Monday 19th January
We crossed the equator early on Sunday morning and are now in the Southern Hemisphere. Our first port in South America is Recife in Brazil. Recife is built on several islands so there are a lot of waterways and bridges around the city. We went on an excursion this morning stopping first at Praca da Republica to see the Governor's Palace and the Justice Palace before travelling to the old prison. This has been turned into a cultural centre with each of the cells being a shop selling various crafts. This photo was taken from the first floor of the prison and shows the very steep steps at the end of each landing. It was a fascinating building. We then went on to Olinda and travelled in minibuses up the narrow, steep lanes to the old city. We visited the São Bento Monastery to see the gold baroque altar and also the cathedral. There was a lovely view from here down to the sea. Before returning to the ship we stopped for a short visit to Boa Viagem beach. The sands here were soft and golden and the sea was very warm but there are warning signs about sharks attacks! I did have a short paddle and found the sands too hot to walk on barefoot. The temperature here today was in the 30's so a cool drink back on the ship was very welcome.