Port 6 – Bahia da Salvador
We were diverted from the Brazilian town of Recife because the cruise ship and local port authorities ‘failed to reach an agreement’, whatever that was… Once at Bahia da Salvador, we found that anyone who didn’t want to get mugged getting to the UNESCO heritage site of Cidade Alta (Upper Town) would have to take an elevator to reach it. For the next 2 hours, we tried every international bank ATM machine on the main street, including 3 trips to Citibank (its ATMs apparently take siestas…), in our quest for the $.15 USD elevator fare.
Picture of the elevator tower and sky bridge from Cidade Alta overlooking the port.
Square in Cidade Alta, renowned for its Portuguese Colonial architecture dating from 17th to 19th centuries. We ate through several ice cream shops and barely made a dent in the amazing selection of exotic gelados (ice creams)!
We loved the acarajes, crunchy Afro-Brazilian street food of bean fritters fried in dende (palm oil) stuffed with a paste of dried shrimps, nuts, dende, coconut milk, and splashed with okra & hot sauces. Yum!
Port 7 – Rio de Janeiro
Our cruise finally came to an end at Rio. After disembarking, we stayed for another two days before taking our flight into Manaus, the gateway to the Amazon. We found Brazil to be a surprisingly expensive country. My unscientific benchmark is the cost of ice cream – at $4 a scoop, it’s not what I’d call developing country prices!
Because of security concerns, we didn’t carry much currency or credit cards. We once managed to snack through our combined assets and had to rely on the kindness of strangers for metro fares to get back to the hotel, but that’s another VERY long & embarrassing story…
View from ship approaching Rio with view of Cristo Redentor (Christ Redeemer) above Copacabana Beach.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – Here are a few of my Best Friends at the H. Stern Gem Museum. The jewelry store offers free shuttles at the cruise dock to its worldwide headquarters in the posh neighborhood of Ipanema.
Stained glass windows inside one of the churches in Rio.
The distinctive Portuguese pavement mosaic at Copa Beach.
Our quest for Beautiful People at the fabled Copa Beach was a failure. We made the strategic mistake of showing up before noon, when no self-respecting BP would have rolled out of bed!
View from the Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) tram’s lower station at Morro da Urca looking towards the 1300 ft summit.
Ethereal sculpture on the observation deck at Sugar Loaf.
Magical sunset view of Rio and its beaches sprinkled like spilled diamonds beneath the Sugar Loaf.