In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.

On October 28, 1492, Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon) landed at Bahia de Bariay in what is now known as the Holguín province in Cuba. Two weeks earlier he landed in the Bahamas and mistakenly thought he was in India.

Holguín City was settled shortly after and became the capital city of Holguín province in 1523. Both are named after Captain García Holguín, the conquistador who was awarded land in Cuba by Diego Velázquez for military service.

The market area in central Holguín City is teeming with activity. Inside one of the many buildings we found vendors selling housewares next to a long line woman giving manicures and pedicures. The place was packed, loud and smelled of nail polish.

The next building had handicrafts and ice cream. We passed on the handicrafts but sat with locals to enjoy some ice cream and soda. It was a welcome reprieve from the sun.

It gets very hot in Holguín City. So hot that most people carry an umbrella to ward off the sun. We had an umbrella (thankfully) but La Niña found a lovely straw hat that she preferred and it kept the relentless heat off her head.

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