Feb 09

Plaza Mayor, Trinidad

by in Photography, Postcard Valet

Plaza Mayor, Trinidad

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Twice now, I’ve visited Cuba, and twice I’ve spent some time in Trinidad.  It’s a beautiful colonial town in central Cuba, just a couple miles from the coast.  There’s a church on the hill, cobblestones on the streets, and picturesque landscapes and architecture around every corner.

On my first visit, I spent a lot of time moving around the central plaza with my 35mm camera.  There’s a wonderful bell and clock tower at one corner and I was continually trying to find the best angle on it.  I eventually found one; it’s now framed and hanging on the wall in my home office.

Four years later, my camera had changed, but the view in Trinidad was mostly the same.  I amused myself by trying to find the exact spot where I’d taken the first picture, then set out to frame something new.

There’s a museum in the base of the bell tower — something I’m not sure I was aware of on the first trip.  My companions and I paid a few dollars to go inside, hoping we’d get a chance to climb the tower.  Despite the rickety stairs and often a lack of handrails, tourists are, indeed allowed up.  Not all the way, though; the top room with the clock was barred with a trapdoor and a hefty padlock.

We stepped out onto the museum roof and paced around the edges.  From there we had a wonderful view of the terra cotta tile rooftops and the lush green countryside.  (Not to mention an ancient, rusty air raid siren.)  Walking back down the stairs, I stopped at the oval window we’d skipped on the way up.  I had to climb half into the cement ring to take an unobstructed picture of the courtyard below.  When I climbed back out, I took another picture to remember what the window was like.

I like the cement window frame better than the original.  It gives the viewer an interesting perspective, and in combination with the other photo I took years before, tells an interesting story.  Looking back and forth between them, I can identify the exact location where I took each picture!

Canon Powershot s30
Date: 27 December 2003
Focal Length: 8.6mm
Shutter: 1/1000 second
Aperture: F/3.2
Photoshop: Adjusted levels slightly to deepen the black edging

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Welcome to Postcard Valet

Postcard Valet is a travel blog and video podcast by Arlo and Oksana Midgett. They just returned to Juneau, Alaska, after almost three full years of travel and living abroad. Many of their stories, photos, and videos have yet to be shared...

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