Destination: Salvador De Bahia Brazil
Date: February 2014
Activity: Sight Seeing
We were a little unsure of what to do in the city of Salvador de Bahia when we arrived. It was our second port city stop on our cruise and we had done some research but it didn’t look very promising. This small Portuguese settlement was once a large trading site for African slaves back in the 1800’s, and still holds an African flare for the culture. The music, food, art, religion and even the Afro-Brazilian form of martial arts called Capoeira are a big part of this community. From what we read it was the churches, shopping and culture we were supposed to take in at the city of Salvador.
Getting off the boat and walking to the city was very easy. A taxi was not necessary though a huge line to take an elevator up to the city level was a little daunting and hot! It was so hot we stood there and baked in the sun. Once we were let into the building we then had to wait in sauna like conditions to pay our .15 cents to take the elevator. After about 45 minutes of waiting we were finally up in the city and ready to create our own walking tour based on books we had read.
We had about twenty friends with us and Trent was our leader. He started our walking tour by hitting the main churches and sites of the city. The main square of Tome’ de Sousa was our first stop. The square is ringed on three sides with handsome buildings, the 17th century Paco Municipal, the beau arts Palacio Rio Branco and the Lacerda lift. The next stop was on to the Portuguese baroque church of Santa Casa de Misercicordia that dates back to 1774. I thought this was the most beautiful church because of the ornate blue tiles that line the walls.
From there we headed to Terreiro de Jesus which is the heart of colonial Salvador. This busy square has street performers doing Capoeira, food venders and arts and crafts. Its surrounded by beautiful buildings like the Cathedral Se, the church of the Ordem Terceira de Sao Domingos de Gusmao, and the colonial civic buildings that house the city’s best museum the Museu Afro-Brasileiro.
In the end it was a lot of cathedrals and architecture and after about three hours of walking and touring I was ready for a lunch break. Many of our friends broke up at the last stop to shop, or find their own nourishment while Trent and I and two other couples grabbed a taxi and headed down to the marina to a Trip Advisor rated restaurant called Cafe do Forte.
The food at the restaurant was great and it was good to have a clean place with excellent wifi to rest and recuperate after a long morning of walking. I enjoyed a curried camaron (shrimp) meal and felt my blood sugar levels readjust. After a long slightly boring morning I was ready to board the ship and relax poolside.
Our last stop before getting back on board the ship was to stop at the slave housing quarters. We were told it was the yellow building by our boat which now hosts a huge shopping area that sells everything imaginable. Of course the area that housed the slaves is now closed down and unavailable for tourists to view so that was a huge disappointment. Soon we were back on board ship and I was not to sad saying my farewell to Salvador de Bahia!
Safe and Happy Travels!!