Early, very early on April 22 the University of Alabama group left for a two day stay in Trinidad, a beautiful colonial city located some 350 kilometers to the Southeast of La Habana. After a five hour trip we arrived in the city and immediately began to explore. The cobblestone streets make for difficult walking but persevered and enjoyed the many balconied windows where friends and neighbors sit to chat and observe the constant activity in the streets. After a great deal of walking the students purchased some local art and we headed for our hotel, a beautiful resort type complex nestled in between the beautiful Escambray Mountains and the waters of ‘Mar Caribe.’ The students enjoyed a luxurious buffet supper while the director and his friend and driver, Ernesto, returned to the city to watch the moving Good Friday procession that began at the old Spanish church in the city square at 8.00 PM.
Early the next morning the group was on the road, headed for the famous Valley of the ‘ingenios,’ or sugarcane plantations. We stopped and climbed the ‘Torre,’ which gave us a splendid view of the valley. We also had the chance to see a rare 19th century ‘trapiche,’ a machine used to squeeze the juice out of the sugarcane plants. We actually used this ‘trapiche’ to squeeze our own very sweet sugarcane juice.