Sunday, 22 February 2015

Day 28 - Salvador

Yesterday we arrived in Salvador, the capital of Bahia state dubbed 'Africa in exile' for is mixture of African and European heritage. On the journey via bus and ferry, I reflected on the comments and advise given by fellow travellers who had already visited Salvador; that it was not a safe city and if there was anywhere you'd get mugged, this would be the place for it. However as we were crossing the Baia de Todos Os Santos, the bay which creates the broad peninsular on which Salvador is built, all I felt was excitement to explore the city and see what it has to offer. 
As soon as we arrived at the hostel, we were invited to a jazz night across the other side of town and for R$6 we couldn't resist. Around 800 pessoas (people) turned up to Jam No Mam, an event where musicians turn up and make really cool music. 
The atmosphere was great with a real mixture of people who were relaxing with the continual jazz sound playing smoothly in the background. After a couple of hours jamming, we headed to the 74m-high Lacerda lift which connects the Cidade Alta (Upper City) with the Cidade Baixa (Lower City) which after a short lift up, brought us out near to the hostel in the Historical Centre, a UNESCO heritage site. 
In this area the Portuguese built their fortified city where today stands some of the most important examples of colonial architecture in the Americas. Walking through this area, we weaved between Bahiana selling a wide variety of local snacks and live music spilling out of the bars on every corner. The area still has extravagant carnival decorations up which are amazing. We didn't stick around too long however as it's not recommended to walk around after dark, regardless of which part of the city you are in but our next few days will be spent exploring so we will get to see the sights!