Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SALVADOR - GREAT TO BE BACK




Long time I am not back to this charming old town...Describing Salvador is not an easy task...you can simply say: BREATHTAKING!!!! Or you can write a book about it, telling more about the food which for me it is one of the best in Brazil, you can talk about the scent of ACARAJÉ that plays with your nose in literally every corner - for the record, acarajé is made with bean and dry shrimp fritters or to be more precise It is served split in half and then stuffed with vatapá - wonderful cream made with corn and caruru which is a paste made with okra – spicy pastes, very african and it is part of the delights of BAHIAN FOOD - or you can try to explain the open and lazy spirit of its people, or you can talk about the very different portuguese spoken everywhere..or you can talk about the massive black heritage combined with strong portuguese traditions, the huge influence of the catholic church everywhere in Salvador and people are proud to say that the city has 365 churches (some of them are the most beautiful I have ever seen in my entire life); or you can talk about the vibrant music festivals that you can have every month...you can talk about the Carnaval, the vibe of the city is total happiness.

Once you are in Salvador, get your legs prepared because we are going to walk alot in this "porbrafican" city!!! Yes "POR" comes from PORTUGUESE; "BRA" comes from BRAZILIAN and "FRICAN" comes from Africa!!!



I love the spirit of the city...traditional and daring at the same time, this is how people are in Salvador...lazy maybe because of the weather and the low profile regarding the huge african influence in the city. They have the amazing gift to make everything in life something simple to do or something simple to think about it, something like..."you compllicate your life too much, just enjoy it" This is what each Bahia's (the state where Salvador is the capital) people try to say to you all the time you meet a person.

Anyway...the city has such a wonderful complex of history, art, tradition and culture. So many options here that is very hard to decide what to do!

The city is laid back, people seem never to be in a hurry but it has a strong personality . I love Salvador...
  




I am always impressed how african and I can say how "black" Salvador is...And this gorgeous because Salvador give to the country a huge contribuition in our national cuisine...the food here is to die for!!!! Specially see food...if you like all kind and numberless mussels, schrimp, langostines and a huge variety of fish...WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!! And the restaurants are simply another attraction of the town...I would say that going to RECANTO DA LUA CHEIA...very very local neighborhood on BAIA DE TODOS OS SANTOS Bay...There you really do not know if you fall in love with the views or if you get your stomach lost with the fascinating orgastic variety of local dishes like Casquinhas de Siri, a mysterious "cream" made with crabs...and then as a main course...you can order which I think it is the most delicious dish in Brazil..."BOBÓ DE CAMARÃO....Wow...how can I describe "HAPPINESS STOMACH SATISFACTION"???? This is the reaction you have when you eat this cream of yacca bathed with divine coconut milk and enormous pieces of schrimp!!!

Write down this: THIS RESTAURANT IS LOCATED ON THE TOP OF A HILL CLOSE TO BONFIM CHURCH...the address is Rua Rio Negro, 2 and their telephone is 71 33151275 (So you can ask someone in the hotel to call a taxi and explain to the driver how to get there and also asking this person to talk with the restaurant and make sure they will help you to find a taxi to go back to the hotel when you finish eating, it is important because I do not want you to try to find a taxi by yourselves in this area)

It does not mean that going to RECANTO DA LUA CHEIA is dangerous, just because of the language barrier and some taxi drivers "amazingly' are not used to have foreign passengers...so it is better using the taxi which someone WE KNOW are more familiar with!!!

BUT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU TO EAT THERE SPECIALLY CLOSER TO SUNSET....the hill is right in front of the bay, the views are there to take your breath away!!!!



MARCONE AND I HAD A BLAST THIS WEEKEND...the trip was planned to spend a whole weekend, seeing places that I have been and check if they are still okay to be visited as I am welcoming groups of guests coming in December; the plan was also to relax and recharge the batteries...BUT YOU KNOW ME, AND YOU KNOW MARCONE...we are adventure hunters, we are outgoers and we love a good party, so we saw our friends, we met new ones and we did not rest a single minute. At least we had loads of fun!

The spirit of the city is contagious, people are always wonderful and the weather with the relaxing breeza makes you spend all the time literally trying to find something to do. Specially if you stay at Pelourinho Area which for me it is the soul of Salvador!

No doubt Salvador is one of my favorite cities in Brazil and I recommend everyone to spend some time here. I am glad that the city is part of my tour, here I have great guides and they are all good friend of mine; also I can meet you in Salvador anytime and Marcone also, we love guiding together.
  






Salvador is one of those places that it is hard to say goodbye! Everytime I come here I always find something new; all the time I spend in the city is a new discovery. There is something very special in this town that I will always look for...I am a traveller and I am always looking for something different in life and Salvador challenges you!!!

Very pleasant time I spent here...special thanks to my new friends Isabela, Fabi, Hans, Vicente, Ricardo, Ivonete and Lucimara. Many thanks to my everlasting travel companior Marcone, a wonderful friend, a great tour guide and a fantastic traveller. We love travelling Brazil to make it easier for you!

RAFAEL TORRES LOPES
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

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