Brazil: Salvador da Bahia

Our last stop in Brazil was in the fascinating city of Salvador.

We arrived just in time for the Pelourinho street party that happens every Tuesday night after 6:00pm mass. The streets are lined with stages and one can view various local acts. Dancing in the street is encouraged.

We were slightly worried about the crime in Salvador (not as much as in Rio) but we had no issue since we stayed in the “tourist” zones and never strayed outside those areas at night. We always made sure to know where we were at all times. People are pretty friendly here. We befriended one kid in particular who was helpful with advice. He wanted to continue to do favors for us, of course for some money. But even we really didn’t give him any money he still stuck around and greeted us whenever we ran into him again.

Old Portuguese style buildings.

Capoeira is huge in Salvador and it is a great place for viewing it. We had many opportunities to see it on the streets.

The importance of religion in the cities past is seen in the ornate churches seen around town.

The past of Salvador is evidenced in the architecture of the lavish homes of Portuguese plantation owners. Now some abandoned buildings lost in time between current dwellings. We witnessed quite a bit of activity in rebuilding some of these abandoned buildings.

Candomble is an afro-Brazilian cult. While in Salvador we were able to go to one of their ceremonies. They usually start in the evening and consist of song and dancing rituals to bring on a trance induced state where some are possessed by one of the many gods or goddesses of the religion. While in the trance, the person changes into costume and takes on the characteristics of that god. During the ceremony there was a break where afro-Brazilian food was shared with all. Due to the intimate nature of the event, we were unable to take photos. I recommend anyone with an open mind to go to one of these events as long as you respect their rituals.

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