Woke up around 7.30 after a really good nights sleep. I have such a great bed, it’s so big, but the best thing are the pillows – perfectly fluffy! Haha. Yeah, I’m couchsurfing again, in Recife, with a lovely host, José. I will tell you more about him and Recife in another post, this one will be about Olinda :)
Olinda is about 7 km north of Recife in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. There are direct buses from Recife there for about 3 reails.
When I arrived a city guide met me up and asked if I wanted a guided tour. It’s ”free”– you give what you want after the tour.. And my guide was so nice, walked around with me a couple of hours telling me so much, so to give to little is very hard face to face. Haha. But yeah, when you think about it, maybe it’s not so much to give around 15 dollars.. But still it wasn’t planned expenses.
Vlamir, my guide, is born and raised in Olinda, and has been working as a guide since he was 10 years old :) So I would guess about 20 years now. He told me this city is very famous because it’s carnival – it’s said to be the best in Brazil.. (I don’t know if this is the general opinion though), but it’s very famous though :)
Olinda is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It’s one of the oldest towns in Brazil.
For being such a small town, at least the historical center, it has surprisingly many churches!
It was founded in 1537 by the Portuguese. From the 16th century onward, many churches and convents were built. But then in 1631 the city was pillaged by the Dutch and they destroyed almost everything. About 25 years later the Portuguese returned and started to restore, so now most of the buildings at Olinda date from the 18th century.
The scenery is beautiful – it’s a colonial architecture so there are small houses in many colors, together with a lot of flowers and trees. From the hills in Olinda you also see the blue-turquoise water.. really beautiful!
Olinda’s is a calm and safe place to walk around, a nice breeze compared to the hectic Recife.
There are many artist and craftspeople studies and galleries to visit here too, and markets to have tapioca, coco-water or ice-cream. :)
Oh by the way I forgot to tell you why the name is Olinda – it’s said that when the Portuguese arrived to the Hill in Alto da Sé, and saw the view over the town, they said ”Oh, linda situação para se construir uma vila!” (in portuguese, oh, beautiful place to build a village!)
Definitively worth a visit :)