Travel Postcard: 48 hours in laid-back Salvador, Brazil

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7 p.m. - For a casual dinner, dine at one of the restaurants in Pelourinho. Mama Bahia in the old city serves authentic "moqueca" seafood stew, made with palm oil and coconut milk.

9 p.m. - A traditional one-hour dance show put on by the Bale Folclorico da Bahia Foundation in Pelourinho is an inexpensive and entertaining look at Bahian folklore and religious dances. Tuesday is the big party night in Pelourinho with outdoor concerts and bar stands. But watch your valuables at street parties when it gets dark. Sip a caipirinha drink, the classic Brazilian cocktail made with lime, sugar and a local sugarcane liquor called cachaca.

Saturday

9 a.m. - After a leisurely breakfast, visit the lower city or "cidade baixa," which is connected to Pelourinho through a large elevator. Bonfim Church is the most well-known attraction.

The church, believed to have healing powers, has a special room filled with mementoes left by people who say they have been cured.

Noon - Stop for lunch and then hop in a cab from the church to the waterfront neighborhood of Ribeira to the Sorveteria da Ribeira ice cream shop (www.sorveteriadaribeira.com). A banana split will easily feed two people.

1 p.m. - Check out the "Dique do Tororo" park to see the giant statues from the local Candomble religion floating on a lake. Watch the frantic construction going on around-the-clock for the eight-nation Confederation's Cup this summer, the so-called dress rehearsal for 2014's World Cup.

The stadium, called Arena Fonte Nova, is wedged into a hill in front of a lake. The city tore down its old stadium to make way for the new one.

Watch the sun set on the bay at the Barra Lighthouse on the edge of the city.

7 p.m. - Head to Rio Vermelho, a district a few miles away on the water where restaurants and clubs light up late at night. For a more casual evening, Rio Vermelho boasts outdoor street stalls serving cachaca and local dishes.

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