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Going To Brazil
April / May 2008

Flag Brazil Recife Flag Brazil

TAM Airbus A320 from Salvador to Recife's Guararapes International Airport Our days in Salvador Bahia were over and the next stop in Brazil was Recife.
We boarded an A320 from TAM, which is today Brazilís main airline. They have just joined the Star Alliace, which means theyíre partners with Lufthansa, SAS, United and other big airlines.

The ticket was a lot cheaper than with the so-called low cost carrier Gol. Gol has sometimes really cheap flight offers, but most of the time their prices remain high. I donít really consider them a low cost airline.
Bus in Recife, Brazil Arriving in Recife we took a taxi to the Hotel Mercure, for which I also had a discounted rate thanks to my job.
It was in the city center so there was no need to rent a car.

We moved around the city using the bus, although late at night we prefered to take a taxi.

You pay the ticket to a guy that's in the middle of the bus, as you see on the picture. It's the only place in the world where I've seen this system.
Even dogs are football fans in Recife... For sure you know that Brazilians are the biggest football fans in the world.

Recifeís team was playing while we were there, and the euphoria could be felt in the air!

There were lots of supporters in the streets, getting out of their cars and the whole city looked like a big party.
Even dogs joined it!
Boa Viagem Beach, Recife, Brazil Well, we didn’t visit much of Recife.
There is colonial old town which seems beautiful but we didn’t go there.

We spent most of our time at the Boa Viagem Beach and only visited the nearby town of Olinda.

The is only a small portion of the beach where you can swin in Recife. The sandy waterfront stretches is several kilometers long, but rocks prevent you to get in.
Danger - Sharks near the  beach sign Well, not only rocks, Recife is famous for Sharl attacks! But sharks are not the only danger around the beach.
We almost got robbed twice in Recife. Both were more or less the same thing: 2 guys come to us and ask for Stéphanie's bolsa (bag). How polite. They didn't show any weapon, just asked for it. Maybe they were expecting us to give it to them but, they forgot to say "please"...
The first time Stéphanie screamed and the guys ran away.
The second, one of the guys tried to take it from her and the other came to me, trying to prevent me from helping her. We didn't get into a fight, but as they saw we were resisting and people were watching, they ran away too...

Anyway, at the end they didn't take anything from us. We were lucky, after that I learnt Recife has one of Brazil's highest crime rates.
Panorama of Recife from the Mercure Hotel Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco, in Brazil's Nordeste.

Recife was founded as a port by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. Back in those days the capital of the hereditary captaincy of Pernambuco was Olinda. Today Recife's harbour is one of the largest in the Atlantic.

The the Dutch captured the city and renamed it Mauritsstadt between 1630 and 1654.
Blue Church of Boa Viagem, Recife, Brazil In the 18th Century there were clashes and riots between Olinda's sugar farmers and Recife's traders. Thanks to its harbour, Recife grew prosperous while Olinda became the historical town that it is today.

This blue Church is not far from Recife's waterfront, in the Boa Viagem area.
A church in Recife seen from the hotel window Under Dutch rule the first Jewish community of America settled there. They founded the Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue, which was the first synagogue in the Americas.
Most left the city after Portugal regained control of the area. Some of them started the first jewish community of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, which became New York City.

I would have loved to visit the more of the city, specially the old colonial part. But as I told you, I had some personal problems with that girl so the priority was to fix things with her.
But now as I think about it, I was wrong.
I should have let her go from the begining and maybe go to Brazil alone. It would have been a lot more fun.