Salvador, Bahia, Brazil – part 1

We had 12 days in Salvador, in November 2016.
This is part 1 of the Salvador series. You can also read parts 2 and 3.

pelourinho salvador bahia brazil

One of the many kittens in Pelourinho

During our stay there, we did few things, but we did everything slowly to enjoy all we could.

Our deal with Hertz Rent-a-car Brazil worked great and we were able to have a car during our stay, and it made everything a lot easier.

We’d heard it wasn’t the safest place to go, and that it’d be wise to hire a guide to go sightseeing around. We asked a lot of the locals about it and they all said that hiring a guide was a good thing because you’d hear all about the history of the place, but it wasn’t necessary at the moment, so we went guideless.

We were actually going to see the Lacerda Lift (Elevador Lacerda) and have an ice cream but as we were getting nearer and looking for a place to park our car, one dude came in front of the car and started guiding us to ‘his’ parking space. We couldn’t even go the other way because he wouldn’t give us any room.

pelourinho salvador bahia brazil

In Pelourinho, it was just so pretty…..

And then, suddenly, another guy came around and fought (literally) the first guy away from our car and made us follow him – this time because there wasn’t any other way to go.

He guided us to a parking lot he works with and we gave in. And then he started walking with us, telling us all about the place.

He wasn’t a bad person, but he also didn’t really want to know if we wanted his service or not, and he didn’t really care when we told him we didn’t want the tour. He just kept walking with us and talking.

Praça da Sé

praça da sé salvador bahia brazil

Praça da Sé and the water fountain

He first took us to Praça da Sé (Sé Square). It’s a square, with churches all over it. It was a nice square, with surveillance cameras all around (so, safe), police guards everywhere, a few street vendors and a sculpture. On the second time we went there, there was a group playing capoeira (Brazilian fight with dance and music).

There’s a fountain, and at night it lights up, making the colorful water dance. Once the waters were super red – something to remind to remind of the many slaves killed during the Brazilian slavery phase. It was kinda scary, but it was a great door to an open talk about slavery.

The guide told us that Salvador has 365 Catholic churches in total, which means one can visit one church per day in a year without repeating it once. The kids were pretty impressed.

Pelourinho

family pelourinho salvador bahia brazil

The kids and grandma snuggling in Pelourinho

We decided to have lunch and said, once more, and more firmly, that we didn’t want a guided tour that day and he finally left.

We had lunch at a buffet restaurant called Coliseu. The food wasn’t really good, neither was the service and it was one of the most expensive restaurants we visited while in Salvador, costing R$ 65/person. Coral was free of charge and José paid half price after we bargained, but it still wasn’t worth it.

After lunch, we started to walk around and it was just pretty! The buildings are colorful, many of the streets are for pedestrians only (but I did see a few taxis wandering around them), which is the best thing ever. The cobblestone paths aren’t the easier to walk, but they sure make the streets prettier.

It’s NOT the best place for strollers or high heels, but it was one of the places I loved most.

Pelourinho is famous because Michael Jackson recorded a music video there.

The streets are filled with little shops, museums, art galleries, some street vendors, and restaurants. We have a delicious lime-coconut water there. I’d never imagine this would be a good combo, but trust me, it was. Even Melissa, who hates coconut water, drank a whole cup of it.

tapioca salvador bahia brazil

Thinna’s tapioca – it was delicious!

OH! There are many ladies dressed in Bahianas (women born in Bahia) traditional costumes, but they charge a fee per photo, and there are many of them in shops and restaurants that pose for photos for free, so you can decide what’s best for you.

Walking around Pelourinho is lovely. We found many souvenir stores with great prices and really pretty stuff there. Plus we felt safe.

There was Thinna Bistrô where we had lovely savory tapiocas. There were lots of vegetarian tapiocas there and the lemonade was sour, refreshing and delicious!

This was one of the prettiest places we visited while in Salvador, and I loved it every time we went. The colorful buildings, the little kittens all around, the delicious food and the adorable stores all make for a fine day.

praça da Sé salvador bahia brazil

Praça da Sé at night – it was even prettier….

I was going to write all about Salvador today, but it’s already pretty long so I’m going to divide it into 3 parts. Check it out next Wednesday!

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