The Gringo in Bahia: Beauty of Salvador


Bahian Carnival in full swing

In April 2011, I arrived at Esporte Clube Bahia to find a club that was restructuring itself after a few years of playing in the lower leagues of the Brazilian Championship. I encountered a group of players, staff and directors that, with hard work, are returning to the team back to greatness.

For most of my life I have lived in the capital of Brazilian’s most southern state, Porto Alegre. I also lived in Rio de Janeiro for a year while playing with Botafogo. Before coming to Salvador, I had already heard much about the city, especially about its natural beauty, huge Carnival party and that it is a place that many people would go for vacation.

Living here for almost a year and a half now, I can say that besides its wonderful beaches, Salvador is a very welcoming city. My wife and I feel very comfortable here now and it has been a great experience in my life.

Fitinhas do Bonfim (little Bonfim ribbons)

Salvador is the capital city of Bahia and was also the colonial capital of Brazil.  It was an original gateway into the country for the Portuguese, and therefore as one of the oldest cities in Brazil, it has many historical and tourist sites. Some of the sites include: the Pelourinho, the Mercado Modelo and Elevador Lacerda. Several churches are here also, such as the Church Nossa Senhora do Bonfim, world renown for Fitinhas do Bonfim (little Bonfim ribbons).

A popular tradition in Brazil, the Bonfim ribbons are wrapped around your wrist and secured with three knots.  You make a wish for each knot and you are supposed to keep a secret about your three wishes.  Once the ribbon falls off from natural causes, the wishes are supposed to come true.  You are not supposed to cut it or tear it off, or you’ll have bad luck.

Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador

The weather in Salvador can be extremely hot, and during the summer, temperatures are near 40 degrees Celsius – an ideal climate to enjoy some of it’s beautiful and most famous beaches: Itapuã, Porto da Barra and Praia do Flamengo.

The Bahian Carnival is one of the best and most popular Carnivals in the world. It has several shows where performers sing and dance on top of the Trio Eletrico. The Trio Eletrico is a truck / float fitted with high powered audio equipment that drives through the streets of the city with a music group playing on the roof while everyone is partying around it.

Salvador was chosen as one of the twelve host cities chosen by FIFA for the 2014 World Cup. A lot of preparation work is currently underway, and the new Fonte Nova stadium is being built especially for these matches. The work is almost complete.

Danny Morais enjoys a Bahian Acarajé

The Esporte Clube Bahia, the Brazilian champions in 1959 and 1988, is the biggest team in the state. The team’s biggest adversary is the Esporte Clube Vitoria, who now plays in the second division of the Brazilian Championship.

Now that you know a little bit more about this wonderful city, I invite you to visit Salvador and enjoy a Acarajé, a typical Bahian food, here!

– The Gringo in Bahia

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  1. Bahia carnival | Musicaparatuac | October 4, 2012

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