Day 1 to 6: Recife & Olinda – World’s Largest Street Carnival in Brazil

It is overwhelming. 2 Million people on the worlds largest Carnival parade in Brazil… It has always been my dream to experience the Carnival in South America and boy, what was it for an experience!!!!!! 

After 6 weeks in Germany, cold, grey and rainy weather I was more than looking forward to put back on my shorts and sunglasses again 😀 It took me a while to get acclimatised to 30 °C and also the jetlag was this time a pain in the ass.

My friend Guilherme and his family who I studied together with at IMD and Andre and Patricia who I met in Patagonia made my stay unforgettable and I can’t express my gratitude in words. However: Guys, you are awesome!!!!! OBRIGADO!!!!!!

Brazilians are not only holding the world record in being the most successful football nation (I still have to mention 7:1, lol) but also in mastering to celebrate the moment and especially carnival. That moment lasted (officially) from Friday until Tuesday. However, There are plenty of pre- as well as after carnival parties too. I did not really see a difference… just the number of people increased dramatically!!!!!

Basically there are two locations for celebrating carnival in the area of Recife… the old town of Recife (Recife Antigo) and the charming neighbour town of Olinda. The famous gallo parade takes place in Recife antigo and attracts every year between 1 and 2 million visitors from around the world. It is just a hell of a party!!!!!!!!

At times, the impressions can be overwhelming… a merciless sun, heat, sweat, overcrowded streets, alcohol and loud music all come together like a huge wave crushing you underneath as a tiny sand corn.

I participated a so called “samba bloco” together with Guilhermes wife in the streets of Recife Antigo… thereby between 100 and 200 people are building a colourful parade through the old town which was beautifully decorated. The samba tunes were euphorically cheering up the masses and happiness spread through the air.

My highlight was a “camarote”, a private party at plaza zero for which I received a personal invitation thanks to Guilherme. It was just out of this world! The event took place in an old colonial style building with huge ceilings and wide balconies overlooking the complete square of Marco Zero and its main Carnival stage.

Every floor had a different theme and offered everything you could imagine, ranging from live samba music, a DJ playing the latest dance music, a large buffet, open bar (just the best booze was good enough), a carnival make up corner, massages and…. of course… beautiful people!!!! The party of the century… I was dancing the night away, met beautiful Brazilian girls and got home only early in the morning. (The next day or at least the morning was a different story, lol).

Olinda is supposed to be quite “relaxing” on a Saturday since most of the people are attending the Rooster parade in Recife Antigo. What I found was not really relaxing, lol. Masses of people dancing in the bright sun to samba tunes and trying to squeeze them through the small alleys of the charming old town were especially at the beginning way too much for me. At this point I was still trying to find Andre, Patricia and their friends…

When I almost gave up and was desperately lost in the huge mess of Olindas carnival, I finally saw Andre coming towards me with a big smile on his face. I was relieved and ultimately rescued, haha.

The rest of the day we spent together partying until the end of the day on the largest carnival in the world. Exhausted I felt to bed and could not move anymore, lol. Others were just taking a nap and continued the craziness in Recife Antigo. I was just speechless of the Brazilian’s condition for partying which equaled an ultra marathon… I was definitely too old for that “stuff”. Or simply not trained enough, lol.

When the party continued the next days I decided to take a break at the beach to relax and regain some strength 😀


Carnival in Recife Antigo

Recife and Olinda