Recife, Brazil

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Life aboard the Marco Polo continued to be delightful. During the two days cruising from Rio to Recife, we did a lot of wandering about the ship, reading, swimming, attending lectures and enjoying the evening shows. One interesting opportunity we had was to see a demonstration of "Fruit and Vegetable Carving," a tradition that originated in Thailand in 1364.

Recife is a larger city than expected. It grew up around the coastal islands and the rivers that flow to the sea. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Recife and its "twin city" Olinda, prospered due to sugar. We toured around town in a colorful bus, passing by charming old buildings and visiting the old Prison which is now a shopping mall, each cell being a separate little shop. We travelled up a small mountain to Olinda where the views of Recife were lovely. Olinda is one of Brazil's best preserved colonial cities. We visited three cathedrals. The sunset that evening, leaving Recife, was unusually striking making a silhouette of Recife's skyline.