24 June, 2014

City of Reefs

The city of Recife (pronounced "heh-see-fee") is located in the most eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, and gets its name from the plentitude of reefs off the coast.  This both makes the sea here more calm, but also attracts a lot of sharks.  Originally a Portuguese settlement in the 1530's, it was captured by the Dutch and grew under their control during the mid-1600's, at one point serving as the capital of Dutch Brazil. Today, Recife is the 5th largest Brazilian city with just under 4 million inhabitants.

While the majority of the city in not a tourist destination, it is a good jumping off point to visit nearby Olinda, hang out on the beach of the Boa Viagem neighborhood, and take a stroll through Recife Antigo (Old Recife) to admire the architecture and imagine traveling back in time.

A colorfully decorated street in Old Recife.

Brazilian fans on their way to the FIFA Fan Fest area, located (poorly) on one
of the narrow streets along the water in Old Recife.

Many buildings in Recife Antigo date back to the 1600's.

Fans watching the Brazil vs Chile match overflow from a bar into the street.

Monument by artist Francisco Brennand in Recife's
Parque das Esculturas. 

Praia Boa Viagem on a nearly cloudless afternoon.

What could make a beach day better?  Grilled cheese on a stick, of course!

Photo of the Francisco Brennand monument taken by Dan Monfre.

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