|We docked at Recife in the early morning and disembarked to music and dancing from some locals. Recife is the 9th largest city in Brazil and the capital of Pernambuco state. It has the nickname “the Brazilian Venice” because of the rivers and the natural pools formed by the coal reefs that run along its coast. There are many lovely beaches. One of the areas in Recife is Olinda set on a hill. It is a UNESCO world heritage site as it is one of the best preserved Portuguese colonial towns. It was built in the 1500s and has narrow cobbled streets, beautiful buildings and churches and wonderful views toward modern Recife. (If you look closely at one of the photos you will see out ship in the harbour). As Carnaval had not yet quite finished all the decorations were still in evidence. The whole of the front of the city hall was decorated with mainly representation of the arts and crafts for which the area is known. We had a good wander and commented that the West Kilbride Scarecrow festival could get a few tips. We also went to the main square in centre Recife. It has lovely colonial buildings on all four sides and a 250 year old tree in the gardens. What had been a prison was now an arts and crafts centre with each cell a little shop. We managed to spend some money of course! Our final stop was at Boa Viagem beach. A really long, clean beach with soft sand and while we were there we saw the sun with a ring around it, a very unusual sight. The resident ship’s band played us on board and we went straight up on deck to watch the pilot ship guide us out of the harbour.