Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pure Footballing Magic

Maybe I wouldn't have slept the night before USA v Belgium anyway, horrible hostel guests or not. Even so, I got up in time to have breakfast and laze around for several hours before the game. By now, I had my game face down pat.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Horrible Hostel Guest

Let's pretend I said stuff.

I lucked out so much in regards to my lodging in Brazil - it really paid to be a single female traveling during the World Cup. The vast majority of the time, my "six bed female dorm," ended up only having two bunks, of which 3 to 1 beds were empty. The exception was Salvador.

My hostel in Salvador was much nicer than any of the others. I was paying more, to be sure, but for the level of luxury plus World Cup pricing, it was still pretty reasonable. I could do an entire write up on its adorable themed dorms, sparkling clean bathrooms, helpful desk staff, glam rooftop pool, and sundecks with amazing views.

The only catch? For the first time, in a four-bed dorm, I had three roommates. Two of whom were great! They had the lower bunks. And then there was my neighbor on the other upper bunk...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Igreja da Ordem Terceira da São Francisco

The church of the Third Order of Saint Francis was one of those serendipitous travel discoveries that you just kind of stumble into. I'd been hoping to catch a bit of Netherlands-Mexico at a restaurant, but by the time I got around to looking for a place with a TV, the few that were available were already packed. So instead I wandered around the semi-deserted streets. The elaborate facade of the church caught my eye. Inside the courtyard, a couple of sleepy dogs blinked at me as I walked toward the entry. The doors were open and entry was 5 Reais (about $2.50). So why not?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pelourinho Picspam

Pelourinho is ridiculously picturesque. Its pastel colors and colonial buildings serve as a backdrop for various parties, including the World Cup. However, people in the historical center seemed more preoccupied with preparations for the festival of St. John than the football on tv. While I missed the festivities by a couple of days, I did get to enjoy the decorations! Naturally, in such a gorgeous place, I took loads of pictures. Here's a sampling...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fitas do Bonfim, Acarajé, and Capoeira

Salvador de Bahia is Brazil's third-largest city, is one of the oldest cities in the Americas (it was Brazil's capital in colonial days), and is home to the world's largest carnival. Naturally, it's a place with amazing culture and history, especially in regards to Brazil's African heritage. In the historical center, Pelourinho, the beliefs, food, and music that make this city unique can be found in abundance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rio Vermelho and Farol da Barra

After rainy Recife, I had expected to have to pull out my coat and travel to the southern city of Porto Alegre. Thanks to the USMNT making it through to the knock-out rounds, I rebooked my flight to follow them to sunny Salvador instead. Despite the extra cost it took to change my plane tickets, I was really excited to be heading to Salvador, a place on Brazil's tourism trail that I'd heard so many good things about. Even before landing, views of dramatic sand dunes and the azure ocean out the plane windows seemed to welcome me.