Olinda seen by Jean-Paul Delfino
In the state of Pernambouc, not very far North from the actual capital Recife, stands the perfectly well-named Olinda, whose name means “the beauty”. Registered since 1982 by UNESCO as a world heritage, the Brazilian pearl does not reveal its secrets under frantic touristic assaults or just to any passer-by. In order to enjoy the perfect taste of all its essence, one should first take the time and forget the vain notion of touristic marathon that alas, all too often, comes along with travelling.
One does not ”do” Olinda in two hours, neither in two day’s time. As a matter of fact you just don’t “do” Olinda. Olinda is the one who “does” you, takes hold of you, carries you and changes you, when she decides to let you go, into a different person altogether.
The Brasilian city, which counts among the oldest since it was founded by Duarte Coelho in 1535, seems to come straight out of one of Blaise Cendrar’s or Humboldt’s travel notes, or to have suddenty sprung out from one of Jean-Baptiste Debret’s watercolours. Near the ocean, fringed by rows of long-necked palm-trees, Olinda is a coquette who never reveals all of her charms. Of course there is the Semana Santa and the Carnival, when the well-conducted Olinda becomes wild and when the sound of drums breaks the calm tranquillity of her daily life and when multicoloured giant dolls invade her streets.
Yet, in spite of those two outbursts, the calm and peaceful atmosphere of Olinda can only be discovered while strolling along its romantic promenades, that of Sé, of Ampara, of the 4 Cantos, of Ribeira, not to forget that of the Senhor Apresentado ao Povo. It is there, inside the discreet, intimate and deliciously ventilated bars and restaurants that one can enjoy quieter music. Gastronomy, poetry and literature invite themselves at your table. Then Olinda coils up against you and purrs like a cat and ends up, after so much patience added to the sweetness of its way of life, by giving itself up, for just a few privileged and fleeting moments…
Written by: © Jean-Paul Delfino (This text is subject to copyrights protection in accordance with existing laws)
Our description of Olinda is on this web page : https://terra-nordeste.com/en/destination/olinda-praia-patacho-en/
Other texts by Jean-Paul Delfino are available here: Travel Diaries - Jean-Paul Delfino
Jean-Paul Delfino is a French writer and screenwriter so passionate about Brazil that he has taken on the writing of a major novel fresco entitled "Suite brésilienne" which covers three centuries of great Brazilian history.
Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Delfino