Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SALVADOR - OUR TOUR - OUR ADVENTURE - OUR CITY




One day full of funny things to do, a little history, lots of culture, lots of great moments in the sun. Salvador is tradition, Salvador is knowledge, Salvador is life in the beach...Salvador tells you the stories of many portuguese navigators and make you imagine how fantastic Brazil always have been since the very beggining of our existance!!!

One day, two days, three days...no matter what time we spend here but we always come back home with Salvador in your heart...

The CULTURA BAIANA will remain in your life forever!!!!






Not everyone have the privilege to visit the once magnificent capital of Portugal’s  great New World colony. Thanks to that, Salvador is such a great  living museum of 17th and 18th Centuries architecture and incredible barroc churches.  Together  with the amazing African heritage, Portuguese influence that makes this culture one of the most interesting art’s movement in Brazil, Salvador also gives to you the beauty of this wonderful State called Bahia.
 
Time really plays against us when we are having loooooooooooads of fun in Salvador, so here is what we can do in just ONE DAY:



I will meet you right in the exit of the boat terminal in the port of Salvador, this is what we call here TERMINAL MARITIMO by the market MODELO in the lower part of the city.  Mercado Modelo is an interesting souvenir market that used to be just a veggie market in the past and during the Colony’s time it was a slave market. But nothing interesting there to buy, there will be a lot of touristy stuff, so just rubbish…we will have time to visit some interesting crafts shops in the old streets of Pelourinho , right in the upper side of the Town and because of the girls we will have time for shopping and if it is really important for you so please let me know.

Pelourinho is no doubt my favorite place in Salvador, just for you to know…this place is declared by UNESCO, a World Heritage Site; full of buildings filled with colors and extraordinary barroc churches. We will be wandering around the narrow streets, tripping over cobbled stones and gazing up at the city’s oldest architecture, you will find out that the place is magic, full of energy, full of cultural centers, schools of music…PELOURINHO IN MY OPINION IS THE HEART OF SALVADOR and I am soooo happy that I will take you there!!! :)




 


From our meeting place until 12:00 or 1:00 pm we will explore the old center in the upper town…We will walk to the city’s elevator Lacerda which connects Cidade Alta (Upper town) with  Cidade Baixa by Modelo Market via  four elevators travelling around 70 meters up in less than 30 seconds; and walk through Tomé de Souza Square where we will fist see the views to the Bay and the interesting Governor’s Palace Rio Branco, this is our first meeting with the old city, fine views to the Bay can be seen from there.

This Bay is called BAIA DE TODOS OS SANTOS…people like making jokes with this name which means Bay of All Saints…so they say: BAIA DE TODOS OS SANTOS E DE QUASE TODOS OS PECADOS which means, BAY OF ALL SAINTS AND “OF NEARLY ALL THE SINS” HAHAHAHAHA : ))))) I think this is soooo correct!!!

We will be heading to the Terreiro de Jesus where we will see the First University builty in Brazil by the Portuguese King who lived in Brazil; we will see (from outside) the city’s cathedral – Catedral Basilica – and right in the other edge another interesting church, the third Carmelite order Church of Saint Domingus. This will be our first stop to see the most complete barroc complex in Brazil, the famous and absolutely stunning SAN FRANCISCO CHURCH. The Barroc there is crammed with displays of richness and splendor, it is a wonderful church that will make you cry!!! We will spend more than 30 minutes to be deeply impressed by the massive gold images and angels and an endless collection of blue Portuguese tyles. It is simply the most beautiful church in Brazil.







Then we will stroll around the cobbled stone streets of Pelourinho where I want you to pay attention in the people that we will walk by…real characters, we might see bands of afro groups playing the drums with some strings of Samba, we will see some interesting stores until reaching the main Square of Pelourinho where we will see lots of colourful barroc Portuguese properties and some other beautiful churches spread out in the neighborhood. We will visit the house of a very important Brazilian writer JORGE AMADO who wrote famous novels like Tieta, Dona Flor e seus Dois Maridos e Capitães de Areia. Jorge Amado is for Brazilians what Hemingway represented to United States; and we will finally have a qquick visit to the old slave’s church Our Lady of Rosario where we will board the van and start our visit to some interesting spot out of the old center.

It will be LUNCH TIME and I picked up a very local restaurant where we will go into a deep journey to the Brazilian gastronomy. The food in Bahia is very rich with spices and sea food, and this restaurant RECANTO DA LUA CHEIA (which means THE FULL MOON CORNER) has a privileged location on the Bay called Bahia de Todos os Santos…We will eat such incredible food with beautiful views overlooking the water from the top of a hill in the neighborhood of Mont Serrat.

After lunch we will visit our last church, BONFIM, this one is important because it marks the mix of two big religions, the Catholicism and the African rituals of Candomblé, the traditions and beliefs the slaves brought from Africa, this is what American people know as Santeria or Voodoo…it will be interesting to see the ROOM OF MIRACLES.







Just to close with golden moment our adventure page in Salvador what we will do is visiting the enormous popular market of São Joaquim…an endless mix of scents, colors, fruits, vegetables, fish, animals, religion articles and lots of all kind of different people in just one place. The São Joaquim Feira is one of the most interesting market in the country. A very unique chance to see local and daily life as the city goes, and this market has more than 200 years of Tradition. It is not touristy at all, it is a real thing. Genuine experiences wait for us there!




Salvador mixes all racesm all beliefs, all legends...Bahia state is a whole explanation what Brazil is all about...And I can just see happiness, laughs and positive energy all the time I bring my people here, so this will be the chance for you to go deep in the soul of our marvelous country. A country with open arms people, a country called Brazil! :)



Well, now that you know that we can enjoy life even more...what are you waiting for!!!!???? Come to relax, come to have fun, forget all the stress, confusion, sorrow and complicated things...just make your life easier in the State of Bahia...Open your heart and get ready for new experiences!!!

I am always happy and honored to welcome all of you here!!! :)

I need to thank my all my friends back there in the States, Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, The Emirates, China and of course India for all the support and confidence!

LOTS OF LOVE, 

RAFAEL TORRES LOPES
TOUR GUIDE AND TRAVEL PLANNER

A FRIEND OF SALVADOR
A FRIEND OF BAHIA
AXÉ MEU REI!!!!! :))))))

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