Bahia

Salvador da Bahia Travel Blog

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Cross in front of St Francis church
Met Dermott, an Irish guy coming off the plane, and as we were staying in the same place we headed up into town together. Halfway the bus broke down so we ended up taking a taxi for the last bit. Sort of fortunate at that time in the evening.
There´s people who love Salvador and there´s  people, like me, who don´t like it that much. The historic center is really nice, sloped cobble stone streets and lots of churches. I stayed in Galeria 13, a really sociable and nice hostel with a pool. Everybody chats with everybody and a hundred stories about travelling south america are exchanged over the house special, watermelon caipirinha. But it also felt sometimes like a little Disneyland behind gates, keeping the unpleasant things out. 
We did some culture at the local theatre where there was a tribute to "Cartola", the samba composer who wrote lots of material for the Mangueira samba school.
Galeria 13, best hostel in town
It seemed like old school samba, with carefully arranged pieces and center stage for the very talented vocalist. Some of the more melancholic samba songs almost seemed like Fado. Reggae is big in Salvador, and rastafarai here add a twist by praising Jesus at every occasion. The 8 feet long (!) dreadlocks the singer had wrapped around his belly were equally impressive. The St Francis church is a mad orgy of gilded decorations, azulejos and cherubes, it´s just a shame so many of the artwork here has been defaced, or in the case of the cherubs, "de-willy-ed". A modesty madness must have swepped Salvador at some time as depictions of demons and death have been vandalised by overzealous defenders of public morals.
The downside of Salvador is the constant begging and harassment by the poor and the crackheads. Despite the fact there´s almost a cop on every street corner. Having a bite at Zulu, the restaurant from the same owner as the hostel, a thin and scruffy looking guy did backflips on the sidewalk trying to get some money. I walked out of the hostel one day to find a guy smoking crack on the sidewalk. I like getting into the local thing and see how people go about their daily lives but I guess I found where the limit of that curiosity lies for me and it´s right there before that crack pipe. 

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Cross in front of St Francis church
Cross in front of St Francis church
Galeria 13, best hostel in town
Galeria 13, best hostel in town
Zumbi, leader of the Palmares blac…
Zumbi, leader of the Palmares bla…
Ooh!
Ooh!
Pelourinho streets
Pelourinho streets
Grupo Botequim doing a tribute to …
Grupo Botequim doing a tribute to…
The-Greek-philosopher-living-in-a-…
The-Greek-philosopher-living-in-a…
Dermott (IRL) and Felix (Kenya) in…
Dermott (IRL) and Felix (Kenya) i…
St Francis church
St Francis church
Defaced demons in the church of St…
Defaced demons in the church of S…
Police woman and crackhead arguein…
Police woman and crackhead arguei…
Salvador da Bahia Hostels review
Best hostel in Pelourinho area of Salvador
This is definetely the place to stay if you want to be in the historical center of Salavador (Pelourinho area) and you like a sociable hostel to excha… read entire review