Playing Tourist

This week I really wanted to enjoy our time here in Recife before we go to São Paulo on Sunday so I made Cadu take me to some touristy places. We went to Olinda (a small town next to Recife) and Recife Antigo (Old Recife).

Pictures are more fun so…

Olinda

Olinda was founded in 1535 and was the original capital of the state of Pernambuco (where Recife is located and is now the capital). It has almost 400,000 people and is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. The downtown area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO  in 1982.

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The streets are tiny and lined with beautifully colored houses!

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Carnival starts at the end of the month so some festivities were starting. This is a giant doll which is very common in the parades.

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A beautiful church.

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Cadu’s stepdad and sister inside the church

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How would you like to attend college here?

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Carnival just isn’t enough. Pre-Carnival parties start a month before the celebration! Made it hard to drive through the streets.

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We’re “dressed up” in Carnival costumes.

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Olinda is basically on a big hill. Look at that view of the ocean!!

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That’s Recife off in the distance!

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Large Carnival masks hanging on a wall on the street.

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Thought these were ADORABLE!!! Wish I had room in my suitcase!

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These aren’t his original paintings of course, but they’re replicas of paintings made by Romero Britto. He’s a Brazilian artist who currently lives in Miami. I love them and you see stuff with his prints on them everywhere!

That pretty much sums up our two mini trips to Olinda. Now…

Recife Antigo

Old Recife is the historical part of Recife and was built on the Island of Recife near the harbor. It’s where the Portuguese originally settled in the 16th Century and where sugar cane that was produced in Pernambuco (the state where Recife is located) was shipped off to Portugal. The Dutch invaded in 1630 and partially burned down Olinda. Then, they were forced out in 1654. There was also a solid Jewish community made up of Portuguese Jews who had fled Portugal due to antisemitism, went to the Netherlands, and came to Brazil with the Dutch. The first synagogue in the Americas was built by them and is located in Old Recife on Rua do Bom Jesus (formerly Rua dos Judeus, or Street of the Jews).  When the Dutch left in 1654, those 24 Portuguese Jews went to North America (present-day Manhattan, to be specific) and founded a Portuguese synagogue.

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Rua do Bom Jesus and the synagogue on the left

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Again Rua do Bom Jesus

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You should recognize these guys. Giant Dolls Museum.

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Carmen Miranda was a Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, dancer, and actress. She started her career in Brazil in 1929 and later moved to the US and eventually became the highest paid woman in the US in 1945. She is the reason why many people imagine Brazilian women walking around with fruits on their heads!

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Western Telegraph Company building

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Caixa Cultural- An art and culture building

Sorry, I didn’t take as many pictures of Old Recife this time because I did on my first trip to Brazil back in 2011. This gives you a little idea of what it looks like at least. Now you’ll just have to come visit and see the rest for yourself! 😉

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