A Twitter Tour of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Here's a quick flash tour through my recent trip to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, arranged for me by Avanti Destinations.
Avanti is a custom provider of independent tours to Europe and Latin America. The company offers you a selection of the best things to do, the best places to stay in the region you are visiting and lets you put together out of it what you want.
I arranged my trip to be on the more independent side of what is possible through Avanti. I could have had Avanti arrange activities for me day and night for the entire trip.
Some people want to see as many different things as possible and book every minute with some activity. But instead of that I chose a little easier pace. I wanted fewer activities, more time to savor them, and time to reflect and process what I was experiencing.
Avanti set me up at the Sheraton da Bahia, which was originally opened as Hotel da Bahia in 1952. It's a historic heritage property now, its 1950s architecture protected as a public treasure.
My room on the 12th floor had a balcony that looked out over Campo Grande, the park/public square across the street from the hotel. It was a great space to be in. It's in the heart of the city, but the view and the feeling looking out over the balcony was a pastoral feeling from the park.
There was always a lot going on in the park; people exercising, walking, jogging, sitting, playing football, plus a market set up for several days and just outside the park a rally against the privatization of water.
You could sit on your balcony and feel you were in the heart of the action in the city. Or if you wanted quiet you could close the sliding glass door to the balcony and the sound proofing was effective.
The hotel's ground floor restaurant had an outdoor deck that was a nice place for having breakfast. You could feel like you were out in the city, absorbing the energy of Salvador even before you left the hotel.
The hotel is beautifully positioned at the heart of the action in Salvador on the Avenue Sete de Setembro. Two miles, a nice walk south, and you were at the lighthouse, the tip of the peninsula of Salvador. And between the hotel and the lighthouse are many good beaches and ocean views.
Here is one of the beaches along Salvador's edge.
Two miles north, the opposite direction from Barra and the lighthouse on Avenue Sete de Setembro is Pelourinho, the historic district of Salvador. It is a heavenly place, with vintage colonial architecture built and cobblestone streets built on hilly ground. And all along this strip along Sete de Setembro the ocean is not far away.
The historic district is lined with a great variety of shops and restaurants, many outdoor cafes. The stores sell locally made crafts and arts, clothing and all sorts of good stuff.
I wanted to have a cultural tour, immersing myself in local culture, with a special emphasis on Brazlian music. Avanti arranged some meetings with remarkable local people, including Giba Conçeicão, a famous percussionist who gave me a little lesson in samba rhythms.
I got to get a percussion lesson from the great Brazlian percussionist Giba Conçeicão, a great guy. pic.twitter.com/6uVO8oMPtn— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) March 24, 2015
Also got to sit in and watch a Capoeira expert teach it to a class.
I got to observe a Capoeira class led by Mestre Valmir, who is 49 and has been practicing Capoeira for 34 years. pic.twitter.com/IJja4TcSY0— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) March 24, 2015
My guide Alfredo took me to dinner at this amazingly beautiful restaurant in the historic district. A great culinary experience!
Alfredo introduced me to a Brazilian dish, Moqueca. So delicious! I wish I had some here now.
We strolled around an amazing market, full of all kinds of fresh foods and frenetic activity.
You can see more photos on Facebook here.
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