Brazil: Salvador

We arrived in Salvador by plane, and ordered an Uber to go to our hotel. We left the airport through a beautiful kilometers long giant bamboo forest. It even came together again above the road!

After half an hour, we arrived at our hotel; a converted convent
from the 1500’s right in the old city centre! It’s gigantic, and by far the coolest place we’ve stayed at during our worldtrip.

We made a stroll through the old city centre called Pelourinho and we liked what we saw. It’s filled with colourful, yet decaying houses along cobbled streets.

The church connected to our hotel convent
Mural in our street
Back at our awesome hotel. How huge are the corridors?

The next morning it was cloudy. Perfect weather to discover the city.

Our hotel!
Right across from our hotel are these colourful houses

Salvador city is built on small hills, so you’re constantly walking up and down. But it does give you great views…

Life in the buildings.

Around the city you can see people (women mainly) in traditional clothing. It’s quite the sight!

Men in traditional clothing

Music, and specifically samba, is part of Salvador. You hear the sounds of drums everywhere.

Musical instruments are sold in many shops
Berimbaus, used to make capoeira music
Pretty!
Square with
the blue church Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos. It’s the church where historically the slaves used to attend mass.

As soon as we arrived at this square and walked further into the centre, we were being harassed by people. Everyone wanted money. They tried to paint you, put a bracelet on you, or asked for money when walking by. At some point, we were followed by a shady person who walked away when we caught on to him. Jenk was stopped by a young teenager trying to get into his pockets. We didn’t feel safe at all. The rest of Brazil wasn’t like this, so it took us by surprise. We continued the rest of our walk while staying alert. Cheap caipirinhas (1.25USD) helped us to keep going as well;)

Sao Francisco convent
Inside the convent are many blue Portuguese tiles displaying scenes from the past
Sao Francisco church
Inside Sao Francisco’s church
The big dresses (and big hair in colourful shawls) is traditional wear
Perfect timing!

We made it to the square where you can take the elevator down into the lower part of the city.

View on the lower parts of the city
Elevador Lacerda, taking you from Pelourinho to Ciudade Baixa

We crossed the square above into Mercado Modelo, and walked right back out almost again. After being harassed all afternoon on the streets, we couldn’t take it anymore to try and shop for souvenirs here. We took an Uber to the Barra shopping mall, and enjoyed lunch in silence. From there, we walked to the beach of Barra, which is beautiful. It’s a calm beach compared to Rio. We walked to the lighthouse, and had a swim.

After chilling at the beach, we went back to our hotel to get ready for Tuesday night in Salvador.

On Tuesdays, Pelourinho’s streets that are normally so quiet at night are filled with locals congregating at the Blue church. At 6PM there’s a mass there, followed by a public mass in the square outside. We didn’t know what to expect, and where baffled by all the ceremony, song and dance of the Afro-Brazilian religion. The mass isn’t held in Portuguese, but in Yoruba, an Angolan language. There’s lots of singing, dancing, and even fireworks. This is done to appease the Orixas, their traditional gods.

Walking towards the Blue church we spotted this gem

After the traditional church mass, the flock exits the church in order to continue on the square outside. They carry the blessed bread.

Behind me was a large group of believers waiting for the bread and the continuation of the mass.
The bread is blessed.

Then the mass continues while singing and dancing.

There’s actually a band to the left of the priest

While the mass is happening, the drummers of the samba band slowly walk towards the square. When the mass is over, it’s party time!

Your ear drums will rupture, but the energy of the drummers is contagious!
Their beats are amazing!

On our final day in Salvador, we chilled at our hotel. We booked our world trip some more, and then relaxed at the pool in the afternoon.

Chilling at the pool on the afternoon of our last day in Salvador

At 6PM, we went to the Bale Folkloristico. It’s the best folkloristic ballet in the world, and the group has performed on all continents. Their show (no photos allowed) was incredible! We saw 5 Brazilian dances, from Caipoeira to traditional Orixas dances to the Samba. Highly recommended!

That concluded our time in Brazil.

Up next: the Atacama desert!

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