BY NANCY RICKERT
World Cup and São Joao festivities have made Recife a great place to visit the past week! It has been so much fun here!
The Parque Doña Lindu and Praca de Boa Viagem have been especially fun to people watch. We saw Capoeira dancing, churchgoers, vendors selling crafts and souvenirs and lots of food, dancing to live music and plenty of soccer fans from all over the world. The games here have drawn the Costa Ricans, Italians, Mexicans, Croatians, Germans, Americans, Columbians and of course Brazilians.
The Mexico-Croatia game was a little hair raising. Apparently the military was called in to help oversee this game as there were military helicopters and additional armed guards everywhere making their presence known. The stadium was at near capacity with 41,121 fans. Almost all of whom were cheering for Mexico. It was the loudest game I have ever been to. We actually felt the need to leave early as we were cheering for Croatia and it was very apparent we were outnumbered in our section. When Mexico started scoring the beers started throwing – at us. We missed the Croatian goal and red card and final Mexico goal. But made it home safe and headed out for more São Joao festivities afterwards.
The Brazilians here have been very friendly and accommodating. The food and drink have been amazing. The cabbies work great, metro has been great and walking around has been good too. There was only one experience on Sunday night when we were told by locals to leave a neighborhood near Antigo where there was amazing live flute music and a huge group of people sitting at tables watching. We were not wanted there. So we moved on.
We have met some truly fun and friendly people. The weather had not allowed much chance to go to the beach. We hope to go to Porto de Galhinas on Friday after the U.S. vs Germany game on Thursday. Go USA!! Also looking forward to watching Brazil play Chile on Saturday in a local venue with Brazilians. Festa!