Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tourists in Salvador

We are getting used to the warnings to keep out of the streets and be careful of the Brazilian robbers...coming from South-Africa where you always look over your shoulder,  we roamed the streets and alleys and enjoyed the people and buzz of the streets of Salvador.  We didn't even try not to look like Gringoes...with my blue eyes and a blonde little boy and a bold husband,  what is the chance of not being obvious among these dark people? 
The day was filled with some of the 365 churches in Salvador.  This city,  founded in 1549,  the Slave capital of the world,  is still filled with the oppressed feelings in the gold saturated churches for the rich.  The rich families,  owning the tabacco,  cotton,  etc in Brazil owned the churches and the lay people, and controlled the wealth,  sitting in their own exclusive balconies high up in the church,  with only the widows,  left by rich men allowed to share the back of the church.  No other women were allowed.  The people were also buried under the floor of the church.  Rich people deserved a lot of space,  and was buried laying down,  the not so rich didn't deserve a lot of space and was buried standing. We visited the Church of Saint Francis.  The dark wood carvings of cherubs and the phoenixes were amazing.  We were told that the wood from the Jacaranda were used.

We walked the cobbled stones of Pelourinho,  the oldest part of Salvador,  where millions of slaves were imported and used and abused. This historical center of Salvador is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The little shops were intriguing with every one trying to make a living,  just like in any other country in the world.  Our guide,  Antonio took us into little restaurants,  and walked us through to the traditional places where you can samba and enjoy your caparinha until the sun comes up with live music all night long.

No comments: