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Salvador da Bahia

Sample image Cristo Redentor, Rio

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even hundred and sixty miles North East of Rio de Janeiro lies Salvador da Bahia, on a broad finger of land stretching 20 miles from the airport in the north, to its southern tip. It faces both out into Atlantic Ocean and west into the Baia da Todos os Santos with many its beaches and inlets.

Salvador was the the capital of Brazil until 1763 and it is also the place where the African gods came ashore in the New World, and much of the culture of Bahia is infused with dark history of the African slave trade. Yet the palm fringed vistas of the Atlantic also bring a notable optimism and warmth, and this is reflected in the music, dance, costume and even the cuisine of the region.

The modern city lies side by side with the old colonial quarters, large parts of which have been splendidly restored from dilapidation, albeit as a cultural attraction rather than the residential area it was formerly.

The winding streets of the historic Pelourinho district come alive at night, with people thronging the small bars and restaurants. The characteristic spicy Bahian food is served, and in the background an insistent musical accompaniment, both percussive and melodic rings through the air lending a timeless quality to the tropical evenings.

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