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Friday, July 19, 2013

Asuncion, Paraguay - we really are so glad we came here (Paraguay is really undiscovered by tourists)

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Our first wander around Asuncion.  We are tired so not too much on the first day - is the request of my son, who is eight.

So when we discover the The National Pantheon of Heroes (Panteon Nacional de los Heroes) and oratory of the Virgin Our Lady Saint Mary of the Asuncion, we decide to go in and take a look.
(located between Palma and Chile streets).

Inside are some great tributes to the men who served Paraguay in the past.
It is interesting to see the difference in plaque sizes.

We manage to be there (on the inside) at the changing of the guard.
The uniform changes on certain days so we are informed.

We then head to the A or V shape hotel (depending which side you are) called the Hotel Guarani Esplendor.
This avant-garde style masterpiece, is retro heaven, but has been remodelled and is gorgeous inside.

I love the artwork. This is almost 3D and quite textured, and depicts the tradition of Paraguay.

We head up to the pool and entertaining area to try to get some photographs.
It is a safe area for my son to have a run around, and gives me a great view of the old city.

We much around with photos and have a great time.

At the side is a great side of a building with some art showing the culture and history of the city.
I love the contrast as the old buses rumble by down below.

We then head to the 4 square park.
On one corner (below the hotel) is the markets.
As we go toward them, there several sellers.  They have various herbs for sale for their cold tea.

The men laugh as I take a photo of their game of checks.
I like it - the markers are coke and soft drink bottle tops.

We then head into the markets.
The prices are good, and there is a good mix of wares for sale.

My son has already lost interest, and wants to go back to the hotel.
The hand made mats are so intricate - but I know I would never use them when I set up home again.
So I love them and leave them - with much regret.

We end up at Bolsi. A restaurant that has been around for many years.
It is set up with a cafe, so as we sit and eat, we meet a local couple of guys.
One is a lawyer, and he invites us to see the country towns on the weekend.
We plan to meet up - his friends wife is about to have a baby, so we make plans - but they are tentative.
We both decide we like Asuncion.
It feels so safe, and we can't wait to explore more.
But for now it is an early night back in our lovely hotel.

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