We made our way southward from the Amazon to the city of Salvador da Bahia. It was once the capital of Brazil and the center of the slave trade; its population is heavily African. We had a walking tour that took us by the market then on an elevator ride to the upper city. We toured the old part that is filled with renovated shops and old churches. Michael Jackson made a music video here years ago.
Salvador was the capital of Brazil for 200 years. As we walked from the elevator, we saw the Pelourinho, the square where slaves were punished; the Pelourinho is Portuguese for pillory. The old buildings are painted in bright colors; our guide told us that the Portuguese used to use rocks for ballast (now in the cobblestone streets) but that the rocks gave way to cans of paint. Evidently the paint was bright colors that did not sell. The colors make the city vibrant. Evidently the favelas in Rio also are brightly painted, giving the whole city an upbeat vibe.