Destination Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia.
Traveling to Stella Maris Beach by bus.
Thursday 27 July, 10 am.
Again, we had to wake up ‘early’. It was a cloudless morning, a good start of a promising day. At ten-thirty, we took the bus to one of the most popular beaches near Salvador. Stella Maris Beach, just above Itapuã Beach. The bus ride took almost one hour. A large part of the route was similar to the route to Itapuã Beach. I already had observed that many walls were decorated with graffiti. Not those ugly graffiti drawings or signs that sounds like Martian to outsiders, but more professional decorations, performed by dedicated graffiti artists. One of our group was a graffiti artist, and he was offered to walls by some organization in Salvador, for his artistic creations. He later showed me the results on the tiny LCD display of his camera, and I had to say that his graffiti painting was indeed impressive. It was his interpretation to welcome tourists in thrilling Salvador.
There were still graffiti images that remembered the World Cup of some weeks ago . There were caricatures of the national soccer heroes, schematic drawings of a playing field, as if it were some work of a soccer coach. Unfortunately, despite the undoubtedly good intentions of the graffiti, it hadn’t resulted in another World Cup title for Brazil. but it was not only soccer that was dominating graffiti designs. During those days, only a few months before elections in Brazil, there were promotional graffiti designs for certain politicians. Near Mangabeiras in Belo Horizonte, for instance, a number of artists had painted their own interpretation of their favorite candidate for the representatives of Minas Gerais in the National Assembly.
We left the center of Salvador behind us, and entered the better neighborhoods of Salvador. The buildings here appear to be newly built, and show some signs of luxury. The buildings were separated from each other by lush green area and wide roads. A luxury life near one of the most favorite and most visited beach areas in Brazil. The urban beaches of Salvador compete with those of Natal, Fortaleza, and Maceió for being the most beautiful and most attractive. Touristic business is probably big business. This area did not show signs of favelas (slums), but for how long? The invasion of simple settlements of desperate, homeless migrants seems to be unstoppable, a serious problem for any major Brazilian city.
We approached the dunes, which consisted of white sand and were overgrown by lush green grass and tiny shrubs. The little villages in this area still have a serene and rural atmosphere. However… only some minutes away, new houses are built near the dunes, similar houses in long, monotonous rows. Also there, the expansion of the metropolitan area of Salvador seems unstoppable. Developers who smell astronomic profits, and there fore buy plots and have them constructed with more houses or apartments. Who is controlling the zoning, if that kind policy exists here? To me, it appears that the general thought might be: there is space enough, so why worry about building and landscape ethics, and the use of fallow plots in a responsible and efficient way? Something to worry about in the future, may be their philosophy.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- Travel in Brazil: SALVADOR (38). Filhos de Gandhy, Banda Mahatma and Belchior. (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: SALVADOR (34). Ponta de Areia Beach, Itaparica Island (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: SALVADOR (36). Itaparica Island, Late in the Afternoon (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: ALAGOAS (19). Flight Belo Horizonte (MG) – Maceió (AL) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- A Foreigner in Brazil (35): DEC 2006, part one. Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)