Saturday, July 20, 2013

More exploring in Asuncion, Paraguay with an eight year old boy

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Wow - today is cold - and I mean cold.
We are told the lack of mountains in the area means there is no protection.
We wander down to the river.
If it were not so cold, we would take the ferry to the other side.

We walk on to find the Palace.  Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno). It is under renovation, and there is no entry.  So we walk on by.

We then spy a modern building a couple of blocks away.  It is the Palacio Legislativo or Legislative Palace.
It is a mix of old and new and looks great.

Across the road is a park.
We meet a Guarani Native seller.  He has this great bag.  My son says I can't buy it.  I have to look local and not like a tourist.  Darn - but he is right.

What I find interesting is the shanty right behind the park.  The local kids don't go to school, and certainly don't get home schooled.  They are in the park playing, an they tell us to keep away in no uncertain terms.  I find it also interesting that at the end of the shanty street there are a stack of rather nice cars parked.  I am told here are the homes of drug dealers and prostitutes.  they have been offered a home with running water and electricity 20 km out of town. they refuse to move.

I can't remember the name of this building - maybe some-one can help me out!
It is at the back - down by the river.

After that is Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion.
Again there are Guarani natives - selling their wares.

We find a few more markets and handicraft stores.  The prices are fabulous, and their items are really interesting.

We head back to the main market square, where a lady is grinding the herbs for fresh tea.  I love the aroma of the mint and lemon grass mix.

I put my nose right into the basket. Here you get to select whichever herbs you want.  She will mix then and then you can sip your lovely cold herb tea all day.  I don't buy one of the flasks, but I do end up buying the silver straw spoon so we can make our own later in life.

I then eye off the wonderful handicrafts.  There is an incredible top made with this around the shoulders - in a Latino style. So expensive but reminds me of the dresses I used to wear 30 years ago, and that are no in fashion again.  I just love their delicate work.
Ñanduti lace and wood carvings (known as palo santo) are Paraguay's most famous handicrafts.

Somehow we are back for another changing of the guard.  My son decides to have a go.  Different uniforms than yesterday!

Inside we can see the special remembrance to heroes.  We have another wander around.  I think there should be more places like this in the world.  So many lost their lives in battle in Paraguay.

We are still trying to find lunch.  But another street, and more market stalls.

Somehow we end up back at the same restaurant for lunch as we have had dinner, but we know the food and service is good.
Next stop is the Casa de la Independencia.  A lovely little white-washed building.  It is time for some learning, and we like the fact there is no charge.

In the entrance is this lovely mosaic, depicting the town as it would have been 200 years ago.

Inside my son comments on how all the furniture is old - no kidding!  They have done a good job of locating and preserving a little bit of their history,  I think.

We head outside to the small courtyard, and it is really pretty.

There is a sun stone dial.  We have a lesson on how the ancients of time lived, and how it is actually a backward clock.  I was a bit disappointed as my son was not that interested - but still the seed is sown for later discussions.

We then head to the back of the two buildings.  It is hot and I have a little rest.  Along the walls are more plaques, and my son has a bit of a race around.

I walk in as he tries to enter the meeting room.  He of course is exited rather promptly by the guard, so we decide we had better go.

As we head back to the Palace Hotel, we find a great building.  There are smooth plates of gemstones in the walls.

 We have more time here I think than the museum.
 There are so many, and he takes ages examining them all.  We can see where people have dug a few out, but it really looks great - I think it is an awesome idea!

Asuncion and Paraguay in general is an untapped tourist market.  Few Gringos ever bother to come here.  I hope this country gets more support and visits, as to me it is just as good as Bolivia, and certainly an economical place.  I hope there are a few more people coming this way in the future, as we are finding it a fantastic place to be.  Full of friendly and happy people!

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