Saturday, 6 March 2010

In Salvador.

Salvador, the old capital of Brazil, the jewel of Bahia and true heart of the country.

This is where most of the African slaves the Portuguese colonists brought over, first step foot. Some 4.5 millions of them. This was the richest city in Brazil for centuries, mostly due to sugar cane plantations and the slave trade. This is now the third biggest city in the country and one of its poorest ones, with considerable levels of violence. The keeper of the bay, with the first lighthouse in the continent, and the richest collection of colonial architecture. This is where the famous Pelourinho, the Centro Historico, with the decaying palaces, mansions and churches is. With its strong African roots, in music, food, arts, language, religions and of course Capoeira is a place like no other.

Yes it has miles and miles of stunning beaches, islands and villages around. It's full of color and character and the people are gracious and beautiful but altogether the essence lies in the unseen details. All the above seep slowly into you, every pore gets saturated and you cannot resist it. It's difficult to pinpoint what is the secret, what is this that captivates you and even when you count all your minutes here you still end up with a sum so much richer and tastier.

I'm not good with words and haven't managed to get even close this sense visually, so more should follow in time. Time once again.