Monday, September 20, 2010

BackTrackin', Brazil Edition - Tranquil Salvador, Brazil

Did you think I forgot about writing about my trip to Brazil? Nah! :)

My time in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil (commonly known as Bahia, but I refer to it as Salvador here) was an about face from my time in Rio. Salvador is the largest city in the Norteastern province of Bahia and is the main area of the country for exploring Afro-Brazilian culture. While I was thrilled to finally see a part of Brazil's cultural landscape that has always captivated me, at this point I was just happy to experience Salvador's laid back vibe for the days I was there.

Salvador feels like a familiar mix of the Caribbean with an unfamilar feel of a South Amerian city (Brazil was my first and only trip to South America so far.). I felt like I had been to places like Salvador before, but there was definitely a feeling of being somewhere completely new. The familiarity of the sea salt smells, the breezes and the people of the city walking leisurely as they went to the market were normal for me. The nasal-like sound of Portuguese from people who looked like my cousins, the samba music in the squares at night, and the impromptu capoeira circles were unfamiliar yet absolutely pleasing parts of my time in Salvador.

At this point in the trip, I had been traveling by myself for several days and was used to seeing many sites to occupy myself. With less sites to see, I really spent a lot of my time just relaxing in my room at Casa do Amarelindo (more on my room in another post) and wandering the streets of central Salvador.

I think these pictures should convey a sense of the easygoing, quiet moments that were a part of my morning and afternoon walks. Feel free to turn on some bossa nova (well, for Salvador it should really be samba) and make a caipirinha to drink while taking a look at these pictures. :)

Largo de Pelourinho, a main street within Salvador's historic center

The view of the Salvador's port from my room's deck.

The Elevador Lacerda, which connects the Cidade Baixa (Lower City) and Cidade Alta (Upper City). Many of Salvador's main points of interest are in the Cidade Alta.

Salvador also has beaches very close to the center.

A view of central Salvador from the other side of the Bahia de Todos Os Santos (All Saints Bay)

If there was a lesson that I learned from this part of the trip, it's that sometimes as a traveler you really need to just BE in a place in order to truly know and understand it. If you're rushing around, you'll miss seeing and understanding the reality of everyday life in another place. I find those moments of peering into someone else's life the most fulfilling part of traveling. Yes, I know that this is hardcore travelers' 101, but often we need reminders of life lessons for them to really sink in. The Type A travel personality that often rules my brain finds slowing down sometimes hard to do even now, but Salvador forced me to do that. For that, my Salvador, I am grateful.

1 comment:

BigAppleNosh said...

Looks so cool - I still need to make my way to South America!


Try Anything Once All rights reserved © 2010
I am a HowJoyful Design