Happy Santa Barbara Day!
Trip Start Nov 07, 2013
28Trip End Dec 11, 2013
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The bay that Salvador is located on is the third largest bay in the world. It attracted the Portuguese and Spanish. For a short period of time the Dutch got into the act also
We saw the traditional dress of Bahian woman. See the picture with Ken. This exaggerated dress style started after the slaves were freed. The women could not wear big fancy dresses while they were enslaved,. After they were free they proudly began wear huge dresses. There are now quite a few of women who ring in some extra money by posing for pictures in these dresses.
We were in Salvador for the feast day of Santa Barbara. Everyone was dressed in red and white ad they had a procession of icons from the Cathedral with a band playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I do not have an explanation for the musical choice.
The Catholic church was pretty big here, and still is. We stood in a square that had 5 churches and an H. Stern store (the 6th church? For those of you who don’t hang out in duty free ports, H
We walked around the Pelourinho for about 2 ½ hours. The churches are spectacular. Done in Baroque and Rococo style which much gold leaf. This was a very wealthy part of Brazil. Then Ken got to participate in a martial art known as Capoeira. This is an Afro-Brazilian art form. The interesting thing is that it originated in Africa, near Cape Verde where we had previously stopped. The enslaved Africans developed it further in Brazil and then it was brought back to Cape Verde. We saw it in both places. Ken, it turns out, is not very good at it. Judge for yourselves in the pictures.
We then stopped for another Churrascaria lunch, this one wasn’t as good as the one two days ago. Then a bus tour around the city. The beaches are gorgeous and they go on and on. They do have favelas (slums) in Salvador, but they are a curious mix of the very poor and the middle class. You see tumble down homes right next to well-kept homes. We also saw their soccer stadium and convention center. Apparently the government of Salvador is a lot like a lot of other countries. We saw an electric tram line that is only partially built that they have been working on for 12 years. It will only go 6 kilometers when it is done. We also saw a shopping center on the beach which had been abandoned because the Brazilian navy said it was illegal. They are now tearing it all down and rebuildling it. All of Brazil is looking forward to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Judging from the weather today, those games will be mighty hot and humid.
We then strolled through the handicraft market and Andrea had some fun buying a few things. Bargaining in the markets is a real game, once you stop being afraid of offending someone and understand they expect it.
We are looking forward to snorkling tomorrow in Buzios and will keep you updated.