As our travels continue down the east coast of Brazil, we spent a couple of days exploring the historical town Olinda and it’s more modern neighbor, Recife. Wandering around through the cobblestone streets of Olinda we passed rows and rows of colourful buildings where town planning seems to dictate that no adjoining building can be painted the same colour!
We also stumbled across some great graffiti that I gleefully added to my growing collection. There were also artist studios and unfortunately a large number of tacky touristy gift shops, but still a charming place and the view from the top of the viewing tower was a treat.
Around every corner it seemed we also bumped into a church (there are over 22 churches in a very small area) and being Easter we had the pleasure of witnessing a free outdoor sound and light show spectacular of ‘this is your life’ starring Jesus.
We headed to Recife the next day and visited the first synagogue in the Americas which thrived during Dutch rule in the 17th century.
It has been refurbished and is now operating as a museum, and also we discovered as a quasi Kotel (western wall), there were rolled, folded and scrunched up notes stuffed into the synagogues original walls. We learned that the first Jews to make their way to New York were from here!
The other highlight of Recife for us was wandering around the markets where it seemed you could buy anything you could possibly want, from chillies to a shofar!
Walking back to out hostel, up ahead we excitedly walked towards what we thought was a street party… when we got closer we realised it was nothing more than a bike decked out with a subwoofer, standing alone, blaring out bright, colourful tunes which were so loud that I could feel the beat deep in my bones. It is the rhythm of Brazil and it is slowly seeping into my skin!