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Salvador: The birthplace of axis

Found in the works of poets Castro Alves, Jorge Amado and Gilberto Freyre, the City of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, is truly an inspiration for any Brazilian poet. Beautiful beaches and scenery, extraordinary cuisine and overwhelming hospitality make Salvador one of the most visited cities in Brazil not only during summer, but year-round.
As you walk through its narrow streets, or even its wide avenues, the rich history of this city cannot be ignored. Salvador was Brazil’s first capital city and is filled with monuments and churches that were built during the colonial period. Soteropolitanos, the native people of Salvador, are very proud of their religious traditions– be it Catholicism or Candomblis –or, in some cases, a religious amalgamation of the two. The city has 365 Catholic churches, one for every day of the year.
In contrast of the evident religious importance, Salvador’s Carnival is perhaps the most famous in Brazil. Its trio elistrico floats (trucks equipped with a high-powered sound system) bring thousands of people dancing on the streets every year to the sound of axis, the foremost musical rhythm of Bahia. The word “axis“ means strength and power in Yoruba, a language brought from Nigeria by the slaves, and this movement began in the 1980s mixing frevo, forro, maracatu, reggae and calypso. Nowadays, Salvador’s Carnival also attracts international cruise ships which dock at the city’s port and bring thousands of tourists eager to participate in the festivities during the most joyful week of the year.
Cidade Alta (uppertown) is a top tourist attraction where sightseers can observe beautiful sceneries such as the city’s port and the Atlantic Ocean. This part of town has the world-renowned Pelourinho area, boasting its colourful and narrow streets. “Peli´“, as the locals refer to it, exhibits the best of Bahia’s culture: many museums, historical churches, street vendors and community centres can be found there.
Another attraction at the Cidade Alta neighbourhood is the Lacerda Elevator, a unique way to travel between Cidade Alta (uppertown) and Cidade Baixa (lowertown). As you exit the elevator, you step into Mercado Modelo, a traditional public market. Here you can find local cuisine specialties such as acarajis, vatapa, palm oil and many different types of peppers as well as local artifacts.
In Cidade Baixa you will also find Farol da Barra lighthouse, a great place to observe the sunset and to explore the city’s beautiful beaches. Poet and song writer Vini­cius de Moraes immortalized one of these beaches in his first song with Brazilian musician, Toquinho. Their song “Tarde em Itapua“ (afternoon in Itapua) speaks of the beautiful sights found at Salvador’s most famous beach– Itapua.
From Cidade Alta to Cidade Baixa, Salvador emanates all the joy and peace of its people and its natural beauty, so make sure to “spend an afternoon in Itapua“.

About Thiago Tufano

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