Countries Visited

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Myanmar Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fasso Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria
Map Legend: 28%, 75 of 263 Territories

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Salvador: We Like It

We took a lot of pictures in Salvador, Brazil, so it gets its own post. Overall, we thought it was a great city, though a bit touristy at times. Great beaches in the city, beautiful old historic buildings, and good street food. Tons of people warned that it could be dangerous at night, but we never felt that way. Now, to the pictures:

I didn't read any statistics, but if I were leading a tour of Salvador, I would say it has approximately 3 churches per person. It is also the center of a Nigerian religion, which apparently has even more small places to worship. This is one of the churches on the main square. The tout who helped us find a hotel room told us that there used to be a law that churches didn't pay taxes until they were completed. So, a lot of churches avoided taxes for years by never completing the second tower. No idea if it's true, but a good story.

The oldest church has a nice back area (seems to be translated in Brazil as sacrisy, but I have no idea if that is the proper term). This guy was my personal favorite. He seemed so lifelike. Well, if a gnome were to become a catholic...

Salvador is famous for its restored colonial architecture. This area is probably the best example. Also (again according to the hotel tout), Michael Jackson once performed here.

Coconuts are so ubiquitous is that even the phones are in the shape of them.

These things were so freaky that I made Tara pose with one. We're almost certain that they had real human hair.

One of the most famous sculptures in Salvador is this one, by a slave who made the blood of christ out of banana resin, ox blood, and rubies. I thought it would be sparklier and cooler, but here it is so that you don't have to pay the $2 if you are ever in Salvador.

Some of the churches have beautiful wooden painted ceilings. They are hard to photograph in the dark cathedrals, but they seem a great use of the tithe money.

The coast by Salvador is really nice. The best urban beaches we saw. Rocky in places, but very clear water.

Salvador is built on hills, so they have ways to get up and down. Apparently, someone in power was really lazy because they built the first elevator up the biggest hill in 1891. It has been redone a couple times since, and now cost the massive sum of 3 cents.

In the mall, they put kids in these giant balls and throw them in pools. Most of the kids cry. Seems awesome. They looked at me as though there was no way I could get in one, so I didn't try.

Some people have asked how we do laundry. Here you are. Seriously, laundry is no fun. We now hoard soap on the rare occasion that a hotel gives us any. It takes forever, and doesn't always dry quickly if in a humid area. We often end up tying it to our backpacks.

Also going up the hill is the funicular, a combination of "fun" and "vehicular homocide" or something like that. Two train cars go up and down on cables. Must be the world's shortest funicular. It also costs 3 cents.

Some guys doing capoiera on the beach, which we learned was invented by slaves who weren't allowed to fight, so they slowed down their fighting and called it a dance. I'd say those were some dumb slave owners if they didn't recognize two guys kicking each other in the head in slow motion as potential fight training.
On the way out of Salvador, you see that not everyone lives on the beach. This is a favela, similar to what we later toured in Rio.

We literally ran into a parade of one of the Carnaval drum teams practicing with about 1000 tourist trailing behind. We hear that teams in Rio actually charge to hear them practice, so this is as close to Carnaval as we got.

Between Salvador and Rio, the landscape changes a lot and much of it is a bit like the US southwest, complete with strange mountains and cacti.

Here are a bunch of yucca like plants taken from the bus window. The stalks on them are probably 30 feet tall.
That concludes our stay in Salvador. Tara and I both agree that its the nicest big city in Brazil. Worth visiting if you are in the area. Also one of the cheaper big cities.


  1. The word is "sacristy" Andy. The things you take for granted growing up Catholic that you don't realise you're taking in through osmosis! The finiculars and lifts are very similar to ones in Lisbon. So cool seeing more of the Portuguese influence on Brasil through your pics. Obrigadinha and keep travelling safe!

  2. I love reading your posts and checking out the pictures of places I'll never get to see for myself. On top of getting a virtual vacation out of your blog, I've started a game (me vs. me, I guess) of trying to guess the author of each post after I read the first paragraph. Then I scroll down to check. So far I'm doing pretty well (~80%-90% accuracy, I'd say). I've also started a bonus round of trying to guess after just reading the title. I'm not great at this game yet. Luckily, it's early in your journey. I have time to hone my skills. Happy/safe travels, Andy and Tara!

    Sarah Hilbert

  3. Sarah, I love the me vs. me game. =) Do let us know when we start blending too much into the same blogging voice, OK?

  4. Sounds like they'll be a lot to see and experience. We will be in Brazil from 10/3-10-11. Salvador for a couple of days and Maceio for 5+ (we'll be at a conference there.) I'll keep checking your blog, eager to read of your adventures.