Bahia aka: BASalvador, Porto Seguro, and Pelourinho. Bahia is featured on the lists The 27 Brazilian States, Brazil 26 States and Federal District, and Places featured in Season 13 of The Amazing Race. Places in Bahia have been tagged beach, carnival, and candomble.
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If i would make a list of the vivid, sparkling, heartfelt places to visit, i would start with Bahia.
Monday March 11th 1985 – I was lucky enough to arrive by merchant ship the previous night. We were anchored offshore too far to get a boat out (and not yet cleared to enter the port) but close enough to see the lights. I had first seen a photo of the Pelourinho during the voyage from Cadiz, in a National Geographic magazine onboard about Bahia, and was so entranced by the double page spread that I determined to find this place on arrival.
It took three days. I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to spoil the fun of searching. On the day of discovery I took the long winding road up from the Cidade Baixa and came to the Pelourinho not from the most photographed end looking down on the church, but at the bottom, the junction by the church and didn’t recognise it. I walked slowly up the cobbled street towards the buildings at the top, turned around to look at the view, and – speechless.
There was my picture!
I have been in love with Salvador ever since and although the ship was only there for three weeks, I went back in 1989/90 for three months to catch up with a girl I’d met, walk the streets, learn a little of the language, expereience the Carnaval and the Trio Electricos and make friends, it was wonderful.
San Antonio was my favourite district then, and it took me a while to discover it. I met a girl from Radio Educadora who had lived in Salvador for ten years and didn’t know of the existence of the praca San Antonio! I understand the square is full of guesthouses now.
If you like old pastel coloured buildings, wonderful music, tropical temperatures, and don’t mind a long flight, go to Salvador, dress down, don’t wear jewellery, not even a watch, buy local clothes from the market, learn some of the language and go a bit native, you’ll be in heaven, I was.
[Added 23/4/07] Now unbelievably you can visit the whole city from above with Google Earth. “Walk” the streets, re-visit old haunts, see the changes, I’ve been able to view many places I travelled to years ago, without going back. Recommended.over 6 years ago
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