|After making a journal entry yesterday and missing one stupid button, I lost the whole thing!!!
We boarded the bus by 7:40 and began our city tour. Our first stop was Olinda being one of the very first villages to be developed by the king of Portugal. The text books tell the story that as the king climbed one of the seven hills, he exclaimed,"O linda!" Translated means beautiful. A beautiful place for a village. However, the unofficial story is that while he looked down from the hill top, he saw a beautiful Indian woman. I guess we'll never know!!
We also learned that the Portuguese hired Arabic navigators. These navigators named this very city for the natural reefs that protect the shore. Al Recife- meaning Wall of Rock. There is a building still standing with Arabic influence based on the turrets.
The Portuguese and Dutch were rivals, and as such, what one built the other destroyed. Hence the photo of the original wall. The bottom layers are from the Portuguese and the top from the Dutch.
After leaving Olinda, we continued our history lesson at the origin point in Recife. In 2000 the city commissioned a medallion to mark 500 years of the city's existence. In addition, we also saw the first Jewish Synagogue in South America. Jews from Portugal were refugees in the Netherlands about 1630-1657. When the Dutch army surrendered January 27, 1654, Jews had to leave the country within three months. Some of these went to North America and founded New Amsterdam, also known as New York.
The tour continued through the streets and we saw some gorgeous buildings.
In the afternoon we had a wee nap and then bought some groceries to have a simple meal on the roof patio.
We went for a late ocean swim to cool off and take some photos.