Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recife February 26, 2014

Recife is called the Venice of Brazil as it made up of three islands with numerous bridges.  It is hot when we dock and humid.

We are docked at a working pier and passengers are not allowed to walk from the ship to the port so they have free shuttles for everyone. 

The Seaborne Quest is also in port with us and it is beautiful.
We ordered room service for breakfast this morning to take our time and not have to deal with service issues.  I tried to get pineapple juice by writing it in but they didn’t deliver it and got Cranberry juice instead.  We ordered tea, they brought water, sugar but no tea bags.  Ordered for 8 – 8:30 and got it right at 8 am, and the server was very helpful and friendly.

Today’s happenings on board are:  trivia, solo travellers get together, paddle tennis, champagne hoopla, Wii@sea bowling, Muts: Coldplay, Pacific Rim, James Taylor, The Tango Club Quintet, Arizona Party Band, Tri-Band Trivia, Hollywould you Gameshow, Spotlight Showtime featuring Amor Dance Magic.

the new port building
We leave the ship around 9:15 and we have to board a shuttle bus to take us to the main port entrance.  This is obviously a new building and the locals seem very proud.  There is a great tourist information desk there and I was able to get some maps and booklets. 

Upon exiting there were staff there to assist and numerous taxis.  Note taxis here are metered but make sure to agree on a price before getting in.  The language barrier did prove to be a bit of an issue but we managed to figure out enough to understand that the price for a taxi to Olinda would be $50 Real or $25 US. 

They drive like crazy here!  Similar to Rio and even though Olinda is about 8 km North of Recife we changed lanes around 50 times and lots of beeps along the way too. 
We were dropped of at Parca da Abolicao where I pulled out the map and we started walking.  It is hot and really humid and the town is getting ready for Carnival.  We walk and our first stop is the Church of Saint John of the Military, and as we continue up the road we stop and take pictures of the many decorations for Carnival. 

At the top of the hill we start to encounter numerous tourist and tourist vans.  We see the Church of Mercy.  The Church of Saint Savior of the World.  Also there are some amazing views up here.  The Church of Our Lady of Conception.
Many shops line the streets with numerous artisans.  We run into Barb and Craig. 

We start to wander down the hill and we enter the Convent of Saint Francisco which was initially established in 1577 and was the first monastery in Brazil.  The complex is huge and includes the Church of Our Lady of the Snow and the Chapel of Saint Roque and the Cloister of Azulejos (blue tiles).  The church is in the midst of some rehabilitation but the tile work is still stunning.  The courtyard is tranquil and we can hear the monks praying. 

We are back in the same square that we arrived at and we see many buses zipping by and we managed to communicate with a young lady and she directs to a bus that will take us back to Recife.  Don’t ask me which one but we got on and the fare was 2.15 R each.  The buses here have a driver and then a bit further back is a person who collects fares.  I see they have the Compass fare system that we are in the midst of implementing in Vancouver.

We sit at the back and a man beside me tries to communicate and help us but boy the language is so difficult.  I do speak fluent French and my Spanish is minimal.  We do the hand gestures and we bring out the map and we manage to make it back to the new town of Recife. 
The city is stunning and the bridges are all decorated for Carnival too.  We try to get money out at a bank machine but have no luck at the first one.  We finally find a Citi Bank that has the Plus banking system and we have no problem getting money.  We have two more ports in Brazil (three days) so it is helpful to have local currency.

We walk along the old town of Recife and find an outside terrace that isn’t busy and we sit to enjoy a meal.  But it doesn’t take long to get busy.  We both enjoy a local beer – Skol for 7 R each ($3.50 US) and we have meal of steak and rice, beans, that grainy thing (forgot the name), plantains and salsa.  In total the large meal and the three drinks with bottled water came to 68 R.  We easily paid with credit card.  The waiter was wonderful and we gave him a Canadian pen on a lanyard and he immediately put it on.
We then wandered around the town for a bit, checked out some artisan shops.  It is hot though and it has been a long day so we wander back to the ship.

We are back on board around 3 pm and we quickly change into our bathing suits and head up to the sun deck and take a dip in the Lotus Spa pool and lay out in the sun for about an hour.  I come back to the cabin and go thru my pictures and relive the great day in Recife.

I would like to come back here some time.  The people are very nice and helpful.  Both cities are stunning and would love to come back.  Recife is a huge metropolis with numerous high rises and malls and beautiful beaches. 

Tonight is dinner in the Crown Grill with our friends B and C.  We have also arranged to have a set table in Da Vinci each night too.  We will dine there tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Recife and Olinda both look like amazing historical cities with beautiful buildings and churches! Lovely photos Vickie! Enjoying your blog!