Salvador (And Itapuã Beach) – Bahia – Brasil

What really to say about this place… having gone there and driving through it countless times, I still haven’t formed an opinion about it. Salvador is a beautiful city, if you know where to go really. In parts, you see beaches that you could only dream of and, other, utter poverty and carelessness. The main touristic centre, the Pelourinho, is literally falling apart. It is beautiful for tourists that are unaware of the problem, but it doesn’t take long for them to realize the truth behind the beautifully, newly painted building facades, with the building in the background crumbling. Well, Pelourinho is a Unesco World Heritage Site, so this alone attracts many tourists. But being trapped inside a restaurant because of the children begging you for money, becoming in some cases even aggressive, makes you think twice about going back! THe Pelourinho is home to the Church of St. Francis. It’s altar alone had more than 700kg of gold in decorations, symbolizing the once rich Brazilian capital. That’s all gone now and has been gone for a long time. This doesn’t mean that the place is horrible and you can find many beautiful places, with beautiful people! I liked Salvador, was very well received and have even considered living there. The beaches surrounding the city are incredibly beautiful (such as Flamengo beach, which is just amazing, where you really get to interact with the locals) and the farther you get away from the metropolitan area, the more beautiful they get! Well, the northeastern coast of Brazil is just amazing!

There is a particular song in Brazilian Popular Music called Tarde em Itapuã. It is an amazing song that every brazilian knows and has grown to love. It portrays probably the most amazing beach in the world, where all the problems go away. Maybe I was wrong to create expectations about it, but I was severely disappointed. Well, I think everyone who based their expectation on the song were too (I have checked that…). It is a beautiful beach, but in a very run down neighbourhood, but I was very scared with the warning people gave me… don’t go towards the ends of the beach. One of the most famous parts of the beach is the lighthouse… but “don’t go there! You will most likely get robbed… don’t go towards the other end of the beach either… that’s where the low lifes hand out”… so just stay in the middle, near the tents (where you will taste the best Acarajé in Brazil!) and you will be fine, so I was told! I enjoyed my visit and since I didn’t know the place, I took all the advice I was given by heart and don’t regret it! Even though I didn’t have many nice things to say, I still recommend a visit! Just like every place, go and have your own experiences and make up your own mind!

Just a quick photo and the song… makes you want to go too, doesn’t it?

P.S. Toquinho is my favourite musician (the guy on the left…), but I absolutely hate how easy he makes guitar playing look…

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