out of the only-three cruise terminals in the land. Lunch was arranged in the nautical club, on a cool terrace from where you got the chance to spot the blue panorama while chewing a fresh and delicious lobster.
Now, you still love this city as the first day, except that today you’re a consolidated writer who’s making of this Caribbean town, the inspiration for your next novel.