While the ship is actually docking, we grab a bite of lunch from La Veranda and head to the room to get ready for the tour. We are met at the room by a waiter delivering a tray of a dozen, chocolate-covered strawberries and a note from Franco apologizing for the mix up in Signatures the other night! Nice gesture!
We are taking the only tour offered for this port. It is the four hour, "Highlights of Salvador," and leaves at 1:50PM. We get our tour bus number, #3, and are called very quickly. We get to our bus and some, bearded, grey-haired, ponytail-wearing, a**hole and his well used looking wife have removed our reserved sign and put it in the tour guide’s seat. He flatly refuses to move and says the sign was not in the seat when he got on, despite the fact that we are told, quietly, by two different people that he did move the reserved sign. Carolyn has asked for the front seat reservation as sitting there makes it easier for her to get up and out than when sitting in the cramped seats further back. If it had been an all day trip, we would have taken it up with the ship’s staff (or "something"), but we are backing up traffic boarding the bus and we are only going to be on the bus for a short while. We will discuss the situation with the ship’s staff later.
Since this is the most black-African city in the world outside of Africa, our tour guide, whose name we never catch, is black. He is very nice, speaks his English very well and tells us that we have now arrived in the real Brazil. In order to understand the rest of the afternoon, one must know that this is Friday afternoon before CARNIVAL starts tomorrow; CARNIVAL EVE so to speak.
The park in front of the church has numerous food booths as well as people selling religious stuff.
The street here is fairly wide. Beer stalls are being set up all along the left side of the street and there are stacks of orange, plastic chairs and tables waiting to be set out.
The interior of the church is largely covered in gold leaf and the guides will tell you that over a ton of gold was used.
From here, we walk through the Municipal Square
Back on the bus and back to the ship, we are ringing wet from the humidity. It is good to return to our floating home. We head to our favorite watering hole, the Horizon Lounge, and find many of our fellow tour members have the same idea...to celebrate a great, fun afternoon with a cocktail! We decide to order dinner into our room tonight and have our usual Caesar salad and pizza. It has been a nice day!