Olinda Travel Blog› entry 12 of 34 › view all entries
"O... linda" is what captain Duarte yelled when he discovered Olinda at the beginning of the 16th century. It is Portuguese for "O,... how beatiful". It is a jigsaw puzzle of steep, cobble-stone streets, colonial houses with colourful facades, an abundance of Baroc churches. It is sensual, temptating and authentic, just like a good bossa-nova.
So far for the physical things in Olinda. For some reason I have the feeling that since Olinda my trip has changed. I don`t really know what it is, but it`s like Brazil is opening up for me. In Venezuela and the Amazonas I was looking for ready-made activities to do, but you can tell, smell or feel that you cannot really visit Olinda by simply following your trotter or Lonely Planet.
There is a soul behind these colonial facades.
I had the luck that in the weekend I was staying in Olinda, there was the celebration of Exu (Sao Bartolomeu). The whole neighbourhood around Alto Da Se was filled with people, music, stands, capoeira-rondas,... Very cosy. We (=Taren - Zuid-Afrika, Andrew - Aussi) ended up in 2 different samba-parties. That is coooooool!!!! The pounding rithms of truly high-level percussion sections made people dancing. And you have to realize, dear reader that EVERYBODY is dancing: thick, thin, beautiful, ugly, men, women, everybody. That`s my kind of party! Hell, I even discovered that in fact the Dutch `hakken`is a form of samba-dancing. So, for me, being a die-hard hakker, it only took me a second to feel the moves.
My next plan was to go straight to Salvador, but I met this German girl Helena who convinced me to take a ticket to the island of Fernando Do Noronha. It is 500km from the Brazilian coast and is a true paradise.