Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bahia

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We headed north to Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, this past weekend.  With all these lazy pool/beach/island hopping weekends we’ve had in Brazil it was nice to have a “normal” weekend of being tourists.  We spent Saturday shopping in the market, touring around the lovely old city, and popping into some insanely ornate churches…

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We had a very informative tour guide which you know my not-so-inner dork loved. He was very good about encouraging us to try street food and explaining everything we came across in the city…like when the random, smiling guy came and threw popcorn on us…

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Apparently it was a blessing and hellooo, I’ll take as many of those as I can get.  The popcorn symbolized a flower or blooming or something.  I never really understood that part as you can see from my face as he was trying to explain…

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Oh and there was this awesomeness…

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We had just enough time to get showered and ready before heading to the evening cultural dance show.

Salvador was the first city founded in Brazil and was once the largest slave trade port in the world.  The African influence can be seen throughout their food, music, culture and religion. 

The first dances were the sacred dances of Candoble, the local religion brought over from African priests sold into slavery.  Each Orixa represents a manifestation of their God, Olodumare…

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We had seen statues of the one with grass over his face at the market and I have to say it was even more eerie in person.  I realize how incredibly ignorant that sounds, but he is the Orixa of illness so I’m thinking he’s supposed to invoke some fear in you.

The show concluded with capoeria, the Brazilian martial art that combines music, dance and well, martial arts. 

It was intense…

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I never even knew some of these muscles existed in the human body.  These guys were incredibly fit, insanely athletic and very hard to capture on film.  You want to get in shape- start fight dancing.  This stuff is no joke.

Everyone told us Salvador was a must-see in Brazil and I’m thankful for their recommendation.  We really, really enjoyed it.

This weekend we’ve got our friends from Sao Paulo and Recife coming to visit!  We’re so excited to see everyone and enjoy Rio!

Pics from the weekend…

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