Six days in Cuba, 3 cities, 1 milestone birthday (for my mom) and our Cuba trip is coming to an end. Santiago de Cuba is the last stop on this Cuba trip and it was a memorable one. We spend 2 days here and I managed to get kicked out of one church so I will always remember it.
Santiago de Cuba is the second biggest city in Cuba and was really quite polluted. The air quality was so much worse than in Havana or Cienfuegos.
The Battle of San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War occurred in Santiago de Cuba and was victory for the US-Cuba side (back in 1898 when we used to get along). We visited the hill midday and almost melted in the hot, hot sun. Santiago de Cuba was much hotter than the other parts of Cuba we visited.
The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is the castle fortress that sits on the bay leading into Santiago de Cuba and arguably has the best views in the city.
The sea breeze at the fortress helped cool us down a bit but the sun was a killer. Shade was my friend. We carefully walked around the fortress after the fiasco at the last fortress we visited in Cienfuegos. Thankfully, no hospital trips this time.
We did a bit more sightseeing around town including the monument dedicated to Antonio Maceo.
And I got kicked out of a church. I was with about 20 people on a tour (because American have to be) and it was hot out. We were all wearing shorts. I was by far the youngest person in the group was was singled out and asked to leave. It is no big deal because I get that you need to be appropriately dressed in a church but it as hilarious because everyone else except the tour guide was also wearing shorts. Every single person on my tour was making jokes about how my legs were the only ones to really look at so I took the downfall. Branded a harlot I was
The church where I got kicked out:
Lunch in Santiago de Cuba was amazing! We ended up at a private restaurant (which is becoming more common, all restaurants used to be government-owned) and had a basic salad course with fresh veggies.
And then tons of meat including chicken, pork, fish, rice and beans, and fried plantain chips. The chicken and pork were my favorites and apparently I forgot to take a photo I was so hungry.
Mom had a pineapple soda (no Coke products here) and I had a Bucanero Fuerte cerveza. Both were awesome!
I snuck away from my tour group (again! This is always me trying to escape) and walked around to take photos.
I had an amazing trip to Cuba. It was so different from my other travels and I learned so much from the Cuban people, experiencing some of the culture, and seeing Communism at work. While having to have a tour guide and special conditions to visit is annoying, do it anyway and see somewhere so close to the United States yet so different.