Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Mom Edition - Part 3, Salvador da Bahia

The theme of this leg of the trip may have skewed a little bit toward being exhausted! Nevertheless, we really enjoyed Salvador da Bahia. It is a really historical town with an impressively rich African culture. It was so neat to see all of the different art and architecture.

We arrived in Salvador really late and upon being collected by our guide and subsequently dropped at our hotel - we collected ourselves and dropped into bed! The one perk was that this was a pretty nice hotel, which was very welcome after our basic lodging in the Amazon!

Our full day in Salvador began with a half-day tour of the city with our guide. He was really knowledgeable in the history, which made for an incredibly interesting tour. To get the tour started, we went for a capoeira class. Capoeira is an afro-brazilian sort of dance/martial art/really awesome. For a long time it was banned in Brazil because they were afraid the slaves would use it to fight. So slaves went off and practiced in secret - but they didn't to it in preparation of a fight; they practiced capoeira as a way to stay incredibly fit so they could escape should the opportunity present itself.

Here we are practicing capoeira at our class. Just kidding. Mom took pictures but I refuse to let people see them. Although really fun, it was pretty sweaty and embarrassing. So just pretend like this is us, OK?

I decided that I love capoeira, and I am really looking forward to finding a class to take before I come home (and maybe even back in the Chi, too). The big problem with this class, though, was that we didn't really know about it. I looked really cute that day, too - My hair looked nice, and I had on a cute tank top and white shorts. Then I got incredibly sweaty playing a sport in a basement that could've doubled as an oven. So I had to walk around the rest of the day in white shorts that were basically see-through because I was sweating. Gross. And I apologize for telling you that, but come is pretty funny.

We visited all of the old part of the city and it was so beautiful!

The city has a really old European feel to it - the stone streets and building style. Salvador is also the most colorful city I have seen, by far. EVERYTHING is painted a vibrant color.

This baroque style church - Igreja de Sao Francisco was stunning. It was built by African slaves who, subsequently, were not allowed into the church. It was built so ornately to remind people why they should be good - to get to paradise.

Casa de Jorge Amado. This building, which sits at the head of a large square, was originally a slave market. Now it is the site of a foundation by Jorge Amado, a famous Bahian author.

Salvador is set on a little peninsula, and it has a gorgeous Sea.

Now the pictures have gone all tiny-like on me and I don't know why.

Salvador is built in two parts - one is up high and one is down low. And there are a few elevators around the city, like this one, that connect the upper and lower parts of the city. This is really cool.

After all of our touring we spent the rest of our day here. And pretty much the next day until our flight, too.

Yes, there was a ton more to see in Salvador. But we were really tired. And it was quite nice to stay by the pool!

We did have one really nice dinner out - we went to a traditional Bahian restaurant. Poor mom had to order a steak because it was pretty much the only thing on the menu that didn't at one point live in the sea (that's for you, Gail). But she was a good sport going there with me so I could partake.

This is what I had for dinner - and it was beyond ridiculously good. There aren't any words. Well, there are...but I am going to save them for a later post dedicated solely to this dish!

Us at dinner. If you ever find yourself in Bahia, I suggest you go to Yemenjá, this restaurant. Delish.

I feel like I have left out a MILLION things, so I am going to throw up another post here soon. No words, though - this one is going to be a photo-essay. OK, so there will be some words, but I promise to try to keep it to a minimum!

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