Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman -
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"Olinda is all for the eyes, it's not tangible, it's all desire", a quote from the poem called Olinda by Brazilian poet Carlos Pena Filho.
Olinda is the postcard perfect place for pleasant sightseeing, it's kind of like a painting! That's my line, not from a poem. Olinda is an
artists haven on a hilltop surrounded by lush vegetation and has beautiful views of the deep blue sea, the climate is tropical and it's
full of charm, charm, charm! Being the sister city of Recife, it's just 20mins north by taxi and has a completely different vibe than it's
The Historical Center
The historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and you can see so much in just a small area in just a few hours - museums,
art galeries, churches and chapels! A lot less walking than Recife! Known as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil, originally
thriving from the sugar trade in the 1500's.
Up the Hill on Cobblestones
Ascending up the cobblestone streets through neighbourhoods of colorful houses, carnival
decorations are still present from the previous week. Interesting windows displaying arts, crafts and ornaments. Wooden window shutters and
doors, pastel colors and dark shades. It's a steep ascent at the last part but by this time you have good views of Olinda's streets and
houses below and a distant view of the tall buildings of Recife. On the other side it's spectacular looking over the greenery and palm
trees to the sea with a pair of white churches standing out of this tropical scene. Tiled roofed houses blend in well under this green
Top of the Hill
At the top of the hill is the church Igreja da Misericordia (originally built in 1599, rebuilt in 1654) which features some paintings. Arts
and crafts, jewelry and paintings are for sale on the street. The 16th century church and convent - Igreja e Convento de Nossa Senhora da
Conceicao was rebuilt after the Dutch invasion of 1631.
Arts and Crafts Shops
The art shops have some amazing stuff, cultural, imaginative and fun. The shop with
the pink facade called Artes do Imaginario Brasileiro has figurines, masks, paintings and all kinds of things!
Street music is common, there
were some men playing guitars and singing, later a chap with an accordion was entertaining people as they watched the sun go down.
The Cathedral and Observatory
cathedral - Catedral de Sao Salvador do Mundo (aka. Igreja da Se) was built in 1548 and rebuilt in 1669. Only the main door survived the
fire of 1631, the 2nd tower was built in 1713. We also have the astronomy observatory (Observatorio Astronomico) which is open Tuesday-Sunday
4pm-8pm. Delicious cold fruit drinks called Caipifrutas can be bought around this area as well as some yummy food - Brazil is great for
The Boneco Museum
Boneco time! Olinda's Boneco Museum
- Casa dos Bonecos Gigantes de Olinda is a lot of fun just like the boneco museum in Recife is!
Rooms full of overgrown carnival puppets, mainly famous Brazilians and other world stars.
Bus to Joao Pessoa
Olinda is a fun place for photographers! I had
a great day in Olinda and a nice evening relaxing in a hammock at my pousada (hostel). From Olinda I headed back to Recife
for a bus north to Joao Pessoa
, 2hrs 15mins.