There’s not a lot to say about this town really. It’s very modest. My first impression was that there are no international chains. No fast food. No flashy signs. Most of the buildings look empty unless you walk up and look in.
Most of the Main Street has what is called a prado which is a sort of elevated colonial looking storefront. And then in the middle of the road there is a wide divider with benches for residents to hang out and socialize.
In the main shopping street there were mostly government run stores.
- A store to pick up government rations
- A convenience store with beer, soda, water, chips, baby food, pasta and other snack items.
- A couple of bars and cafes mostly catering to tourists
- A small little cafe
- And most interestingly, Adidas. Which I’m betting the average Cuban could never afford. So it must be catering to tourists.
- When you get to the end of the shopping street to the public square by town hall, there is a wifi hotspot. Guys sell 1 hour cards in the street for $3 each (apparently $2 from the government store).
I thought it was weird how many digital zombies were sitting around until I figured it out. Fortunately our guide Yunier had a couple extra cards and gave me one. That guy is going to get a big tip. He made my day even though I only had 15 mins to be online.
The Internet was surprisingly fast and stable. I didn’t have high expectations from what I heard. It would be highly inconvenient to walk 2 or 3km to the public square every time you have to get online though. It makes you wonder how kids do their homework.
For dinner we want to a little privately run restaurant. Excellent food, very reasonable prices. I came to Cuba expecting everything to be super cheap and it hasn’t been until now.
We had a three course meal with alcohol for about $7 each.
- Chicken Soup
- Tomato & Cucumber Salad
- Pork Chop
- Rice & Beans
- Fried Plantains
- Chocolate Cake
Again I couldn’t get over how cheap the prices were. And the food quality was very good.
Pictures from Cienfuegos