|Written by Cheap-Hotels.com|
|Tuesday, 15 November 2011 15:30|
When you think of Brazil you immediately recall the many things that make it one of the most beautiful countries in the world. To begin with, there’s Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro—miles of golden sand and beautiful babes. There is Ipanema, made famous by one of Brazil’s greatest composers, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Then there is the awesome Amazon and formidable cites like Sao Paulo, Recife and Londrina.
But when I think of Brazil I think of the beautiful city of Salvador da Bahia. What gives Salvador its unique character is the fusion of two cultures—African and Portuguese—and it seems to work very well. The mulattos, the offspring of the Portuguese and Africans, have turned out to be a good-looking race. Their language is Portuguese but they have developed a dialect of their own. Their music has a distinct African rhythm to it and their religion, which is African, has a touch of Christianity. Their food also is unique— neither European nor African, but with a palate all its own. The place is definitely worth visiting and to help you stay on budget, you can find lots of cheap hotels on Expedia Salvador.
Salvador faces the Atlantic, and its entire coastline is made up of a vast expanse of sandy beaches fringed with palm trees. Remnants of the ramparts of old Portuguese forts are to be seen all along. And behind these rises the old city of Salvador, most fascinating as it stretches along a series of undulating hills, covered by a multitude of beautiful edifices with red-tiled roofs.
An essential fixture of the Salvador ‘scene’ are the baianas. They are large, good-looking, well-endowed mulatto women, dressed in lace outfits with large billowing skirts. They wear bright coloured bandanas wrapped gracefully round their heads. Their ample bosoms are covered with chunky necklaces made of glass beads. Their main task is to convince tourists to visit their ‘favourite’ restaurants. The baianas are a cheerful lot, loud and garrulous and full of fun, and their strident laughter adds a lot of zest to the city squares.
The squares are vibrating with life, filled with boutiques, cafés and bars. The sound of music is in the air, guitars, flutes and drums amidst the chants of the baianas. The town squares are connected by a series of bylanes which lead you to an area called the Peroulinho, in the Centro Historico. This is where the auction of the slaves used to take place. Today it is a centre of art and culture. The narrow streets almost seemed like an art gallery with paintings done by locals stacked against the walls. Most of these depicted scenes of Salvador in vibrant colours and great detail, fine examples of art done in the ‘naïve’ style.
We came across a little café from where emanated the sound of a pleasant voice singing a Portuguese love song. A baiana advised us to visit the café. She was right. It was a cosy place with a friendly atmosphere. We ordered caiparinhas, made with white rum, slices of lemon, plenty of sugar and ice. Then it was time to try the feijoada (pork and beans) another Brazilian delicacy, but popular in Goa too. The original Portuguese feijoada is the best and the Goan version is a close second. The Brazilian feijoada, I’m afraid, comes third.