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March 25th 2006
Published: April 9th 2006
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I was met by Paul and Rosa (his fiancée) at Silvio Pettirosi Airport in Asunción. Slammed by the high 80’s, high humidity weather upon leaving the airport. We decided to take a cab to the hotel, but the tendency is to overcharge the Nortes here (Norteamericanos or North Americans), so we turn down a few offers. Rosa approaches the next cab on her own to get a better deal. She does, but the minute Paul and I show up the price doubles. This bothers Paul, but to me a $10 cab drive is still a bargain.

Hotel is called Los Alpes. Rooms feature a refrigerator, A/C, and cable TV (Yes, the Simpsons is still funny in Spanish). We travel by foot and bus to see some of the city and get something to eat. Heavy downpours limit our options.

Next day the skies are clear, and after breakfast at the hotel we walk to a branch of the Financiera Grupo Interfisa to trade $100 for 580,000 Guaranies. Check out the nearby mall before catching a bus to downtown. Paul and Rosa drag me through some shops as they look for fabric for their wedding (set for May 6th). Few
Los AlpesLos AlpesLos Alpes

The courtyard of the hotel Los Alpes. Most buildings in Paraguay are roofed with the red clay tiles.
clothes off the rack in Paraguay, you buy the fabric and have them made by a tailor.

See the Plaza de los Heroes, dominated by the large domed Panteón de los Heroes, a war memorial started in 1863 and finished after the Chaco War in 1937. Several war heroes and presidents are interred here, as well as the unknown soldier and the unknown child soldier (the adult male population was so depleted during the War of the Triple Alliance that children as young as 12 were drafted).

Walk toward the waterfront (Asunción sits on an inland bay) to see the old pink Parliament building, some more statues, the new glass and chrome Parliament building, the Presidential Palace (Palacio de Gobierno) and the poverty that one always seems to find in the shadows of the power.

We take another bus to an area of the city known as Mercado Cuatro or the Fourth Market. There are no first, second or third markets (or at least not any more) in Asunción. This area is crowded with shops and street vendors selling clothes, electronics and almost anything else you could want. We have lunch at the Restaurant Rico, a Chinese
Where the Sidewalk EndsWhere the Sidewalk EndsWhere the Sidewalk Ends

There are three types of sidewalk in Paraguay. Broken, dangerously broken and this.
place, before exploring some of the market area.

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Paul and RosaPaul and Rosa
Paul and Rosa

In the Panteón de los Heroes. Paul is scowling like the statue of the General behind them.
Pink Parliament BuildingPink Parliament Building
Pink Parliament Building

The only pink Parliament building in the world. The statue in front is of the founder of Asunción, Juan De Salazar Y Espinoza.

People live in these shacks behind the Parliament building.

13th April 2006

Congrats and Best Wishes!
to Paul and Rosa!
31st July 2006

Hi Carl, it´s very nice to hear that people visit your country and have friends too! I just wanted to comment that market # 2 is still working, but it´s a small one. Best wishes and I hope you visit Paraguay again...cheers please feel free to contact me in case you need something...

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