Martin Kraft


 B r a s i l Brazil is my favourite holiday destination since years. Not only can I find real summer sun and many kinds of tropical fruits with an incredible taste, while we have wintertime with short cold days here in Germany. Brazil and Brazilian people also teach me a lot about happiness, calmness, and hospitality. Especially all the black people in Bahia state and the indigenes in Pará state.
Several times I had the chance to pass my holidays in Brasil in February. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is really worth seeing, with its competition of samba schools, a colourful impression. But a true street carnival can be found in the north east, first of all the five days carnival in Salvador, capital of Bahia state. More than 80% of the Bahian population are black or mulatto people.  B a h i a
Bloco Eva Carnival in Salvador: nobody knows, how many people are in the streets. Between one and two millons of young people. The principal event are the so-called blocos: From 50 up to some 1000 people in an uniform clothing (usually colourful T-shirt and shorts) dancing around a music band or a "trio elétrico", which is moving slowly through the streets. The trio elétrico is a large road tractor with a long wall of loudspeekers on both sides (up to 80.000 Watts). On top of the "trio" one of the many famous bands is playing live, and everybody knows the music from the radio or the group's last CD.
Everewhere along the street the next dealer is very close, selling icecold beer or Coke. Hot meat or cheese spits are sold in the smaller side streets, also salty popcorn or typical Bahian Acarajés: they have the shape of a traditional hamburger, but are made only with ingredients of the afro-brazilian kitchen.
The charm of the 2 millon city Salvador can be discovered better before or after the Carnival, when all the wooden sheds and boards are removed, that protect the shops and houses during Carnival. An evening walk in the reconstructed quarter Pelourinho and a visit of some of its bars and restaurants can be highly recommended. Interesting drinks and tasty cachaças are served, at some places and in some bars there is live music, and from time to time practising kid drum groups pass by the way. There are also beautiful beaches in the north of the city, and the museum of modern art is worth a visit, too. Language schools offer special courses for foreigners, willing to learn both the protuguese language and Bahia's culture. In the schools Casa do Brasil and Diálogo I found good and motivated teachers and efficient teaching concepts. In no case one should miss to visit the small bar Laranja Mecânica in Rua Belo Horizonte (near Shopping Barra). The quality of their fresh made Tijela de Acaí is extraordinary all over Brazil and won awards by famous Brazilian magazines. Pelourinho
Rodizio The cities Campinas and São Paulo are economic metropoles of the country and a little less interesting for tourists. Nevertheless there are good bars and discos and very good restaurants. On should go for a Rodízio, a typical south Brazilian event: First one chooses some salades and side dishes from the buffet. Then one stays seated at the table, and the Gaucho dressed waiters come in short time distances, offering many different excellent types of meat (mainly beef) from long spits. Very tasty and excellent and saturating! The meal should be accompanied by at least one caipirinha and some glasses of beer. Culinary Brazil as I like it!
In the south of Brazil there are a lot of other wunderful places and travel destinations. In 1997 I had the chance to participate in the tour with the tourist train Litorina from Curitiba to Paranaguá. A marvelous trip through a large area of protected beautiful nature. From Paranaguá, after a short boat trip, one reaches Ilha do Mel, the "honey island", a piece of paradise on earth and with sea water, which has almost body temperature. More in the south, in Santa Catarina state, many more exciting beaches can be found. At some of them one can meet Argentinian tourists, on the other side one can easiliy find kilometres of beaches without any human being. Even on some beaches of the beautiful Florianapolis island, which by itself is worth a holiday trip. Ilha do Mel
Brazil is a giant country and I already had the chance to visit other places than the ones mentioned here, eg. in the Pantanal region and in Pará state. Everywhere I found gentle and happy men and women. I will return and in the meantime I enjoy the contacts to my Brazilian friends living in Brazil or Germany.

Back Last modified November 26, 2000 Martin Kraft.